Cooper Brinson, a Civil Liberties Defense Center attorney, gives a seminar about how protesters can legally protect themselves from authorities. His seminar was one of many during 350 Eugene’s peaceful protest workshops at the United Methodist Church.

350 Eugene is a local branch of 350.org, an organization that raises awareness about, and organizes direct action against, policies and organizations responsible for climate change.

On Feb. 5, volunteers from Eugene’s chapter of 350.org and others from throughout Lane County gave several seminars informing citizens of ways to safely take direct action at the United Methodist Church on Olive St.

Linda Kelley, a 350 Eugene volunteer, explained that direct action is becoming more and more necessary.

“We want to inform people that this is a very normal reaction to the climate crisis that were in and to events that are happening around us,” Kelley said.

Volunteer Laurie Powell presented information needed to participate in peaceful protests and other nonviolent forms of direct action.

“The inter-generational involvement is great, it really speaks volumes about the concern from everyone. Events like this often open doors for anyone wanting to make a difference,” Powell said.

Camilla Mortensen presented the media relations seminar, elaborating on ways in which citizens can effectively reach out to local media to present issues to the public. The focus of her message was to show attendees how to present an issue publicly that may help the source control the information presented.

“Press releases are still the bread and butter for information launches. Write your stories the same way you would your press releases. The more you write it this way, the more the media can accurately spin it,” Mortensen said.

Cooper Brinson, a staff attorney at the Civil Liberties Defense Center, gave a talk on security culture and how to protect oneself from authorities at protests.

“If you don’t remember the majority of the information presented today just remember a few simple phrases when asked for information by authorities at protests. ‘I choose to remain silent,’ and ‘I do not consent to this search,’” Brinson said. Brinson and his coworkers provide legal assistance to protestors arrested and charged with crimes involving direct action.

350 Eugene volunteers were surprised by higher than expected turnout and were excited to see Lane county residents sharing their passion for protecting the planet.

Information regarding Eugene’s chapter of 350.org can be found on their website, including how to get involved, contact information, and future events happening in Lane County.