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CAAT Presents... It Starts Here Digital Conference 2021

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Join us for the first digital edition of our It Starts Here Conference, Taking place from Friday 19th March - Sun 21st March 2021!

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Our It Starts Here Conference returns for another year - this time revamped!

Taking place from Friday 19th March - Sun 21st March, at the end of Israeli Apartheid Week, and with the Sunday being the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, we’ve designed an ambitious, exciting, and educational interactive programme which will bring together much of our work in previous years as we continue to understand the arms trade as inextricably linked to other intersecting issues.

And we’re taking things digital (of course!)

The 2019 edition of It Starts Here saw us gather in person at Resource For London (now that does feel like a long time ago!) to listen to panels and talks on issues as diverse and varied as anti-racism, migrant solidarity, climate justice and the arms trade; economics, jobs, ‘just transition’, nuclear disarmament, unions, austerity and the arms trade and we also focused on the London borough of Newham, where the DSEI arms fair takes place bi-annually. We also curated workshops and trainings in sustainable organising, using social media as an activist and of course Know Your Rights Tasters to name just a few.

Two years later - in a dramatically different socio-political landscape, it’s fair to say - you can expect some of the old familiars, alongside much that nods to CAAT’s commitment to grow and change as the world does.

We are excited to launch with an event on Friday evening which will be an opening panel marking 10 years of the Arab uprisings of 2011, drawing parallels with the Black Lives Matter Civil Rights Movements of 2013 to the present, with last year’s peak of activity sending powerful reverberations globally. Our speakers (soon to be confirmed and announced) will reflect on the nature of repression worldwide and how the West continues to arm it. Other panels taking place across our Saturday programme will include taking a look at Scotland and its relationship to the arms trade; exploring how we demilitarise education; how we Rethink Security; and reflecting on the role of art and creativity in our resistance.

And as part of our commitment to capacity building and working with supporters and activists in a more decentralised way, on Sunday there will be a full day of workshops and trainings, aiming to upskill our activists to campaign in a digital world, while also preparing us to resume our in-person work once the world opens up again. Expect workshops in Citizen Journalism, Online Facilitation, Ad-Hacking, Media training and our hugely popular Arms Trade Research 101 as well as, of course, a Know Your Rights Taster.

The panel events will be livestreamed, as well as BSL interpreted, and there will be lots of breaks between sessions to help with any zoom fatigue!

Although there’s nothing quite like being together in the flesh and the ongoing challenges we all face are still a mountain to climb, we continue to take comfort in the opportunities this new way of working has brought us, as well as the many ways we’ve been able to engage with supporters across the UK and all over the world thanks to digital.

Keep an eye on the CAAT website for more updates and announcements regarding It Starts Here 2021, including booking information, speaker announcements and the full programme.

For now, pop the dates in your diary and we’ll see you there!

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