Know Your Rights! Protect Your Community! Class #1 (February)
Title of Course:
Name of facilitator: Coldsnap Legal Collective
E-mail: Jude Ortiz, [email protected] Phone: 612.655.6904
This is a series of three workshops that build off each other to give you the knowledge you need to protect your rights, help others learn how to do the same, and create the legal support structures for your activist group that you need to do your work as safely as possible.
The first workshop is a Know Your Rights training, in which you'll learn about your constitutional rights from experienced trainers. This workshop is highly interactive since it uses role play scenarios that require audience members to join us in the front of the room with our awesome props and prompt cards. After the training, you'll have a chance to talk through how it went so you can start mastering the knowledge and prepare yourself to teach it to others. In the second workshop, the trainers' training, you'll learn how to conduct the Know Your Rights workshops on your own or with Coldsnap at future events.
In the final workshop, you'll learn all about building off the basic Know Your Rights information to create legal support structures within your activist organizations. Some of these structures include designating a legal support coordinator, planning for jail and court solidarity strategies in advance of actions, using good Security Culture practices to protect the members of your group, and using copwatching and legal observing techniques to help prevent police abuse and brutality and to provide evidence for criminal and civil suits that arise from any violations of your rights.
Because the topics we cover in these workshops can create intense, emotional situations, we use consensus-based facilitation in an attempt to create a safer space where we challenge oppression and hierarchy and that is conducive to learning and growing as a community. We operate through informed consent, so we will always explain what is entailed in the various activities in the workshops so you can decide your comfort level in participating. In turn, we ask that all participants agree to interact with each other in ways that empower everyone present to engage in the activities without fear of condemnation and to respect others' experiences and choices of activist tactics and strategies, even when someone doesn't understand or agree with someone else.
Class Dates, Times & Places:
Saturday, February 14, 1-4PM Macalester College, Carnegie Hall Room 06A
Saturday, February 21, 1-4PM Macalester College, Carnegie Hall Room 06A
Saturday, February 28, 1-4PM Macalester College, Carnegie Hall Room 06A
Class size: Minimum _____5ish____ Maximum _____25ish____
What experience do you bring to this class?
Coldsnap Legal Collective has been around for about a year now. We formed as an autonomous collective that works on a consensus basis with a non-hierarchical structure to educate, empower, and support the radical community in the Twin Cities. We do this by demystifying and decentralizing basic legal knowledge (e.g., constitutional rights), running a jail support hotline for people to call if they are arrested as a result of their activism, and helping groups create their own legal support structures so they can know their rights and options. In our first year, we conducted a series of Know Your Rights and Security Culture trainings prior to the Republican National Convention (RNC) and worked with other legal collectives from across the nation to create a legal support infrastructure for people arrested for protesting the RNC. During the convention, we staffed a legal support office to expand our capabilities in answering our jail support hotline, coordinated a street team of legal support activists who helped document police abuses in the streets, and ran a vigil outside of the Ramsey County Law Enforcement Center to welcome arrestees back into the community. Since then, we have been active in the Community RNC Arrestee Support Structure (CRASS), which works to support arrestees in fighting their charges through a multifaceted court solidarity strategy. Our collective members have diverse backgrounds and experiences in activism of all kinds, including legal support work. Although we are not lawyers and cannot provide legal advice, we are legal workers who are dedicated to equipping people to protect themselves and their communities when they come into contact with the police and the courts.