Strategic direct action and civil disobedience such as strikes, sit-ins and occupations can expose injustice, slow down or stop harmful practices and win specific demands. Below are some direct action groups and campaigns you can join or support. All of them are independent from corporate political parties and use nonviolent tactics and democratic decision-making. We also provide some excellent tools and resources for organizing creative and effective protests and direct actions.

Featured Video: The video to the right is a ten minute documentary by Mutual Aid Media on the Tar Sands Blockade, a group of activists and landowners in Texas who have built a campaign to stop the Keystone XL pipeline.

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Organizations and Direct Action Campaigns
Recent Articles in Resist!

Vietnam Vet Drone Resister ACQUITTED!

Russell Brown of Buffalo photo by James Neiss

fter two hours of deliberation,Vietnam Veteran and Buffalonian Russell Brown, was acquitted tonight by a six person jury in DeWitt Town Court, East Syracuse. He was facing charges of Obstruction of Governmental Administration (OGA), a misdemeanor carrying up to a year incarceration and up to $1000 fine, as well as Disorderly Conduct charge, a violation. Mr. Brown who went before the court Pro Se (he served as his own counsel) was assisted by Buffalo Attorneys Daire Irwin and Paul Fallon. Mr. Brown was arrested during a nonviolent protest at Hancock Air National Guard Base on April 28, 2013. In a roadway across from the Airbase, he lay down to symbolize the death of drone victims. There are biweekly demonstrations at Hancock Airbase. Several times a year there are larger demonstrations and nationally coordinated events. On six occasions there have been arrests, leading to six trials since 2011. Mr. Brown’s trial is the second acquittal. There are twenty activists are facing prosecution, working with Upstate Drone Action.

Ontario First Nations Ready To Die Defending Lands

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Aboriginal people in Ontario are prepared to lay down their lives to protect their traditional lands from any unwanted development, a group of First Nations chiefs said Tuesday. Five aboriginal chiefs served notice on the Ontario and federal governments, developers and the public that they’ll assert their treaty rights over their traditional territory and ancestral lands. That includes the rights to natural resources — such as fish, trees, mines and water— deriving benefit from those resources and the conditions under which other groups may access or use them, which must be consistent with their traditional laws, said Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy. Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy says “all those seeking to access or use First Nations lands and resources have, at a minimum, a duty to engage, enquire and consult with First Nations with the standards of free, prior and informed consent.” “All those seeking to access or use First Nations lands and resources have, at a minimum, a duty to engage, inquire and consult with First Nations with the standards of free, prior and informed consent,” he said.

Why First Nations Are Stopping Enbridge’s Tar Sands Pipeline

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British Columbia’s First Nations have fought the proposed Northern Gateway oil sands pipeline that would cross their land for years, and they have no intention of letting up just because the federal government recently approved it. They’ve ignored the wishes of Canadian Prime Minister Harper, shrugged off oil industry promises of local jobs, and rejected offers of part ownership in what could be a lucrative and long-lived project. In short, they’ve been impervious to the kinds of political pressure and financial enticements that routinely succeed in smoothing the way for oil-related projects in the United States. How come? A big part of the defiance comes from the Coastal First Nations, an alliance of aboriginal groups in British Columbia that has no interest in allowing diluted bitumen from Alberta’s oil sands to pass through their territories or get shipped through their fishing grounds. The environment is too important to their culture, to their economy and to a succession of generations to come.

Saskatoon Protesters Rally Against Prime Minister’s Visit

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Cheers of protest echoed in the streets out front of Prairieland Park in Saskatoon on Wednesday. Dozens of people holding signs proclaiming their concerns gathered to oppose Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to the city. Harper was there to speak at a Conservative Party event. Many people at the protest were calling for Indigenous sovereignty, while others criticized Canada’s relationship with Israel. Protestor Sungandhi del Canto said Wednesday she shares those concerns and pointed to a number of other issues as well. “Cutting the women’s health contribution plan, the temporary foreign workers program,” del Canto added. ”The fact that he’s slowly erasing all records of feminists from history. The abuses of human rights both within our country and what he’s allowing to happen abroad. It’s horrifying.”

