From Gandhi's salt marches in India, to occupying lunch counters in the American South, to indigenous led movements like Standing Rock; Non-Violent Direct Action has long been a critical tool for creating positive change in our world. NVDA is a way for people build strength and exercise our collective will, outside of existing power structures and systems. This workshop will explore the basic concepts of non-violent civil resistance & civil disobedience campaigns, and provide participants with a baseline of practical skills to safely and effectively participate.
Razz Gormley is a committed and passionate climate and social justice activist. He got his start in 2012 co-founding Frack Free Colorado and working to pass local ballot initiatives that hoped to defend the Front Range of Colorado from runaway Oil & Gas development and keep climate killing fossil fuels in the ground. The supreme court’s decision to unconstitutionally overturn citizen led ballot measures caused him to turn his eye toward non-violent direct action as a necessary tool, so then began training with Greenpeace USA in order to bring these critical skills back to the local movement. Razz has served on boards for a number of local organizations and worked to pass statewide ballot initiatives, but may be best known for his role as a climber in the Shell No PDX action. At a watershed moment in the fight against climate crisis, he and 12 others and their support team (allegedly) rappelled from the St. John’s Bridge in Portland, Oregon and remained suspended for two days in an attempt to block Shell’s Ice-Breaker from reaching a drill site in the pristine Chukchi Sea–an action which called global attention to the threat of Arctic drilling and led to the cancellation of all of the area’s Oil & Gas leases. The area remains protected to this day and Razz continues to train & support frontline and marginalized communities across the state with a focus on: self-empowerment, non-violent community defense, and grassroots movement building.