This is a plan for a 2 hours workshop. If you are running a shorter workshop, say less for each point, and keep enough time to mention all your key ideas.
Here is a time-annotated Eviction Resistance Workshop EXAMPLE. And below, an example of things you could say in each section.
If the person who invited you to do the workshop wants, it’s good if they can say a few words at the start about “Why is this workshop happening”.
Then I like to start the workshop with an introduction of the Eviction Resistance Network and the Radical Housing Network, followed (if there is enough time) by a circle of presentations, maybe with ONLY one sentence about their feelings relating to eviction resistance. Tell them that it must be very short! (20 people speaking for 1 minute, that’s already 20 minutes gone! And if they start to interact…).
Followed by a VERY brief outline of the plan of the workshop (don’t get into any details). For example
“There will be two parts:
- stopping the bailiffs, and
- how to support someone long term throughout the whole eviction process.”
And two words about “not getting lost into Broad-political-ideas Land nor Housing-Law Land”.
Then I like to speak about why resist an eviction (the law is on the side of landlords: “when the State turns it back, citizens have to self-organize”), why it’s effective (it’s not a short-term patch nor a one-day event, it CAN be PART OF a campaign for long term housing), and why it’s useful in the broader political situation (with every eviction resistance we grow stronger and we send a message). But you might want to start differently.
For me, some ideas that are important to share in a workshop are:
1. How to Stop the bailiffs:
- The police can only get involved if a crime is committed, for example if there is a breach of the peace. So if the bailiffs assault you, the police should stop them.
- Demonstrate at the council office or at the owner’s office, asking to speak to someone who can do something about the case. Come with banners, stickers, balloons, etc. It will impress them and show them your resolve. Speak with the employees there, so people speak about it in the council
2. Key Principles
3. What next?
Then it’s about achieving the outcome that I hope for this workshop. So if my goal is to get people to create a local group against eviction, sometimes I choose to get them to brainstorm ideas of things they can do locally, to stay in touch and to resist evictions. Or doing a round of ideas, or something.
At the end I like to say a few words about what the Eviction Resistance Network can do for this group of people, and what they can do for us, so “stay in touch! Let’s keep working together!”
Emotionally for the attendants, this workshop plan has three parts:
- ER-specific information which is hard to find anywhere else, to make people informed and interested
- Emotional and practical discussions, where I very briefly introduce a subject and then ask people to speak about it.
- Open discussion. As the workshop goes people get more and more involved, until this last step where they get to imagine future actions together.
But please, oh please, DO NOT FOLLOW THIS EXACT PLAN. Imagine your own: it depends who you are doing it for, etc. You might want to choose a similar “three parts” structure, but write it with your own words without looking at this one. Because the way you handle the workshop is as important as the content, if not more. So be sure to read the page How to do an Eviction Resistance workshop!