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Tactics

Tactics

Tactics are the exciting part of any campaign – the actions that involve people, put pressure on powerholders, and make a splash in the media. This topic includes activities to choose your tactics from a wealth of options, case studies that showcase different tactics, and the nitty gritty of organising particular actions.

Cover of Gene Sharp's 'The Politics of Nonviolent Action: Part Two The Methods of Nonviolent Action'

198 Methods of Nonviolent Action

Stuck in a rut when it comes to campaign tactics? Explore Gene Sharp’s 198 methods of nonviolent action which are classified into three categories: nonviolent protest and persuasion, noncooperation (social, economic, and political), and nonviolent intervention.

A group of people stand on a bridge holding large letters spelling 'Global Goals'.

Tactics analysis

A process guide to be used in training workshops and planning sessions to develop campaign strategy. Activists often love our tactics! We can even be wedded to our favourite tactics. Here’s a tool to help move from tactics to a larger strategy conversation by analysing tactics.

Photograph of a billboard advertising Winfield cigarettes. The billboard advertising reads 'Anyhow... Winfield 25s'. Graffiti has been inserted so it reads 'Anyhow buga up a Winfield 25'.

BUGA-UP

Formed in 1979, Billboard Utilising Graffitists Against Unhealthy Promotions (BUGA-UP) made its mark on hoardings around the nation. By revising advertising slogans and disrupting tobacco-sponsored events, the group revealed the true cost of tobacco and alcohol company deception.

Uncle Kevin Buzzacott stands in front of a large banner depicting a black hand against a red and yellow nuclear symbol.

Interview with Kevin Buzzacott

Kevin Buzzacott is a key figure in the opposition to the South Australian Olympic Dam mine and the nuclear industry in general. In this interview he outlines a number of the creative actions he has taken part in as part of a series of campaigns addressing the issues of dispossession and Aboriginal sovereignty.

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 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.

Camp Walmadan Booklet

The struggle to protect James Price Point was a multi-faceted, organic campaign, fuelled by creativity, ingenuity and a fierce sense of independence and justice. The Camp Walmadan booklet gives an insight into a recent successful community campaign. It also provides a great overview of the kinds of issues to consider when organising a large scale direct action convergence.

Photograph of students holding a banner reading 'Our Future, Our Reef, Don't Risk It'.

Live tweeting at rallies and marches

Twitter is a very useful way to share your story outside traditional networks. Increasingly Twitter quotes and photos are used to embed in traditional media, and with a small amount of effort you can get your event trending. This will alert politicians and media to your issue.

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.

12 people standing in front of Australia's parliament. A speaker is stepped forward from the group, wearing a pastor's collar.

Lobbying Workshop

A process guide to be used in training workshops and planning sessions to introduce participants to lobbying in an experiential way; identify lobbying as just one tool in a community organiser’s toolkit of skills and techniques for change; provide resources and information for future reference.

People walk across an open square. The ground is painted with a calendar depicting days of the week and dates.

Tactical Timeline

A process guide to be used in training workshops and planning sessions to develop campaign strategy. A tactical timeline can support the development of a strategy designed to win over third-party support. This exercise needs to be used after the spectrum of allies exercise. It can also be used to enrich a critical path.

Woodcut print showing people standing together with a placard reading 'Unemployed Workers Movement of Carlton'.

Lock Out The Landlords Peoples Tour

A Walking Tour of Unemployed Resistance in Brunswick, 1929-35. This walking tour visits the sites of some of Melbourne’s fiercest unemployed battles in the northern suburb of Brunswick, including pickets, occupations and protests.

Stencil reads 'Better to Squat than Let Houses Rot'

Victoria Street Squats Interview with Ian Milliss

Iain McIntyre talks with Ian Milliss about his involvement with Sydney’s Victoria St squats. During the early 1970s this street in Kings Cross became the focus of a long running anti-development struggle that brought together long term residents, unionists and squatters in a campaign which reignited squatting across the city.

Cover of Original Power's Building Power Guide - features a drawing of a turtle in red.

Cyclone Warning

This is a training process guide to explore different approaches to solving community problems, investigate how different problems require different approaches to change to solve them, clarify the differences between community organising, community development, advocacy and service delivery.

Cover of Original Power's Building Power Guide - features a drawing of a turtle in red.

Community Resistance Timeline

This is a training process guide to introduce participants to each other, connect their own history to a larger history of social change, identify local tactics, and to rethink what success looks like. It is an excerpt from Building Power: A Guide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Who Want to Change the World.

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.

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.