The newly formed CSG free Lismore action group is offering a series of activist training workshops in coming weeks to help ‘build capacity’ for local resistance to CSG mining. This Thursday night (29/3/12) the author of The Activists Handbook, Aidan Ricketts,  will conduct a public workshop on strategic campaign planning for the local csg free group. In coming weeks he will also offer workshops on the techniques of non-violent direct action.

Spokesperson for the CSG free Lismore group, Simon Clough said, “We are part of a major social movement in the Northern Rivers focussed upon resisting coal seam gas activities, the community feels the government and their political leaders have failed them, and so it’s important to empower as many people as possible to make a stand for our community and for the environment, we are fortunate to have the support of educated professionals in these community education programs’.

Aidan Ricketts is a lecturer in the School of Law at Southern Cross University and community activism is his special area of academic interest.  Aidan has recently released his new book ‘The Activists Handbook’ published in London and distributed globally.  ‘The book has been extremely well received’, said Aidan ‘and of course the timing could not be better locally in terms of the beginnings of a major social movement against CSG’.

‘We are currently seeing the start of a mass social movement against CSG.  It is a mainstream social movement that involves mothers, fathers, environmentalists, farmers, shopkeepers and Councillors.  I believe the underlying motivation is to protect water, food and to prevent our magnificent rural landscape becoming an industrial mining area’, continued Aidan Ricketts.

‘Community Activism is about having a thriving democracy and the purpose of this program is to help educate the community about the most effective ways to organise themselves as well as to ensure that any protests are conducted in a non-violent and effective way’  Aidan Ricketts said.

At the workshop he will help teach the techniques of conflict mapping, the development of strategic plans and much more.

‘The CSG Free movement has to be extremely well organised to defeat the corporations wanting to exploit our area such as Shell Oil (world’s 5th largest corporation) and the Chinese Government’, said Simon Clough, spokesperson for CSG Free Lismore.

The workshop will be at the Lismore Workers Club at 6-30pm on Thursday 29th.

For more details and interviews contact Simon Clough at 0428886217

Aidan Ricketts can also be contacted here.

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