Today, SUN and our allies from Citizen Action and SEIU 1199 had 80 folks attend a training on how to use nonviolent direct action to confront corporate greed and improve our communities. The training was a part of the 99% Spring. Nationally, over 100,000 people are attending trainings this week to help move our fellow citizens to action.
The first section of the training focused on how attendees could translate their powerful personal stories into their direct action protests. Two Syracuse activists spoke about their struggles and the work that they do: Agnes McCrae of ARISE spoke about her work with the disability rights community and Aly Wane of the Syracuse Peace Council spoke about the immigrant rights struggle in C.N.Y.
Among the other organizations that attended were SEIU 200, Green Party CNY and Shale Shock–a group working to stop hydraulic fracturing drilling for natural gas in N.Y.S.
The meat of the training was supplied by James Mumm, staff director for National People’s Action, one of the earliest proponents of the 99% Spring. James gave participants an idea of why direct action protest is needed and the basic rules for successfully pulling off a good protest. This is important since the groups involved will be participating in upcoming direct actions–the April 17th Tax Day action being organized by SEIU 200 and the May 1st Occupy Syracuse event–still being planned!