Protesters Stall An Oil Train For Hours At Anacortes

Train carrying oil from Shutterstock

A train attempting to leave a Tesoro oil train facility in Anacortes yesterday was stopped in its tracks when three residents of the coastal town and Seattle locked their bodies to barrels full of concrete, sat on the tracks and refused to move. During the four-hour standoff an estimated 100 BNSF rail cars were held at bay. Authorities would not say whether the tank cars, normally used to carry Bakken field crude oil from North Dakota, had any oil at the time. Three protesters were cited for trespass. Two of the protesters identified themselves as members of Rising Tide Seattle. Their demands included a halt to Bakken crude shipments through the Northwest, an immediate rejection of all crude-by-rail facilities in the Northwest, and assurances that Tesoro refineries in Anacortes, Bellingham and Tacoma will operate in compliance with the Clean Air Act. The EPA at one time charged Tesoro with violating the Clean Air Act no fewer than 4,000 times at a single refinery in North Dakota. Last year, the company and the EPA reached a $1.1 million settlement agreement over claims of widespread violations at other refineries, including Anacortes. A research group at the University of Massachusetts Amherst lists the company is among the top 100 toxic polluters nationwide.

Anti-Drone Activist’s One-Year Sentence Will Not Deter Movement

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Like most of her supporters in the courtroom, I was enraged when I heard N.Y. Judge David Gideon sentenced Mary Anne Grady-Flores to one year in jail on July 10. But a deep hope prevailed, which characterizes the local anti-drone movement in New York and is no small part of the impact we’ve had. When Grady-Flores was handcuffed in DeWitt Town Court, the 115 people in attendance stood up and sang. Resonating deep from her roots in the Catholic Worker movement, we called out in unison that night in the courtroom: Rejoice in the Lord always Again I say rejoice Rejoice, rejoice Again I say rejoice We shook the room with our song. Some embraced each other and some cried, but everyone sang. When the court guards had enough and told us to leave, the singing only grew louder. We stayed for 10 minutes in that courtroom, repeating the same song, hoping that Grady-Flores could feel us through the court walls. Grady-Flores was sentenced to one year in jail for violating an order of protection at the behest of Col. Earl Evans of the U.S. Air National Guard’s 174th Attack Wing at Hancock Field in Syracuse, Judge Gideon gave her the maximum sentence despite a pre-sentencing report from the parole office recommending that Grady-Flores receive a conditional discharge, which would mean no jail time.

Vietnam Vet Drone Resister’s Trial Ongoing In DeWitt Town Court

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Vietnam Veteran and Buffalo resident Russell Brown’s trial began today in DeWitt Town Court in East Syracuse. Mr. Brown is representing himself and is facing charges stemming from his arrest during a nonviolent protest at Hancock Air National Guard Base, home of the 174th Attack Wing, on April 28, 2013. Mr. Brown laid down peacefully with red paint to symbolize the death of drone victims in a roadway across from the Airbase. He is charged with Obstruction of Governmental Administration (OGA), a misdemeanor carrying up to a year incarceration and up to $1000 fine, as well as Disorderly Conduct charge, a violation. Mr. Brown’s trial follows about a dozen trials since 2011 in the DeWitt Town Court and is one of 20 upcoming trials of drone resisters working with Upstate Drone Action there. Judge David S. Gideon imposed an Order of Protection (OOP) on Mr Brown on behalf of Colonel Greg Semmel, the Hancock commandant. The OOPs have been imposed on more than 50 nonviolent civil resisters arrested at the Hancock Reaper drone hub in DeWitt since October 2012. Under oath, a military official acknowledged that the protesters were acting nonviolently and posed no threat to the Airbase or military personnel.

Food & Water Watch Denounces USDA Plans To Privatize Poultry Inspection

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“Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released the final rule that will transfer most poultry inspection from government inspectors to the companies so they can police themselves. With the poultry industry standing to gain financially due to increased production and fewer regulatory requirements, the plan is a gift from the Obama administration to the industry, one that will undermine consumer and worker safety, as well as animal welfare. “One of the changes that has been made to the original proposed rule is to cap the line speed in chicken slaughter facilities at 140 birds per minute, instead of 175 birds per minute. This is not a meaningful victory because there are not accompanying worker safety regulations to deal with the musculoskeletal disorders and other work-related injuries that both the plant workers and USDA inspectors suffer every day working in the poultry slaughter plants. In addition, the one USDA inspector left on the slaughter line under this new rule will still have to inspect 2.33 birds every second – an impossible task that leaves consumers at risk. “The change in regulations was first proposed in January of 2012, but after strong opposition from consumer organizations, worker safety advocates and animal welfare groups, its implementation was delayed. When the comment period closed on the proposed rule, USDA had received over 175,000 public comments – most of them opposed to the proposal.

