Occupy Wall Street is back this spring and with it, occupations of cities and towns across Canada are popping back up. Occupiers may have been busy working underground but now it’s time to rise up and organize. The activist toolkit is going on a spring break but not without a bang. Here’s a roundup of tools for occupiers to take you through the hiatus. Best of all, every tool and app featured is free.
Social media, apps and blogging have helped keep the movement alive. Now that protesters are organizing physical Occupy camps again, there are tons of new tech tools to help you organize.
Occupy camps don’t have to rely on mainstream media to get the word out — they can stream their events themselves and bring the struggle from the street to the living room. Learn how to livestream workshops, protests and speakers with this tool.
Crisis mapping and crowdsourcing aren’t just for alerting other occupiers about where police have appeared in the camp or recording incidents of violence: they are also great tools for showing where workshops are in real time. Learn more about how to use it here!
Many activists use Twitter, but it is a public forum that can be monitored. Vibe is a system similar to Twitter where messages can be anonymously sent out within a certain radius. After a period of time, these messages are deleted. Vibe is perfect for messaging other activists about police whereabouts fast and confidentially. Check out this overview for more info.
Gmail may be free, but it’s hardly secure. Microsoft and Yahoo accounts are no better. Instead of using an email that’s corporately controlled, try using a secure rise-up email address instead. The system was created by social justice activists, for activists.
Workshops are integral to any Occupy camp. These workshop outlines are easy to run and ready to be used in your camp.
Legal observers, people who watch and record interactions between police and activists, make sure that interactions gone awry aren’t an activist’s word against an officer’s. Read more in this legal observer training workshop.
If activists are arrested, it’s important to know how to handle it. This legal defence workshop for activists will help everyone get on the same page.
Consensus is the basis of decision-making in Occupy camps but not everyone is well versed in the process. Bring occupiers up to speed with this consensus workshop.
Every camp should offer basic anti-oppression education for the occupiers. Try starting with this workshop on anti-racist organizing.
Occupy is successful because it doesn’t just resonate with activists already in the community, but it also reaches out to everyday folks who might not have organized before. These guides will help inform beginner organizers, enhance veteran activists and give you the information you need to have a successful camp.
Blogs, browsers and emails should all be secure when it comes to political organizing. This guide to basic technological security is simple and can help even the least tech savvy person protect their work.
Even in the safest camps, folks might need first aid, especially in the summer heat or at a crowded protest. This guide for street medics won’t make you a medical professional, but it details the basics to creating a team of first response activists.
Police have been extremely involved in Occupy camps across Canada, physically evicting protesters and patrolling camps. Every occupier should know their legal rights. This guide to interacting with police is a good place to start.
If activists are arrested, they need to know how to deal with it. Check out this guide about how to deal with arrest.
Media tents help keep Occupy in the news and top of mind. This guide to exploiting the mainstream media has everything Occupiers need to know, from press releases to interviews (but don’t forget: alternative media like rabble.ca is here to support the movement!).
The Activist Toolkit is also a wiki! Find out how to add to the tools, post your own or comment.
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