Below is some guidance to the different non-arrestable roles you need to think about within your affinity group.
Whilst the legal support for the action will be co-ordinated centrally, each affinity group should have its own Legal Observer, who should make sure that everyone in the group has registered with the Legal Support Team and has a Bust Card – including those not planning to risk arrest. The main role of the Legal Observer is to monitor what is happening with their affinity group and take note of who gets arrested and when, and report to Legal Support at the gates (they’ll be wearing high-vis “Legal Support” vests), or call the Legal Support Team phone number on the Bust Cards.
The Legal Observer can also gather information and photographs that might come in handy during any potential future court case, e.g. identification number of arresting officers, time of arrest, if any warnings were given, if those arrested were cut out of lock-ons first, how long did it take, did the police deal carefully with the people in lock-ons and any other bit of information that gives a clear picture of what happened. (These bits of information may not seem important at the time, but more than a few court cases have been thrown out simply because the police cannot remember the correct sequence of events on the day!)
Each affinity group should think about having a media person to communicate with the media present on the day and particularly any from your local area. They should act as spokesperson for the group’s action, and explain clearly why they felt it was important to come to Faslane and take part in the blockade.
It’s a good idea to make contact with local media beforehand, with statements of why the group members are joining the action – it’s even possible to get your local or regional television or radio station to cover your group’s action if they know well enough in advance – and on the day feed back reports and photographs via email, twitter, facebook etc.
It is best for the media person to have the bones of a press release ready, along with local press contacts saved in an email before the day. Whilst you won’t know what is going to happen, you can have statements from those planning to get arrested in place and their details, to give a local spin. The press release can then be edited and sent out from a smart phone. Alternatively you can bring your own wireless laptop with a charged battery and tether to a smart phone or send out press releases from a cafe in Helensburgh. The more you have prepared on the day, the more chance you have of getting the story out in time for coverage and the less stress you will be under.
Likewise media support people can tweet and Facebook photos and short text. Use #BairnsNotBombs #ScrapTrident and @ScrapTrident .
We will have a media team to co-ordinate national media coverage on the day to the best of our ability but if you are particularly savvy with social media or talking to the press and wish to join the Media Team, please get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org
Your affinity group could have someone designated to look after the group’s wellbeing, e.g. by minding the belongings of those who are getting arrested, making sure those locked-on are warm and have food and water, and keeping up the morale of the group by providing hot drinks, massages, a friendly chat and encouragement.