First step: Build a movement!

In November, Tripod and our sister collective Navigate were invited to facilitate an exciting, UK-wide strategy gathering for groups in the climate justice movement and connected struggles.

Over the course of a weekend, 30 folks from a wide range of direct action/civil resistance groups from across England, Wales and Scotland gathered in Height Gate outdoor centre, a beautiful seventeenth century farmhouse high above the Calder Valley between Todmorden and Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire, owned by the Woodcraft Folk. 

Upper Calder Valley in Yorkshire, where the gathering took place.

The aim of the gathering was to begin developing deeper collaboration for more effective and coordinated strategy, so that the climate justice direct action movement can be more powerful together. Groups included Animal Rising, Axe Drax, Christian Climate Action, Climate Camp Cymru, Climate Camp Scotland, Defend our Juries, Earth First!, Earth Strike, Fossil Free London, Greenham Women Everywhere, Green New Deal Rising, HS2 Rebellion, Just Stop Oil, Palestine Action, Quaker Roots, Reclaim the Power, Scientist Rebellion, Scientists for XR, Safe Landing, Stay Grounded, Trident Ploughshares, XR Cymru, XR Scotland, XR UK and Youth in Resistance as well as various trade unions. The gathering was initiated by an independent organising team with campaigning backgrounds in peace and environmental activism.

During the weekend, we reflected on and celebrated what has been achieved in our movements over recent years, and explored how we can build on this, especially through more cross-movement collaboration. We learned about each other’s different theories of change and up-coming plans, and shared requests for support as well as what (abundant!) resources and skills each group can offer to the wider movement. Participants also developed strategies and tactics for the next few years, and plans for how to take these forward. You can find a summary of the strategy tools and questions we used to support the group in this process in this hand-out compiled by Navigate. Various exciting proposals for collaboration have been taken back to groups and networks for agreement, and a next gathering is being planned for next year. 

The barn at Height Gate where it all happened, while we tried to keep warm with a pellet stove, hot water bottles & blankets and occasional jumping around!

Taking time out from our campaigns to focus on longer-term strategy is not an easy thing. We’re grateful for all the insights, commitment and warmth participants brought, and for the walks, delicious food and the evening fire pit that kept us all going over the weekend – as well as, of course, the amazing, hard work of the organising team.

To us, the gathering felt like a major step in building deeper connections and alignment across the groups present. We learned many things, including that while we’re still many steps off from developing solid movement-wide, transformative strategies, there’s an appetite for it in the climate justice movement and connected struggles. The weekend showed us that building personal relationships between members of different groups across the UK and learning about what each other are doing and why, is a first key step, and we hope to support more gatherings like this one in the coming years. 

Check out this post on Tripod’s new 2025-2027 strategy, which we finalised this Autumn and is focused on supporting an emerging intersectional social justice movement in Scotland that shares vision and strategies and collaborates across groups and movements.

Here’s also a list of resources we sent to participants of the gathering, in case you want to dive in more:

Image for the free, online Living Systems course developed by Navigate.