Topic

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.

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.

Aerial photograph of huge crowd filling Federation Square and surrounding streets.

Tips for Turnout from Your Rights at Work

The Your Rights at Work campaign ran from 2005 to 2007 and included some of the largest mobilisations in Australian social movement history. This article draws out some of the lessons in relation to ensuring strong turn-out at rallies and other events.

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.

Image of protesters gathered with flags tied around them

Learning From a Tibet Campaign Win

Kyinzom Dhongdue from Australian Tibet Council shares the story of a campaign win and the lessons that can be taken from it. The country’s oldest university cancelled a talk by the Dalai Lama. Within a week, the University of Sydney backtracked and released a hasty statement welcoming His Holiness on campus in June. The short campaign shows the value of rapid response people power tactics.

A brick wall painted white with the words Art = Change! graffitied in black

Art and Campaigning: Lessons about the effective use of art in campaigns

Lessons about the effective use of art in campaigns from three activist artists: Tom Civil, Arlene TextaQueen and Van Thanh Rudd. Lessons include: Build strong culture; Represent ethically; Consider your audience; Court controversy; Always remember the visuals; Value the labour of artists.

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

Occupy Melbourne: A Missed Opportunity

“Occupy Melbourne became the largest occupation in Australia, and indeed, the southern hemisphere. Like most truly novel historical events, the Occupy movement caught most people off guard.” This short case study shares some of the lessons from Occupy Melbourne and why more effective skill-sharing would have made a difference.

Three people sit wearing balaclavas.

The radical history of unemployed activism

Insights from the history of unemployed activism. Includes an overview of the history of Australia’s welfare system and stories from the 1920s, 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s – plus creative, humorous and confrontational tactics.

Protestor holding Stop Adani sign on stage with Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

Stop Adani and the Suffragettes Reflections on targets and tactics

Joel Dignam analyses two campaign moments: Stop Adani’s targeting of the ALP in the 2018 Queensland state election and the UK women’s suffrage campaign targeting of Liberals in 1905. The lesson? Target those most likely to give you what you want, and sometimes that means creating political risk for them.

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.

A table with assorted sliced fruits and sushi

Catering Services for Non-Profits

No matter the event – the quality of the food leaves a lasting impression. How do you find the perfect caterer? Australian Progress has compiled a list of Australia-wide catering services that have progressive qualities ideal for fellow non-profits.

A stage with colours flights and the words Progress 2015 spelled out in oversized white letters

Event Organising Tips

Australian Progress shares 7 lessons from running Progress 2015. Get an insight into the their ticket sales strategy, social media successes and failures, event theming choices, budget management, sponsor recruitment, and program design.

Person dressed in Nemo fish costume at a protest

Crowd sourced Animal costumes register

We’ve all been there – you need an elephant costume or a Nemo suit for a press conference this afternoon, or a chicken suit for your factory farming protest. Find out who has one here, and add your own!

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