Blockades, protest camps and convergences are means by which campaigns mobilise people to occupy space, prevent entry to a site, demonstrate opposition, and directly interfere with environmentally damaging and anti-social activities. With potentially large numbers involved, and people flowing in and out, organisers use a variety of methods to inform participants about protest goals, campaign background, decision making methods, strategies and tactics, legal rights, logistics, health and safety, and more. Alongside briefings, meetings, trainings and informal chats the following handbooks were distributed during major Australian campaigns from the 1980s onwards.
They not only provide insights into the history of the events involved but also ideas regarding the kind of issues to consider when organising large scale direct action convergences.
Nightcap National Park, New South Wales, 1982
Following on from Australia’s first forest blockade at Terania Creek in 1979 activists began disrupting the logging of rainforest at Grier’s Scrub and Mount Nardi in 1982. A combination of blockading and court action stopped operations at the latter and subsequently led to the creation of the Nightcap National Park. A handbook for the blockade was produced by the Nightcap Action Group.
Franklin River Blockade Handbook, Tasmania, 1982
Three months of blockading on land and water from 1982 to 1983 played a major role in the cancellation of the Gordon-below-Franklin Dam and the preservation of vast swathes of World Heritage forests and rivers. Non-violent action training was a major feature of the campaign, as outlined in this handbook produced for the Tasmanian Wilderness Society with the assistance of the Community Action Resources Center, Monash University.
Daintree Handbook, Queensland, 1984
Blockades during 1983 and 1984 disrupted roadbuilding through the Daintree rainforest, bringing attention to threats to the area and introducing a number of new tactics to environmental blockading. This handbook was produced by Kathy Scheltama, Alice Hungerford, and Janelle Fletcher for the Rainforest Conservation Society Cairns.
Intercontinental Deluxe Guide to Blockading, 1992
From 1989 onwards the North East Forest Alliance engaged in numerous blockades across Northern NSW, stopping logging at a number of areas which would later be added to national parks. In the process they developed a body of tactics which would be successfully adapted and applied nationally and internationally, in part due to the production and dissemination of this anonymously written manual.
Stop Jabiluka Mine Handbook, Northern Territory, 1998
The Jabiluka Blockade occurred when Jacqui Katona and Yvonne Margarula, of the Mirarr people, called on activists to come from around Australia and the world to help stop the construction of a uranium mine by Energy Resources of Australia (ERA). Over 500 people were arrested in the course of the eight-month blockade.
Camp Walmadan Booklet, Western Australia, 2013
Campaigning against the construction of a culturally and environmentally destructive 30km² gas refinery site at Walmadan/James Price Point in the Kimberley region of Western Australia expanded from lobbying, demonstrations, litigation, a national day of busking protest and other tactics to include blockading during 2011. Under constant pressure mining company Woodside abandoned the project in April 2013. Nicola Paris, Tegan Mossop & other Walmadan campaigners put this booklet together.
- Om gaia dudes: The North East Forest Alliance’s old-growth forest campaign
- Franklin River Campaign
- Enabling Emergence: The Bentley Blockade and the Struggle for a Gasfield Free Northern Rivers
- Blockades that changed Australia
- Environmental Blockading in Australia and Around the World – Timeline 1974-1997
- Treesits, lock-ons and barricades: Environmental blockading in the 1980s
Note: The handbooks have been added in good faith. Please contact us if you see something here that you believe shouldn’t be shared or need to be licensed differently.
- Campaigning - Grassroots
- Civil disobedience
- Direct action - Non violent NVDA
- Movements_Campaigns - Environment_Nature