Organising for Social Change – A Day of Workshops at the Winter School

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Wednesday, 26 July 2023, belonged to the activists participating in the Winter School (WS) 2023. The day consisted of five different workshops, namely media, logistics, legal training, and theatre. These workshops were organised as part of preparing for a picket set to take place the next day, to protest and raise awareness about the water crisis which causes chaos in working class people’s lives.

The workshop-filled day took off with basic legal training for all the activists. This workshop was facilitated by lawyer, Khadija Dawood. All WS participants were taken through parts of the South African law that organisers of protest actions such as marches, demonstrations, and pickets must know. The participants read updated legislation such as the Regulation of Gathering Act 205 of 1993 which “regulates the holding of public gatherings and demonstrations at certain places…” It covered how to make a notice for a gathering, and the difference in law between a picket and a march. In the end, activists did an activity based on the law of protests.

After this, participants moved to the different parallel workshops of their own choices.

The media group was separated into three subgroups to focus on photography, social media, and drafting a flyer. In the workshop facilitated by Viwe Mazwana, the participants learned how press statements are written and what each of these documents must contain. The workshop participants then applied this knowledge by drafting a statement stating what the demands of the picket were. The activists also detailed the layout and design of the pamphlet they wanted.

In the social media workshop facilitated by Poppy Makhubo, the participants learned about social media marketing strategy and how to make the different platforms work for them. “We mobilise to grow communities,” said Makhubo, after participants also shared their thoughts about why activists engage their online communities. One participant in the social media workshop, Tshepang Sesoane from the Kliptown Youth Programme said, “We engage [online communities] to find a common ground”.,

The logistics team was facilitated by Nosipho Mdletshe and focused on the logistics of organising a picket or any event. The logistics workshop also covered finance and the need for organisations to be transparent and accountable about expenditures. While some participants had organised events, they had never organised a picket before, the experience was exciting for them because they had to organise the picket from start to finish.

The photography workshop was facilitated by Masai Dabula and taught participants how to take photos using a phone. The photography workshop was both theory and practical “participants learnt about what is photography, the historical events of photography to cover the context and the role of the Drum Magazine in profiling photographers”, said Masai Dabula. Participants then went on to take photos.

This article was submitted as part of the Imbila Yesu publication produced daily for the duration of the Winter School in 2023 (23-28 July 2023). It appeared in Edition No.4, released on 28 July 2023.You may republish this article, so long as you credit the author and Karibu! Online ( ), and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.

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