Span That World: The DF Web
I arrived at Grow Heathrow after 6 legs of public transport across London, tired and daunted at the idea of staying with strangers for 3 nights. Sure, people had assured me they were all super friendly, but would they really be? As it turned out, yes!
Straight away I joined a tour of the site which was much larger and more permanent than I’d expected. Everyone introduced themselves to me and was interested in who I was and why I was there, although unsurprised at having visitors if a little shocked by how short my visit was! I stayed for 3 nights, arriving about 7pm on Sunday and leaving at 1pm on Wednesday. In that time I found plenty to do and many people to chat to; I cooked, cleaned, watered plants, shifted firewood and went skipping as well as doing yoga and playing music. There was no shortage of things to do and great company. Tuesdays and Thursdays are workdays so clearer tasks were set out in the morning meeting – if you’re only visiting for the day you may wanna give those a miss, but if you’re going for a few days it lent some helpful structure to my visit.
Stuff you might wanna take
A friend or two – although it was fine on my own, I think the stay would have been easier with some familiar company.
A tent – there are places to stay inside as a guest but it was quite nice to have my own space when I needed.
Clothes you don’t mind getting dirty and for all weathers.
A book – there is a fair bit of sitting around! But also a really cool library so you don’t need to take your own.
Directions – found here. It’s quite easy to find by following these written instructions.
Enthusiasm – it’ll be great! #getactivated
Any other worries, give me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org
If you went to Spring Awakening, you may have experienced some of the fabulous workshops offered by one of our affiliates. Positive Money, CAAT and GBC were all there. You can also have a read about it here.
However other exciting things have been happening recently. Back in March we signed our formal affiliations agreement with Friends of the Earth. This fits in super well with our campaign at the minute, particularly in terms of their specific campaigns at the minute including “Run On Sun” (get involved here).
Around the same time DFs had a presence at the Action AWE blockade of nuclear weapons factory just outside Reading, and had a revival of “Zombies for Nuclear Apocalypse” in the town centre.
This is all super exciting! We are politically engaged, committed and inspiring young people and this is a key time for activism around many issues. If there’s any organisations (not necessarily campaigning o you think DFs should work with, drop me an email at email@example.com or message me (Lily MacTaggart) on Facebook.
Meanwhile, why not plan some activism into YOUR summer? #getactivated
- 29th May-2nd June is the Reclaim The Power No Dash For Gas mass action camp near Didcot. 4 days of environmental activism!
- 12th-14th June is Friends of the Earth Basecamp in Castleton, Derbyshire. “an empowering weekend of activism in the rolling hills of the Peak District. And a host of social activities too!”
- ALL OF JULY is Woodcraft go to Lammas month! You can go at any time during the month to stay at this beautiful eco-village in Wales.
- 30 July–3 August 2015 is Peace News Summer Camp, loads of interesting workshops.
- There will be a DF Wwoofing trip at some point over the summer. Find out more and get involved in picking the dates here.
- And don’t forget this summer’s DF events! London Thing is 10th-12th July, DF Camp is the 5th-12th August in Bonnie Scotland, and Althing is the 4th-6th September, probably in Liverpool.
#getactivated is a new hashtag created by DFs. Use it to tag your political, activisty stuff. Going on a protest? Written a blog post? Found a really cool political group? Share it across social media using the hashtag and we can inspire each other and share our enthusiasm and ideas.
Ways to #getactivated
Having a voice in democracy isn’t just voting; activism isn’t just going out on protests. Here are some ideas of ways you can make a political noise and help make a change.
Research: Read articles; watch videos; find comics. Get educated about the issues you care about, and share any useful resources you find.
Write: Turn your anger into words. Write a poem or a song, or start a blog. Use the hashtag and we’ll try and use DF social media to get it out there.
Protest: Taking part in a demonstration or occupation is a really potent way to get your voice heard. Make sure you know your rights and the risks involved before you do it though. There are plenty of ways to help on protests without being the one holding the placard, too- you need legal observers, for example, plus people in charge of welfare, someone to write a press release and do publicity…
Lobby: Email or write to your local MP about issues you want them to act on/how you want them to vote in parliament. Seek out, sign or set up petitions about things you want changing.
Reflective activism: If you’re looking for something a bit more chilled, try out some craftivism, which both gives you the opportunity to contemplate issues as well as raising awareness for important issues. Or do some guerrilla gardening to add colour and life to city spaces.
In your community: Look at the DF Affiliations page for some ideas about organisations you could join. Lots of them have local groups. Alternatively, you could fundraise for a local charity, volunteer in a community garden or run workshops and events in your area.
