Could you help at DSEI?

Many thanks to those who have already indicated that they could help facilitate our witness at DSEI this September.  We wanted to offer a clearer idea of the different roles and what is involved.

For those who like to take in information a bit more visually, there is a summary of the key roles in our Volunteer Jamboard (a simple set of slides).  And if you’d like to chat about any of this, and meet others you might be volunteering alongside, please join our Volunteer Briefing on Tuesday 29th August.

Quaker Roots Roles

Quaker Roots are particularly organising volunteers for the No Faith in War day on Thurs 7th Sept, and the Walk of Witness on Mon 11th Sept. If you would like to help out on other days, we can put you in touch with Stop the Arms Fair who are helping coordinate actions.

Steward / helping at information point

  • Being friendly face as people arrive
  • Let people know when & where things are happening
  • Help Friends join Telegram group to get updates
  • Hand out bustcards, remind people of basic Know Your Rights info, point towards legal observers if needed
  • Have some postcards for members of the public who want to know what’s going on, engage them in conversation about DSEI
  • On Walk of Witness on 11th, help people stick to route, keep up with group

Pastoral friend / welfare

  • Potentially tense environment, people nervous about being there – talk to them, calm them, make them feel at ease
  • Reassurance, give space for people to talk or have some quiet
  • If people need to get away from the protest site altogether the Kitchen Garden café
  • Give out water and snacks, encourage people to check-in with their own needs.
  • If you are a qualified first aider – be on hand


  • Meetings for Worship – 7th Sept 9am, 1pm, 12th time TBC – uphold, explain at beginning, close at end, be aware that we may be continuing to worshipfully uphold people taking action
  • Epilogue 5pm on 7th – plan worship to provide sense of closure to the day (but action is ongoing through the week), can be a bit more programmed
  • General upholding of worshipful approach to protest across the 7th, atmosphere may be tense, secular activists may be unfamiliar with worshipful approach.
  • Uphold & respect other faith groups taking action in their own tradition.
  • On Walk of Witness on 11th uphold silent vigils (approx. 20 mins) at each stop

Creative actions

  • Singing – we have songs we’ve used in previous years, or bring your own. We can programme some times for singing, also can be useful to bring everyone together as led. BYM will organise amplification.
  • Banner making, t-shirts or tote-bag printing
  • If you have a craft you’re particularly into and can show people that’s great, otherwise just facilitate people.
  • Think about what’s needed in advance and liaise with Quaker Roots team to organise
  • Photos, videos or other ways to document the actions, we’ll put you in touch with team

Legal Support Roles

Legal observer

Legal observers are trained volunteers who support the legal rights of activists. They provide basic legal guidance and are independent witnesses of police behaviour at protests. Read more about what being a legal observer involves.

You need to be trained to do this role – if you already are, pease get in touch.  If you’d like to train, Green & Black Cross are running training sessions on 19th & 27th August (you need to attend both, and have already attended a Know Your Rights session). Register to receive the details.

Police Station Support

It is so important that we support arrestees, which includes meeting people at the police station when they’re released. Read more about what Police Station Support involves.

This would be an especially useful role for London-based Friends (you don’t need to have been at the protest to help with this role). Call outs for police station support during the DSEI arms fair protests will happen in a Signal group [sorry to involve another messaging app!]. If you would be willing and able to support in this way, please contact Dixie Wills at Quaker Peace & Social Witness:

Briefing for volunteers – Tues 29th Aug 7:00pm

This session will be an opportunity to:

  • Find out more about what these roles involve,
  • Ask questions, and decide what’s right for you,
  • Meet other people who will be volunteering alongside you,
  • Let us know your availability and preferences.

Find out more and register to receive the Zoom details.

Let us know if you would like to volunteer, but can’t make this session – we can send you information on the roles and be in touch about how to get involved.