Forming an Affinity Group

An Affinity Group (AG) is a group of people who support each other to take part in nonviolent direct action (NVDA).

The ‘affinity’ part could mean anything that unites the group - this could be where you’re from, what you care about, what kind of actions you’re interested in or it could just be that you like each other and want to make a difference together.

It’s crucial that those people willing to risk arrest are properly supported through this experience, so not everyone in an AG needs to make that commitment.

XR is it’s AGs and what we do is NVDA.

Listen to rebels talking about their AG experience: Watch the Affinity Group video here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=279880469898569

Here are some resources to get you and your Affinity Group started:

The AG Little Green Book: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1hpwtmr1y58G3b7t23QTfS7j6ZrRdRmTJ/view

The NVDA How To Action Guide: https://rebellion.earth/wp/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/XR_NVDA_Guide_A5-rgb_lowres.pdf

Forming an Affinity Group

Are you a part of a Local or Community Group, and would like to organise using the Affinity Group structure to take part in action together?

We have a script just for you! https://docs.google.com/document/d/19jSlNsiZrtEOZ0zAXbw0KhL3l8A_9V5hh8aVFrc67DM/edit

This workshop is intended to be a 20-30 minute activity for groups that already have some familiarity, to organise into Affinity Groups before a specific action/Rebellion.

It can be led by anyone, and should be fluid and flexible for the relevance and needs of your group. Have fun with it! Make it your own!

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First steps in setting up your Affinity Group

  • Introduce yourselves, giving a brief idea of your interests and skills, and your hopes for the group

  • Exchange contact details, and start a communications channel (ie. whatsapp group or Signal group)

  • Name your Affinity Group!

  • Sign up to AGSN database: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/affinity-group-registration

  • Arrange the date and time you will meet next (within 2 weeks is encouraged)

  • Decide some of the group roles:

    • External Coordinator - joins AG communication channel on Mattermost, liaises with other Working Groups, receives information from AGSN

    • Internal Coordinator - organises meetings and ensures rebels feel included, engaged and supported

    • Wellbeing Support - arranges regenerative activities for the Affinity Group

    Remember: these roles should rotate and change!

Some things to consider for your first meeting

  • Deeper Introductions, getting to know each other!

  • Active Listening exercises

  • Plan an Action / discuss and take part in a Regional / National Action

  • Pair up into buddies (2 or 3 if an odd number) to provide closer support

  • Participating in Trainings

    Action Design / XR DNA / Action Wellbeing / De-escalation / Know Your Rights Legal Training

Further Reading for you and your Affinity Group:

For more information about Affinity Groups, explore the Little Green Book here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1hpwtmr1y58G3b7t23QTfS7j6ZrRdRmTJ/view

For Action Design ideas, read the Planning Effective NVDA booklet: https://rebellion.earth/wp/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/XR_NVDA_Guide_A5-rgb_lowres.pdf

For Trainings, check out the Rebel Academy: https://uk.rebellion.academy/ Or for more talks, trainings and workshops, tune in to ResetTV HERE

For more information, ideas and inspiration, view the Resources Page: https://rebellion.earth/act-now/resources/

And keep an eye out for actions and news on the XR Newsletter (join us here!), and the Facebook/Instagram/Twitter pages.

With much love and rage,

The UK AGSN Team 🍁