We host workshops in Oakland, CA; Detroit, MI; Philly, PA; and Manhattan, NY.
Offline and Online Security Tips for Protesters and Organizers
Ongoing VIRTUAL CLASSES
Digital Security is Self-Defense in the 21st Century.
In the words of Assata Shakar,
“It is our duty to fight for our freedom.
It is our duty to win.
We must love each other and support each other.
We have nothing to lose but our chains.”
In order to win we must create strategy, understand what/who we are up against, and protect one another off and online. During this session, we will hear from movement technologists on tips you should consider as you prepare for protests, actions, and safety tips for your everyday life -- as being an organizer is a lifetime commitment.
Who should attend: Anyone who is interested in safety and security tips, for both offline and online actions.
We will send more details as we confirm them.
We respect where you are in your journey to consciousness of our social issues around the world. We don't trust corporate algorithms to start you in the right direction so here are some places to get started.
Books To Read
There are many books to start with, but here is what we suggest:
- A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn
- The most important book to understand the history of the United States from its beginning to the 2000s. It covers many struggles like that of the: indigenous, Black community, Latinx community, Immigrant Community, working-class community, LGBTQ community, Womxn Right's community, and more. The book is an easy read, however, it is a BIG book. So dedicate some weeks to it. Follow them on Instagram.
- Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? by Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Many people quote Dr. King's Dream, but he also had a plan. In 1967, King reflects on his work around civil rights and nonviolent actions, and shares criticisms and learned lessons. More than a dream, King speaks about his evolution and understanding of the root of injustices and how it may develop. Anyone who quotes King should read this short yet informative book. Maybe can be read in one week.
- The Black Panther's Speak by Philip S. Foner
- The author pulls the most influential speeches of the Black Panther Party. Throughout the book you can see the intellectual development of the organization as they connect Black issues to that of issues all around the world. They even discuss tech's role in being a tool of the oppressor, which is our favorite chapter, "The Technology Question."
New to Protest? Here are some tips:
The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense stood up to a police state that targeted Black and Brown bodies.
The media called them a terrorist group and the public allowed the police and government intelligence groups to dismantle this beautiful organization.
The year is 2020, what changed? Read these tips as you prepare yourself to join this movement to uplift human life and stand against exploitation, oppression, and anti-blackness practices.
- Cover your face, not only are we living in a pandemic, it is important not identify yourself at protest as police study livestreams and photos and can target you. Also, stop posting pictures of protesters.
- Put your phone on airplane mode, digital surveillance is real and many platforms track your location.
- Download the SIGNAL app, the app is open sourced and collects the least meta data (time, phone number, day, etc). It allow has disappearing messages that work (unlike Snapchat).
- Whatsapp is owned by Facebook – please do not use that as an organizing tool, it collects all your meta data and all your information is not encrypted because users may "Back Up" their conversations which loses the encryption feature.
- Under the 4th Amendment, you don’t have to give your passwords to your digital devices to police – however, facial recognition and fingerprint passwords are not protected.
- Go to protest with a plan: Understand who is leading it, what is your message, how will your group protect itself from being cornered in by police as they are the biggest agitators and are the most violent people are protest.
- Do not aim to get arrested – those charges are expensive, and take a long time to get off your record. In addition, if we are promoting the need to defund the police but spend millions of dollars on bail, that is funding the police state.
- If arrested:
- Prior to the protest, write a phone number to call on your arm with a marker as you will not have your phone.
- You only need to say your name and DOB- hold the rest of your responses until you speak to a lawyer
- Don’t get manipulated by the media- stick to your demands
- Be mindful of the different non-profit organizations and those trying to profit off this
- Learn from others who have rebelled and protested- seek advice and Tips
- Protect your personal information online – lots of trolls out there capturing pictures from live streams and pics posted online of protestors
- Be careful and avoid the people promoting actual violence – many times these folks are trying to convince you to do something crazy which is not part of the mission and objective of the protest
- Racist vigilantes will come out, may even spit on you, call you names, get in your face- Know what will make you tick. Stay disciplined in your actions and protest.
