How To Spray Chalk
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ABOUT THIS TRAINING
This training is a guide to spray chalking. This training was originally published by Extinction Rebellion Australia and modified for NooWorld.
Note: This information is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Consult local activists and attorneys for more precise information relevant to your area.
This training is a 7 minute read.
SPRAY CHALK ACTION PURPOSE
- Raise public awareness about what the spray target is doing or increase awareness around the climate and ecological emergency
- Normalise civil disobedience and train members for the second and third waves of a campaign, which are designed to have a larger, more disruptive impact
- Form and strengthen affinity groups. Everyone should get to know one another before planning this action by discussing their own goals, willingness to be arrested or other limitations, personal stories of what brought them to the climate movement, and establish their own internal roles
- Generate content for social and traditional media
- Sprayer - ( number depends on time and complexity)
- Arrestee support - (1 Per sprayer)
- Livestreamer -1
- Photographer -1
- Media Liaison - (If applicable)
- Wiper / Cleaner ( number depends on time and complexity)
- Police Liason -1
- Legal Observer - (1 Per sprayer)
SPRAYER: (highest risk)
- Spray whatever message is relevant to the target
- Hand over anything that can be used by the police as evidence in potential court proceedings before the action, e.g. mobile phone, to arrestee support buddy
- Practice artwork prior to doing the action
- Note: targeting Glass is likely lower risk than stone
ARRESTEE SUPPORT: (ideal to have one per arrestable)
- Buddy for those who will potentially be arrested (sprayers)
- Holds the mobile phone of a sprayer during the action which they’ll return after
- Ready to pick up the equipment of an arrestee if they are under arrest
- Picks up the arrestee after they’ve been granted bail to transport them
- If arrestee support is performing other roles during the action, it is ideal that they only do things that are relatively low-risk so they don’t get arrested as well
- Livestreams action
- Ideally provides commentary
- Takes pictures to be posted and to be used as evidence in potential court proceedings
- Has a prepared statement ready for the media if they have been invited to the action
- Prepares a press release prior to the action if they want media to attend
- Only the 1 spokesperson should interact with the media
- Keep on message and rehearse
WIPER: (ideal to have more than one)
- Wipes off the chalk if someone is arrested
POLICE / SECURITY LIAISON: (ideal to have two)
- Security doesn't have the power to detain or touch you. They can only call the police. Try to de-escalate as much as possible. That includes being calm and telling them how long you’re going to be there to do what you need to do.
LEGAL OBSERVER: (ideal)
- Observes police behaviour and videos them if possible
- Writes down what security or police do
- Stays to the side and wears a high-visibility vest
- Spray Chalk cans
- A phone that is capable of live-streaming
- A phone that is capable of taking pictures
- Sponge & 4l water (if you intend on wiping off the chalk spray)
- Flags and Banners
- Something with which to wipe off chalk spray (if the intent is to minimise the risk of arrest)
- High visibility vests
Before the Action:
- Adhere to your area’s latest COVID Restrictions
- Meet nearby to check in at least half an hour before the action for regenerative culture, emotional readiness, and to make sure all equipment is present
- Have a clear Media and Messaging vision for the action and a spokesperson ready to speak if media arrive during or after the action
After the action:
- Disperse immediately after the action if the intent is not to be arrested. The team can debrief online after the action. The time/venue should be planned beforehand.
- Share your action footage on social media.
Community outreach roles are an important part of any action. They should be calm, empathetic, and confident in their interactions. Consider creating a handout to give to observers by explaining your action and message.
If passerby are grieving and fearful they will welcome a listening ear and offering them the potential to take action may be helpful once they have had a chance to speak about their grief and fear.
If passersby are angry, you can simply repeat their words in a slightly different way and apologise for any inconvenience the action has caused them. Non-violent communication skills are very useful in this situation. It is important that you do not try to convince angry pedestrians of anything at this time. The role is not to become defensive or aggressive or to argue/convince others of the need for action.
Chalk spray is designed to come off. If you wish to make more permanent impressions, consider the use of more durable but ideally biodegradable materials, such as fake blood, fake oil, or fake coal. See the Rebel Recipes Training for these recipes.
To escalate these actions, choose significant targets, do your action with observers (public) present, and choose targets that will maximise exposure and disruption.
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