Topic

Nonviolent Direct Action

Nonviolent Direct Action

Strategic nonviolence is a rich tradition within social change movements, generating theoretical exploration, research, different group formations and tactical innovation. In this topic you’ll find case studies, manuals, inspiring quotes, training materials, and practical how-to-guides.

Change Makers (Text on orange background)

Changemakers #12: Umbrella Movement

In 2014 Hong Kong hundreds of thousands of citizens staged a mass street occupation demanding the vote. Why did it happen? And what led to tensions building inside the movement overtime?

Change Makers (Text on orange background)

ChangeMakers #7: Fighting Dirty – Standing Rock

What would you do if someone wanted to bulldoze an oil pipeline through your country, threatening not just your land, but your water and air? And what if the nation backing them had a history of playing dirty? That’s the situation the people in today’s episode found themselves in. The battle over building an oil pipeline in Standing Rock in South Dakota, USA.

Change Makers (Text on orange background)

ChangeMakers #5 When Anger Works Part 2

The story of the Lady Cilento Hospital vigil which turned into a national flashpoint that overturned a decade of political consensus on Australia’s refugee policy. Remarkably, when they began the organisers of the vigil didn’t know what they were aiming to achieve.

Cover of Iain McIntyre's 'Always Look on the Bright Side of Life: The AIDEX '91 Story'.

Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life: The AIDEX ’91 Story

In 1991 over 1000 protesters blockaded the National Exhibition Centre in Canberra with the goal of shutting down the Australia International Defence Exhibition. This book includes a detailed account of the blockade, the context of the growth of the Australian arms industry, and the words of the protesters themselves.

Black and white photograph of a group of men marching with arms interlinked. Banner reads 'Support BLF Green Bans'.

Green Bans

In the 1970s Sydney builders labourers refused to work on projects that were environmentally or socially undesirable. This green bans movement, as it became known, was the first of its type in the world.

Black and white photograph of four protestors standing in front of Old Parliament House. Placards read 'Land Ownership Not Lease', 'Land Rights or Else!', 'Why Pay to Use Our Own Land', 'Which Do You Choose: Land Rights or Bloodshed?'. 'Legally This is Our Land. We Shall Take It If Need Be'.

The Aboriginal Tent Embassy

The Aboriginal Tent Embassy was established in 1972 when the Coalition Government failed to recognise the land rights of Indigenous people. From its inception, the Embassy has been interwoven into Canberra’s physical and political landscape, blending black politics, symbolism and theatre that opponents have found difficult to counter.

Black and white photograph of protestors standing next to bus.

The Freedom Ride

The Freedom Ride through western New South Wales towns in February 1965 drew attention to the racism in these towns. Aboriginal student Charles Perkins was, by the end of the journey, a national figure in the fight for Aboriginal rights.

Photograph of the first General Assembly of Occupy Melbourne, October 15 2011. A large gathering of people in City Square with signs.

Occupy Reflects

A collection of reflections on Occupy Melbourne. The global Occupy movement was one of the most important political events of recent history. Beginning with Occupy Wall Street in New York, the movement triggered an unprecedented wave of uprisings. Melbourne became the largest occupation in the southern hemisphere.

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.

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.

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.

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.