Study camp: Nonviolence as a tool for social mobilization

Study camp: Nonviolence as a tool for social mobilization
From 11 to 15 December 2017, we welcomed an international group in a study camp on non-violent resistance.
We received a group of international SCI activists with whom we debated and reflected on the social movements in Catalonia as tools of non-violent resistance based on the discovery of different groups. We offered some activities open to the public. This was an activity that followed the international SCI assembly that have been held in Catalonia from December 6 to 10.

11th December 2017

Tired from the ICM but eager to learn more about Nonviolence, a motivated international group attended a workshop held by Felip Daza, Codirector at Novact, the International Institute for Nonviolent Action. Drawing from his personal experience and the inspiring words of personalities such as Martin Luther King, Gandhi, and Gene Sharp, Felip took the group on a journey through the history of the nonviolent movement, giving examples of several actions from around the world, and sharing the key aspects and strategies needed to organize a nonviolent campaign.
In the afternoon, a smaller but enthusiastic group of volunteers joined a workshop on Theatre of the Oppressed held by Clara Giberga, from the SCI Catalunya pool of trainers.
After a brief theoretical introduction, the group performed a series of warm-up exercises and games, and explored different techniques, such as image theatre and the “Columbian Hypnosis”. That workshop showed us the greatness of body expression, not only for the spectator but for those who take the role.
12th December 2017

On the second day of the post ICM workcamp, the group left Barcelona to visit the maternity of Elna, an institution established by Elisabeth Eindenbenz and SCI Switzerland during the Spanish Civil War, where hundreds of refugee mothers gave birth to their children. The group was given a presentation about the history of the place by the staff of the museum and had the chance to walk around the building and visit the exposition. It was an inspiring and emotional story to discover. After that, the group had the chance to take a walk in the lovely city of Girona.

13th December 2017

After a free morning spent exploring the city of Barcelona, on Wednesday afternoon the group attended a meeting with the two activists Ghadir Shafie and Hanan Wakeem, from the Palestinian association Aswat, supporting the rights of Palestinian gay women. During the meeting, the two activists gave an overview of the Palestinian situation, and specifically of the history of the feminist movement in Palestine and the struggles of Palestinian women. Topics such as Pinkwashing and BDS were also tackled.

14th December 2017

Our last activity was a visit to two occupied flats that Obra Social BCN has in Barcelona. As a response to housing situation in the city, this organization works for the rights to housing and the dignity of the neighbors affected by the speculation and the lack of social flats. Melissa Garcia, researcher of housing, urbanism, and gentrification explained to us what's happening in Barcelona and what the activists from Obra Social BCN are working on. The city has changed, having a quick look on Barcelona's map we realized that, there are several reasons for nowadays situation; coming from last year's crisis, daily evictions and the gentrification process, that lead to community displacement for lower-income families. Pomares, an activist from the organization, told us that they're occupying the flats from the buildings breaking stereotypes and showing the occupation not as a problem, but as a solution for many families and also as a way to be against the capitalist economic system, that drives the housing market.