OUR APPEAL: FORM PEER GROUPS!
In civil disobedience actions with many people, it has proven to be useful to form fixed reference/peer groups (BG) in advance. This is what we are doing again this year at Ende Gelände. Therefore: Look for up to a maximum of 9 other people, with whom you will take part in the action.
As a climate justice movement we also want to be anti-racist in our practice. As white reference/peer groups, you are invited to participate in the action in solidarity, but are encouraged to be reflective and mindful of your positioning and privilege. For this, we recommend various texts on cultural appropriation and white privilege (currently only available in German).
NOTE FOR 2022
This year, among other things, the Action Consensus has been adapted to allow for even more forms of action, not only for small groups, but also as part of mass action. Read the Action Consensus carefully and discuss what this means for your reference/peer group.
It is possible within the framework of the action consensus to make material changes, for example, to damage things. Be informed about the consequences for your safety and that of all other activists and affected people. We act with caution and do not endanger human lives. If you are not sure about the risks and consequences, it might be safer to choose other forms of action. In any case, act in solidarity and discuss in advance in your reference/peer groups what acting in solidarity means in this context. Be prepared that there can be very dynamic situations, also in blockades. Take care of yourselves and each other, see how you can protect yourselves and others – from physical danger, but also from repression.
WHY A REFERENCE GROUP?
Throughout the action, you look out for each other as a reference group, discuss how far you want to go, how you feel, what you feel like doing. You decide within the reference group how long you want to stay in the action and go back to the camp together, if possible.
You can print out this checklist (currently only available in German) and discuss the questions together in the reference group before the activity.
DO WE HAVE TO STAY TOGETHER THE WHOLE TIME?
Within the reference group you can divide into smaller units: Groups of two or three people, sometimes called buddies, who will stay together at all times. For example, if you are a group of 5 people, you can divide again into a team of 2 and a team of 3 buddies.
If something happens to one of you – injury, detention, etc. – the buddies are there for that person. The rest of the reference group can decide if they want to stay or continue with the action. Once you arrive at the blockade point, you can also regroup within the reference/peer group: Who will stay here? Who wants to go somewhere else? Who wants to go back? It is important that no one person is left alone!
WHO ARE THE RIGHT PEOPLE FOR MY REFERENCE GROUP?
Often, reference/peer groups are made up of people with similar levels of action experience. But that is not necessary. It is much more important that you have similar ideas about the action and trust each other: How far do you want to go? How long do you want to stay? How will you behave towards the police, etc.?
The better you know each other, the easier it will be to make decisions and the more fun you will have in the action. Therefore: Take your time to get to know each other and talk about possible scenarios!
HOW DO I FIND THE RIGHT REFERENCE GROUP?
Ask people you know: Who is going to Ende Gelände? Who has what ideas about the action? Maybe it fits with yours!
Visit reference group meetings in your city or organize some yourself!
At such meetings, people come together who want to go to Ende Gelände, but don’t yet know with whom. You exchange your ideas, hopes and fears and see who fits.
There will also be opportunities to meet people for reference groups at the camp in Hamburg. So the earlier you get there, the more time you have to form and get to know your affinity group.
REFERENCE GROUPS AND COVID-19
In order to minimize the risk of infection with Covid-19 during the action, it is especially important for this action that you have a solid reference group. Your reference group represents your infection community from the time you arrive to the time you leave. The people in your reference group are the only ones you should have close contact with during this time. Try to avoid switching between reference groups and, if possible, keep your distance from other reference groups.