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Civil Disobedience Training Video

  1. This activity is designed as an in-class video project. If you do not have access to video equipment, the activity may also be done as a series of skits presented at the end of class.
  2. Remind your students that in The Boston Globe articles, Judith Frieze talks about certain things the volunteers were told in preparation for their Freedom Ride; this included what to do if they were met by an angry mob, what would happen if they were arrested, and how to carry out civil disobedience. Other activists have described similar "training" before an event, which often included a review of civil disobedience philosophy and rules as well as practical advice, such as "I don't want to be killed because you decided to throw a brick."
  3. Explain that in the 1960s, civil rights "training" was informal and done in person. In our modern, tech-savvy world, such "training" might involve a "training video" prepared by professional civil disobedience instructors. Today, our class is going to make such a "training video."
  4. In order to make the "video," take your students through the following steps:
    1. As a class, choose a type of civil disobedience action (you may want to refer to the list of examples from the beginning of class).
    2. Break your class into small groups. Each group will be responsible for developing and acting out a section of the video. Sections might include: Titles (responsible for checking with the different groups and developing appropriate title signs); The reason for our action (choose the cause you're fighting for. It could be something in your local news. You could make a list as a class and then vote on a cause. Your cause may also become obvious as you choose a type of civil disobedience action); Civil Disobedience rules and philosophy; What to expect at the action; What to expect if you're arrested (the arrest experience and time in prison); Reflections by activists from previous events. (Depending on your class size and time, you may want to add sections, delete sections, or combine sections.)
    3. Instruct your students to use the information gathered from the Introduction and Text Study to develop their section of the video. Provide time for the groups to develop their ideas and practice their part of the "training video."
    4. If you have access to video equipment, film each group individually, and show the whole video at the end of class or at the beginning of the next class. OR If you do not have access to video equipment, have all the groups perform their "skits" for the rest of the class.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Civil Disobedience Training Video." (Viewed on October 2, 2014) <http://jwa.org/node/11808>.

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