DC Trainers Network _ Making Beautiful Trouble
April 20th , 2016
Facilitators: Nadine Bloch and Jess Solomon


-    Hello
-    Read the Room!
-    Examples/Sculptures
-    Tactics: Best + worst
-    Slide Show (Creative Action Lab)
-    Share
-    Closing

Intro Activities
-    Who is in the room?
-    People stood up as Jess listed the various movements and issues people in the room worked on. The point of the activity is so people know who is in the room and can work together.
-    Creative Activism
-    Share an action you did that was creative. People stand up and sculpt themselves as an embodiment of that creative action. People did the following actions:   
-    Media Jacking
-    Fist up
-    Die-in
-    Track hurdles – different things – physical hurdle
-    Spray Painting

-    Actions that are used to carry out a strategy
-    A strategy is a game–plan to change a larger target goal
-    Tactics without strategy will not get us anywhere to achieve a goal
-    How do we analyze and shift tactics to meet our strategy? How do we change our strategy to meet our goals?
-    Tactic: A specific form or method of Action
-    Strategy – A plan designed to achieve a major or overall aim or goal, or objective for a campaign or movement.
-    Nonviolent Action – People Power!

Examples of Tactics;
-    There is a spectrum of actions
Group work  in groups of 4 (Talk about the most creative actions you have used in the past)
-    Everyone broke into groups of 5 and discussed tactics:
-    Anti-Gitmo protests w/ jumpsuits  and black hoods – Witness Against Torture’s action because it was this imagery that humanized a group that is often dehumanized
-    You don’t often see creative actions and too often they are standard rallies/vigils/marches.
-    Shoes/clothing/ Flags  - commemorate death (it can be triggering)
-    SURJ NOVA – October/November – GMU STOP TRUMP action – linked up arms and circled the POC activists.
-    Barry Farms Action – Two issues (1) – don’t show up for rallies out of fear for repercussions and a lot of other residents don’t show up  that live outside of SE because they don’t see it as their issue. Next Friday evening – April 29th – there will be  joint action between the Sanctuaries and Barry Farms tenants! They are connecting housing to bring the arts together and mobilize to take actions.

How Do We Do Our Work and How Do We Do it more effectively? Presentation from Beautiful Trouble
Nadine did a PPT presentation with images of certain successful tactics/actions used in the past   
-  Beautiful Trouble – book (Dave Mitchell/Andrew Boyd)
-    Thinking about tactics w/o strategy
-    Helium Balloons
-    Taking something that is really popular branding and change it
-    Wall projection – make this issue visible  
-    Light Brigades
-    Strategic Marches
-    Apologizing on TV as a representative of an organization that didn’t apologize
-    Make the issue visible
-    Monument Quilt
-    Doing an iftar on the streets of Turkey to bring attention to the wealth disparity– bring food
-    Wear your uniforms/wear suits – uniforms
-    Making consent sexy
-    Right at the factory

Part III – Everyone is in an issue area and cheat sheet of points of intervention. This was divided by issue areas.

-Center for Story – Based Strategy
- Tools are as good as they are and if something isn’t working, use something else - (points of intervention)

Tactics: Best Action/Worst Action
•    ID an issue area/campaign
•    What was the goal?
•    What was one tactic?
•    Effective? Why? Why not
Different groups used the Points of Intervention Exercise to build an action
-    The Points of Intervention – Point of Production, Point of Destruction, Point of Consumption, Point of Decision, and Point of Assumption (Point of Intervention Handout)
Campaigns and Different Ideas for Beautiful Trouble
DC Statehood
-    POP – Production Work w/ Local Artist
-    POC – Local Business supporting artwork (Busboys & Poet)/Local non-profits/Vets Fro Statehood
-    Pop-printing/ Postcard (designer flyers)

Disability Rights
-    Bridges
-    Barricade/Human
-    Fake Toolbooth
-    Civil Disobedience
-    Shut Down Congress




Back-to Back Anti-Trump Action Rally

Physically felt safe for the POCs/ White people circled around POCs/community work/allyship

Didn’t stop Trump

Barry Farms (Action done by the Sanctuaries)

Art Show Case

-          Reaches residents

-          Attract individuals from other quadrants

-          Community building


Berta Caceras Rally

State Department Protest

-          Inside Action w/ Banner drop

-          Media and Media Jacking

-          Internal solidarity

-          Confrontation


Key Point: Always assess and understand how to be more effective

The Point



School Meal

Community Garden

Community garden (events for community building)

Ranches/Fish farm

Lobby for better food policy

Food Deserts (where food waste is)


Grocery Stores


Fast Food Chains


Kitchen Table


USDA Congress


Nuclear Cruise Tip Missile (point of decision)
-    Congressional Meeting
-    Capital
-    Committee meeting on funding

 (Action Ideas)
-    Disrupt the meetings (C-Span coverage)
-    Storm the capital
-    Silent protest (using signs and banners)
-    Global Zero –Represented by human bodies

Migrant/Refugee Immigrant Rights
-    Topics
o    Perceptions
o    Women Issues
o    Health Care Access
o    Domestic Violence Awareness
o    Syrian Refugee Crisis
o    Peacebuilding
o    Target – Corrupt NGOs, government, U.N
o    Camps/ Themselves with art, documentaries, medical personnel
o    Petitions
o    Online Portal w/ Petition/ Resources

Anti – Black Racism ($20 Harriet Tubman Bill)
-    Possible Actions
o    Teach-ins _ herstorical analysis of Harriet
o    Guerrilla theatre – how much is $20 worth now that a Black woman is on it
o    Underground railroad trek/social media/goal – protect Harriet’s legacy and honor
o    Draw attention to how much Black women actually earn
o    Reparations

Anti-Police Brutality:

Points of Production
-    Police Station/Schools/Police Events (FOP)
Point of Destruction
-    Places of Police Murder
Point of Construction
-    Schools
Tactics: - Street Theater
-    Sit-ins
-    Blockades
-    Petition Delivery To International Bodies
-    Projections
-    Cop Watch
-    Community Policing

-Closing – Look at the strategic activism
-Global Tools – How to do creative designs and how to do it all over the world!
-Closing – Reflection

Popcorn Style closing - Discuss something you have taken Away from the workshop!
-    Ideas
-    Experience
-    Strategy
-    Community
-    Different points of intervention
-    Opportunities
-    Action
-    Type up resources! Finish them
-    Finish Evaluations

-    Beautiful Trouble.org
-    Beautiful Rising.org
-    The Arts of Protest Column on wagingnonviolence.org
-    ArtinPraxis.org
-    BeautifulSolutions