Hmm, I am very dubious about the power of rallies to build movements and shape public debates. At least, rallies as they are currently done. I think they’re a bit like Meetings from Above.
Ideas for how to make even a panel-discussion in a tiered lecture theatre interactive and energising…
* There is a debate happening at present about a carbon tax that has the potential to either demoralise or re-energise parts of the climate movement.
* There has been a history of tense relations between climate groups in Adelaide, which is slightly on the mend. The carbon tax issue reveals some of these.
* Many people in the audience are potential or activists and organisers, who have information, perspectives, contacts and energy that could and should be captured.
* Other activists have burnt out or stepped back from climate activism. We must find out why, and seeing how we can bring them and their energy back into the fold.
* People in the audience who have useful skills and knowledge for each other should hooked up with each other on the basis of where they live, what they do (job etc) and what they campaign on.
Explain concisely the different groups perceived “opportunities and threats” around the carbon tax.
Display the points of overlap/unity, and explore how the tensions within the movement can be constructively managed.
Create spaces for non-hierarchical discussion of important movement issues.