Online working group meeting of RAN LOCAL on 24 and 25 March 2022
This meeting will take place online via WebEx on:
24 March in the afternoon, 14.30 – 17.00 and
25 March in the morning, 9.30 – 12.00
This meeting will be held in English.
Aim of the meeting
In this WG meeting, RAN LOCAL will focus on how to prevent violence or acts on the brink of violence that are based on some variation of ‘anti-authorities extremism’.
For this meeting, we will invite local P/CVE coordinators and first-line practitioners who have a likelihood of facing, or have previously dealt with, violent acts carried out by the growing mixed group of anti-vaxxers, conspiracists, right-wing or climate extremists, etc., all fuelled by some form of mistrust of authorities.
- RAN Practitioners Staff
The COVID-19 pandemic formed a momentum for all kinds of extremist narratives that are based on a version of the idea that the government, the society or the current establishment is using you, not protecting you, taking away your freedom, and misleading you. This has led to a new style of ‘anti-authorities extremism’ that seems to attract a wide variety of extremists.
Different extremist groups are liaising under the ‘anti-COVID regulations umbrella’. Anti-vaxxers, conspiracists, right-wing extremists, left-wing extremists, ‘farmer defence’ and climate extremist groups all use similar anti-authority narratives that are reaching a broad audience of people who, in turn, become distrustful and sometimes even hostile towards (local) authorities.
These groups oppose and resist the government’s policies and seem increasingly willing to incite violent actions, both online and offline. Actions on the brink of violence include, for example: demonstrations with a very grim or destructive atmosphere; direct or indirect threats to politicians, sometimes even showing up at their doorstep; psychological threats on social media; organising training camps to demonstrate against COVID-19 related regulations; attacking vaccination locations; doxing employees of the national health services; creating roadblocks, etc. This is a European-wide phenomenon that requires innovative/alternative preventive actions at the local level.
During this meeting, participants will share examples of violent or near-violent acts based on some form of ‘anti-authorities extremism’ from their own daily practice and discuss how to prevent this type of extremism.
On day 1, examples of violence caused by so-called anti-establishment groups (anti-vaxxers, conspiracists, the far-right, the far-left, climate extremists, etc.), their triggers and dynamics will be discussed. In addition, we will start looking into how to prevent these types of acts. Day 2 will focus more in-depth on how to prevent these types of violent acts at the local level, and on formulating lessons learned, tips and examples for effective preventive measures.
Call for participants
For this meeting we are currently looking for local P/CVE coordinators and first-line practitioners such as members of law enforcement, health professionals, teachers, social workers and other experts who have experience from their daily practice in dealing with and preventing acts on the brink of violence stemming from anti-authority sentiments. Participants should be willing to share their experiences and lessons learned with their peers during this meeting of the RAN LOCAL working group.
If you are interested in participating in this meeting, please answer the questions in this form by 15 February at the latest.
- What are the topics, events, policies that have cultivated ‘anti-authorities extremism’ in your local or regional context?
- What kind of ‘anti-authorities extremism’ is visible at the local level in your daily practice? Think of: mobilising extremist movements, riots and violent protests, threats and harassment against governmental institutions, politicians and officials and others perceived as representing the authorities.
- Do you have any experience in dealing with such ‘anti-authorities extremist activities’ at the local level? If so, what are your experiences?
- Would you be willing and able to share your experiences from your daily practice regarding the prevention of ‘anti-authorities extremism’ during the meeting? If so, what could you present? If not yourself, do you have any suggestions for other local coordinators or practitioners who have relevant experiences to share?
We will invite participants and draft the programme based on the answers to these questions. Please keep in mind that we only have a limited number of places available for this meeting, so participation is not guaranteed.