- Again: Be smart – Think – Organize
- Know you are doing important work – with the world’s attention on you as you demand for justice. Love and support one another – keep protesting. Give it your best – there is much work to be done.
- Watch this DOPE virtual discussion with activists from Watts Uprising, Ferguson Uprising, Movement Lawyers, and others as they discuss lessons from past rebellions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-apkREcohk&feature=emb_logo
Tips from other respectful organizations:
Equality Labs anti-doxxing article: https://medium.com/@EqualityLabs/anti-doxing-guide-for-activists-facing-attacks-from-the-alt-right-ec6c290f543c
Palante's Zoombombing protection guides: https://palantetech.coop/blog/zoombombing-self-defense and https://palantetech.coop/zoomboming-self-defense/tech-guide
DIY Guide to Feminist Cybersecurity (https://hackblossom.org/cybersecurity/ )
Catalyst's Troublemakers' Guide: Principles for Racial Justice Activitists in the Face of State Repression (https://collectiveliberation.org/principles-for-racial-justice-activists-resisting-state-repression/
- Phase OneUnderstanding Our Current Situation and Digital Tools
We believe in order to bring solutions to dismantle racism, sexism, poverty and issues impacting our environment, one must first understand the power dynamics in our society. This is why we believe in the study of political education.
During our first phase of work we provide one-day workshops to raise awareness of technology and its socio and economic relationship to our society. These workshops include a one-hour panel discussions on topics such as Digital Media, Digital Security, Open Source, Web Development and Emerging Technology followed by a hands-on training workshop to learn current tools related to the day's topic.
There is no technical experience required to attend our one-day workshops.
Meet The Crew
People question the capability of bringing change in the world, and that is because for so long the people who have had the knowledge and tools of empowerment have done nothing but create extreme poverty and desperate times.
We are educators, technologists, activists and disrupters. We believe in the power of unity. We are working hard to develop a space where everyone, regardless of their level of education, can come together to learn, strategize and create with digital technology.
We hope you join us: Volunteer, Attend a workshop, Become a Tech Activist.
Founder and Co-Director
Educator, Activist and Technologist.
Past includes serving as Global Social Justice Lead at ThoughtWorks, and founding partner and former Community Manager of Black Girls CODE.
Co-Director, West Coast Lead
Educator, Artist and Author. The wisdom in his lyrics, social consciousness, and story-telling abilities can be attributable to his upbringing: his father was a Black Panther and his mother, an avid reader and active participant in the Black Liberation struggle.
Digital Security Lead
Passionate digital humanist and Black feminist who often searches for solutions through their first love, technology. She has a background in web development, community organizing, racial economic disparity research, and education media.
Why We Exist.
As poor communities and communities of color increasingly organize and mobilize against police brutality and demand basic human rights, technical tools and platforms are consistently used to oppress and suppress their voices. While there are small pockets of people working on decentralized technical tools to support frontline activists fighting against systemic poverty, oppression and racism, these groups are small and often do not represent working class communities of color.
Overwhelmingly, the people most impacted by social ills are on the losing side of the digital, educational and economic divide. Of the 2,000+ activists we've worked with since 2015, 97% have stated a desire to create their own technical tools but never had access to computer programming classes nor knowledge of the technology to use. Their lack of technical knowledge and resulting low capacity to effectively fight back in digital spaces undermines the potential of today’s activist to effectively amplify their voices and drive real social change.
How We Got Started.
In 2014, while our founder, Idalin Bobé, did community organizing work in Ferguson, MO, she created a tech institute for activists to learn digital security tools, digital media and web development. After seeing how activist were learning technical skills to advance their work, groups around the country started requesting trainings to meet their technological needs and interest. TechActivist.org was started because activists’ need for tech-related skills were and still are crucial to propel the mission of liberation, equality, and justice.