Campaign: Get involved with the DF campaign. At the moment, this is Sea Monsters For Climate Change. Keep an eye out for updates and ways to get involved.
The moment has finally come… DF Camp 2015 bookings are now open!!
Up in the far far north there lies a unknown land, home to myths and legends of loch ness monsters and wild wee wains runnin’ nout in kilts …. the land of bonnie Scotland. It is here where we welcome you all to a week of embracing the four elements of the earth.
Prepare yourself for a journey from the depths of the lochs, to the clouds in the sky. You will experience a variety workshops; ceilidhing till ya stumble tae yer tent; weegie patter around blazing campfires; great music and bands to keep you dancing to your hearts content; and celebrate Woodcraft Folk’s 90th birthday wae us.
WHEN? 5th – 12th August
WHERE? Inverkip, Scotland.
WHAT? A week of workshops,discussions, music, friends, ceilidhing, dancing, laughing, walks, and many surprises.
THEME? Elements- fire, water, earth and wind.
HOW MUCH? £75 including fairer fare
TRAVEL? Book tickets to Glasgow by train or bus. Then get a train to Inverkip, then from the train station there is a walk through the village up to campsite.
Here is a beautiful promo video to get you more hyped!
Would like to organise a workshop or have any ideas for one? Know of any local bands/ djs? Have any other fabulous ideas? We would love to hear any of your contributions, so send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
TO BOOK FILL IN FORM BELOW
Blue skies and see you all in August!
Loading…Check out the video and pictures from last year’s DF camp
Thank you to everyone who came to Spring Awakening and helped make it such a wonderful event. Who could ask for anything better than five days in a field with that lovely weather and such fab people? Everyone enjoyed the chilled atmosphere, the singing, the cuddles and the fantastic workshops.
Speaking of which, we had loads of really interesting visitors come and perform/deliver workshops. So what better way to shake off those post-camp blues than to have another look at all the amazing work they do?
On Thursday morning, Panos came to run a workshop on racism and how it is used by institutions against people.
Three Acres and a Cow
On Thursday, Robin Grey came and gave a song writing workshop, then delivered his show Three Acres and a Cow which uses storytelling and song to tell the history of land rights and protest in the UK. It was so interesting to hear about a bit of history that’s usually totally ignored- this is a show that’s constantly evolving, so even though I’d seen it at DF camp I still learned something new, and I think everyone really enjoyed singing along. One message really stuck in my head: that even if you don’t see the impact of your actions in your own lifetime, it doesn’t mean you haven’t changed things.
On Friday, Dora from Positive Money came and did a fascinating workshop on economics. Their organisation is all about making how money works accessible and understandable to people and pushing for change in our financial systems. I certainly learned a lot and it made me think carefully about money and how we use it.
Campaign Against the Arms Trade
We also had a visit from CAAT, who delivered a workshop about the work they do and the arms trade as well as teaching us about activism and ways you can use creativity in direct action, including using dance and song. Hopefully these are skills and information DFs will be able to use in fighting for the causes they believe in.
On Friday night, we welcomed Darren Ellis, an acoustic guitarist and singer who performed a set for us in front of the campfire.
Green and Black Cross
An intense day of workshops on Saturday began with a chat from the Green and Black Cross, teaching us about your rights on protests. It was really interesting and it is so valuable for people to know what they are entitled to in those situations. They gave us four key things to say/remember: 1- No comment 2- No personal details 3- Under what power? 4- No duty solicitor.
Afterwards, ex-DF Louise ran a workshop on racism and what white people can do to counter it. It felt really important that we had workshops on racism, because DFs and Woodcraft in general still have a hugely white majority despite expressing anti-racist sentiments. Louise has produced some great resources, which you can find here along with other things from the event.
Poet and autism advocate Gwen Greenwood ran a wonderful poetry workshop, focusing on the words we use around disability. Everyone wrote really great pieces in the short time we had, some of which we heard by the fire later on. Gwen also performed some of her fantastic poetry for us, contending with the wind, the noise of the fire and dim light. For anyone who wanted to buy a copy of Gwen’s book but didn’t get a chance, here’s the link to her store.
London Thing 2015: 10th – 12th July
Things are the backbone of the DF Movement. They are weekend residential events where DFs come together with DF Committee to thrash out the bits and pieces that make up the running of the movement.
Want a chance to get your voice heard? Want to meet up with DFs in a chill, intimate setting before DF Camp? Want to be involved in important decisions as well as having great fun? Come to London Thing!
Things are heavily subsidised: it’s only £10 to come, and if it’s your first Thing it’s totally free!
Hopefully there’ll be some training just before, more information to follow soon.
Nearest train station is South Croydon.
Bookings are open here: