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Direct action – Non violent NVDA

A group of smiling protestors under a tarp shelter. A banner reads 'Coal Out, Renewables In'.

Beginners guide to a blockade camp

Many successful campaigns have based their direct action from blockade camps and include the wins against the damming of the Franklin river, stopping the Jabiluka uranium mine, and the proposed gas hub at Walmadan/James Price Point. It can be a scary thing, heading to a blockade camp for the first time. Here are some tips to get you started.

Photograph of people dressed in suits and bowler hats and brief cases walking together in front of a coal fired power station.

Affinity Groups for Non-Violent Direct Action

Affinity groups are a feature of many large scale non-violent actions. An affinity group is a small group of people (eg: 5-15) who have something in common who take action together. Groups could focus on a specific theme eg street medics or legal observers or more commonly it is a group of people that take action as a team.

Photograph of protestors at the Jabiluka blockade in 1998. Features banners with 'Uranium, Leave it in the Ground'. The march is led by Mirarr elders and Peter Garrett.

Jabiluka Fight for Country

In 2005 the Mirarr succeeded in halting the development of the proposed Jabiluka mine. It was the culmination of an extraordinary decade-long campaign which saw people across Australia and the world stand up and support Mirarr in their opposition to uranium mining on their land.

Stop Jabiluka, Stop Uranium Mining, Reclaim the Future. Symbol of a hand print on background of a nuclear symbol.

Stop Jabiluka Mine Handbook

Stop Jabiluka Mine handbook gives a fascinating insight into an important part of Australian social movement history as well as an overview of the kinds of issues to consider when organising a large scale direct action convergence. Over 500 people were arrested in the course of an eight-month blockade at Jabiluka in 1998.

Photo of protesters at Leard Blockade. Protestors have arms crossed in 'no deal' sign. There is a banner 'ANZ: Think Again'.

Facilitation at the Frontlines

This article includes reflections and tips for ‘extreme sport’ facilitation at blockades and action camps. Includes notes about logistics, comfort of participants, timing, internal organisation within the facilitation team, holding the space, and being transparent about role and power dynamics.

Photo of protesters at Leard Blockade. Protestors have arms crossed in 'no deal' sign. There is a banner 'ANZ: Think Again'.

Checklist for Non-violent Direct Action trainings

A checklist of some of the basic principles, and pieces of information, to include in NVDA training. When facilitation is shared among a number of people at large convergences it can be easy to miss things! This has been crowd-sourced from NVDA trainers and CounterAct training.

A group of smiling protestors under a tarp shelter. A banner reads 'Coal Out, Renewables In'.

Preparing for a Community Blockade

Here are some practical things you may like to consider in logistical preparations for a community blockade: helpful skills, action roles, and logistical preparation.

A jubilant group of people pose behind a large banner reading 'We won'. They are at the beach with sky and ocean in the background.

James Price Point/Walmadan: A Huge Win

In 2013 the people of Broome stopped the development of a gas plant and port at iconic James Price Point (Walmadan). They had substantial political and corporate interests arrayed against them but prevailed with a strong sense of community and creative strategic campaigning. This short case study shares some of the keys to success and strengths of the campaign.

A group of people filling a street and stopping traffic.

Reflections on #FeesMustFall movement

#FeesMustFall movement was very diverse and rich with dialogue and conflict. This letter by a student leader, Anzio Cameron, gives a live account of some of the tensions that divided the movement.

Sally McManus wears a 'Change the Rules' tshirt in front of a large crowd of workers holding banners and flags.

Breaking bad laws is how good laws get made

Sally McManus came under a fair bit of flak when she declared on her first day in the job that she didn’t have a problem breaking bad laws. Her comments reflect an understanding of how democracies negotiate social change.

Pro-democracy protesters hold umbrellas in front of police cordon line outside of the Hong Kong Government Complex.

Umbrella Movement Reflections

In 2014 the Hong Kong Umbrella Occupation shook the world. The 79-day occupation of the Admiralty political and commercial district ended on 11 December 2014, with the police arresting hundreds of protesters.

A number of African American students sit along a lunch counter.

Lessons from the Greensboro Student Sit-ins

The Greensboro student sit-ins had nonviolence at their heart and succeeded, not only in their immediate goal, but also in building a lasting organisation in the SNCC. It stands now as yet another example of the successful use of nonviolence to stand against oppression.

Legal Handbook for the Victorian Coal and Gas Movement

The purpose of this handbook is to help you understand your rights and what risks you might be taking, including when you could be arrested and what you could be charged with, if you choose to participate in protests and other actions.

Smiling archers carry cut out letters spelling peace.

Nonviolence

As a means of radical social change, nonviolence draws on a rich history of people’s struggles from around the world. Grassroots people’s movements have brought down dictators, stopped armies, undermined corporations and halted entire industries with nonviolent resistance.

A group of people gathered to protest the proposed development at James Price Point

What makes Non Violent Direct Action (NVDA) effective?

Nonviolent direct action can play a powerful role in campaigns. This article summarises some of the characteristics that can make NVDA either effective or ineffective, and encourages the use of clear tactics criteria in developing campaign strategy.

A large crowd marching behind a banner saying: We march with Selma!

Building 21st Century Movements

Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, Founder and former Executive Director of SumofUs, at Progress 2015 with a series of movement case studies challenging us to be technological innovators and to bring our social change work to the cutting edge of the current century.

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