The third School of Activism at PRSC in now well into itâs second week, and runs through to the end of April. Itâs packed full with art, crafts, writing, poetry, reading, musicâŠand politics. Itâs one big skillshare month, itâs affordable, free if you are skint, and welcomes everyone:
The tools of transformation are already in your hands â and the School Of Activism is here to show you how you can start forging a new future. Weâll let you in on a badly kept secret: Activism is a doing word (although strictly speaking, itâs a noun). We can change things, we can make them better. And after all, knowledge is power â so, letâs share it.
The Peopleâs Republic of Stokes Croft invites you to the School of Activism 3.0. Throughout April weâll be running a series of workshops, events and activities designed to empower and galvanise every age group. In doing so, we can foster our own future â and make it something weâre all proud to be a part of.
You should check out the full School curriculum here. A donation of ÂŁ4 per event is requested for some events â if you can afford it, but nobody turned away for lack of funds. You can rock up on the day, or book a place in advance via Headfirst.
Below we select our top political hot picks for the rest of the month at PRSCâs The Space BS2:
13 April, 7-9pm: The Fall of Colston â the Strategies of the Campaigns
The fall of the Colston statue on 7th June 2020 can be seen as the culmination of 100yrs of campaigning against his city centre presence, which had intensified in the last decade, and intersected on that famous day. Whilst many individuals & institutions suddenly rushed to disown him, and the impact of the toppling rippled much further away than just in Bristol, that wasnât the end of it! Tory ministers, right-wing media, Labour politicians, the CPS and the police launched a campaign of persecution â and those persecuted needed solidarity and support.
Speakers from Countering Colston, Bristol Radical History Group and Legal Support (BDS) reflect on the campaigns that resulted in the fall of Colston, and the acquittal of the defendants. There will be plenty of time for questions and discussion.
17 April, 2-5pm: Poster Making with Careful Now! Collective
Posters have a venerable history as the crossroads of art and politics, creating understanding and solidarity. It was then: Paris in â68, the Vietnam War, it is now: Occupy, Extinction Rebellion.
Careful Now! Collective are creating a space to practice with basic artistic techniques to help keep the art of DIY poster-making alive. Thereâll be some pre-made stencils ready to use, but youâll be learning to make your own with two techniques â ânegativeâ stencil cuts and lino, which combine beautifully. Youâll also get tips for how to do this at home with basic DIY equipment.
19 April, 6.30-8.30pm: Theory of Change
A workshop from the Ella Baker School of OrganisingâŠ
Everyone wants to make change, whether it is to reduce loneliness, end racism, save the planet, get the landlord to do essential repairs, or simply get a crossing installed on a busy street. Yet too often we put action before strategy. We use familiar tactics: starting a petition, writing to an MP, lobbying, striking or marching, without first analysing why the problem came into existence, why those with the power to change it choose not to, and how we can make those with power say âyesâ when they would rather say âno.â
Whether you are writing a funding bid for a charity, organising a trade union, rebelling against oppression, or planning to save the planet, you need a theory of change: what is it that we need to do to effect the change we want to see?
20 April, 7-8.30pm: The 1970s Counterculture in the West Country: The story of the Bath Arts Workshop
From the late 1960s through the 1970s the counterculture helped to make the West Country fizz with creative ideas and events. One of the most successful ventures, locally and nationally, was the Bath Arts Workshop. As a spin-off from Londonâs influential Arts Lab, BAT was a loose collective of artists and community activists. To describe it as a community arts group, however, would be to under-explain its work. It was that and much more as it proliferated into festival organisation, media production, hosted national alternative technology events known as Comtek, and challenged homelessness, ecological destruction, racism, and the destruction of historic buildings.
Tangent Books have recently published Bath Arts Workshop: Counterculture in the 1970s, on the history of the initiative launched in 1969. This event will be a rare opportunity to hear co-founder Phil Shepherd and other authors Brian Popay, Penny Dale, Victoria Forbes-Adam in conversation, remembering, celebrating, and reflecting upon the Bath Arts Workshopâs relevance for the present day.
21 April, 6-9pm: Protest & Rebel: an exhibition of resistance
Opening nightâŠcontinues daily from 22 â 26 April, from 1pm to 6pm!
Inspiring artworks of rebellion, resistance and protest, including photographs of the Kill the Bill protest in March last year, by street photographer Colin Moody.
23 April, 3-6pm: Solidarity is our Best Defence
With Bristol Defendant Solidarity, Bristol ABC and Bristol Anti Repression Campaign.
Local anti repression groups have been working hard to ensure defendants and prisoners from the Bristol Kill the Bill demonstrations have all our support and solidarity. We have met the stateâs quest for revenge and punishment with a determined alliance of groups joining efforts to counter the lies and spin of the police and media and to stand alongside the defendants and prisoners all the way. Effective solidarity with those facing the wrath of the authorities for fighting back against the violence and escalating powers of the police is a vital part of the wider struggle against the PCSC Bill and this ever more authoritarian government.
In this session we will give an overview of the solidarity work so far, discuss the importance of anti repression organising and look at ways we can continue to resist together.
28 April, 1-5pm: Ad Cover-up
Find Adblockers in Bishopston, covering up a street ad, and asking the public to answer questions about their preferences for the areaâŠ answers on the covered ad-screen!
This activity is mostly aimed at passers-by, but come and find us if you want!
This activity is followed back at PRSC The Space byâŠ
28 April, 6.30-8.30pm: Adblocking Bristol Airportâs Greenwash
In 2020, Amsterdam became the first city in the world to ban advertising for flights, cars and fossil fuels on its transport network ad spaces. Can we make Bristol do the same?
Bristol City Council has targets to become carbon neutral by 2030. At the same time, it is providing advertising space for high carbon companies such as airports and airlines, who directly encourage us to increase our emissions. Companies such as EasyJet are also using these spaces to greenwash their image making speculative promises about âZero Emissionâ travel far into the future to justify selling more tickets today.
In February 2022, Bristol Airport was granted permission to expand to 12 million passengers per year after appealing against North Somerset Councilâs rejection of their planning application. The expansion plans would result in 12 million passengers per year, 10,000 car movements per day and one million tonnes of CO2 being emitted annually.
Join Adblock Bristol, Bristol Rising Tide and friends as we combine the creative arts practice of âsubvertisingâ, âculture jammingâ and ad-hacking with grassroots campaigning to remove big polluter advertising from our city.
(Image & text lifted from PRSC, minor edits & emphasis by us)