More Than 100 Arrested In Deportation Protest Outside White House

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Police said 112 demonstrators intentionally had themselves arrested outside the White House Thursday in protest against the Obama administration’s response to the sudden surge of illegal immigrants across the border with Mexico. The protest took place as Republican leaders withdrew legislation aimed at the immigration crisis from consideration in the U.S. House. The act of civil disobedience was organized mostly by religious groups, including the Catholic Sisters of Mercy and the United Methodist Church. Several hundred additional supporters looked on as the activists staged a sit-in on the sidewalk outside the White House grounds, prompting National Park Service police to remove and arrest them for obstructing foot traffic in a highly choreographed, but peaceful, demonstration. “We are gathered here to make our voices heard,” the Rev. John McCollough said in a prayer service before the arrests. “We are here to pray for this president, our President Obama, to ask him to lose the bonds of injustice and let the oppressed go free. Si se puede!” The demonstrators demanded the Obama administration cease the deportation of an estimated 1,100 of those illegal immigrants per day — a number expected to rise as the federal government grapples with the hundreds of thousands believed to have slipped through in the last nine months, and a 106 percent increase over the same period last year.

Australia, Indonesia Attack WikiLeaks For Publishing Censorship Order

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After WikiLeaks released a secret gag order in Australia blocking the country’s media from reporting on a massive political corruption scandal, international leaders are evading culpability and scrambling to control the narrative. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, whose name was included in the gag order, denied involvement in the case and asked Australia to be transparent in its investigation, which implicates several Australian bank executives and international heads of state in a multi-million dollar bribery scheme. “We are shocked by the report by WikiLeaks,” Yudhoyono said in a press conference. “Given the facts I have obtained, the report is hurtful.” The court order, issued by the Supreme Court of Victoria in Melbourne, blocked news agencies from reporting on the investigation looking into subsidiaries of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and government officials in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam. RBA subsidiaries Securency and Note Printing Australia are accused of paying off high-ranking officials from 1999 to 2004 to secure the supply of Australian-style polymer bank notes to the governments of Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and other countries.

Jewish-American Peace Activists Organize To Oppose War On Gaza

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Over the past few weeks as the Israeli offensive in Gaza brings more and more tragic consequences for Palestinians, there have also been large solidarity demonstrations throughout the world calling for an end to the occupation of Palestine. Among the youngest and most remarkable of these groups protesting against the destruction in Gaza is If Not Now, When? After only making its debut on social media last Wednesday, the group marked the beginning of Tisha B’Av, the Jewish period of mourning for the difficulties the Jewish people have endured, by reciting the Kaddish, the Jewish prayer of mourning, for all Palestinian and Israeli victims of the war so far. They also read the names of the victims in front of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations last Monday July 28th. Nine #IfNotNow organizers were arrested after occupying the building where the conference took place after “their request to meet with the president … was denied,” according to the #IfNotNow Facebook page. The growth of the organization itself has been astounding. In just under a week the group has gained over 1,800 likes on Facebook and has seen incredible engagement on Twitter with the use of the hashtag #IfNotNow.

DC Protests Against Israel Slaughter In Gaza

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On Tuesday, July 29 at 6pm, activists gathered outside the DC home of Secretary John Kerry, calling on him to stand tall against Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and to push for a just ceasefire that includes lifting the siege of Gaza. Activists commemorated the over 1,000 deaths, especially the hundreds of Palestinian children killed in the Israeli assault. The group gathered at Kerry’s house at 6pm, then marched through Georgetown and returned for a candlelight vigil at the house. Activists were encouraged that Kerry had recognized that “Palestinians can’t have a cease-fire in which they think the status quo is going to stay. Palestinians need to live with dignity, with some freedom, with goods that can come in and out, and they need a life that is free from the current restraints.” But the US government continues to support Israel militarily and diplomatically, justifying Israel’s massive assault on civilians in Gaza and the civilian infrastructure as part of Israel “right to self defense.” “Israeli actions targeting civilian infrastructure—hospitals, schools, electric power plants, sewage plants—indicate they are attempting to destroy not only Hamas, but the people in Gaza. I call on the United States Government to end its $3 billion annual military aid to Israel and work for a ceasefire that includes lifting the siege on Gaza. It is predictable that as long as the siege continues, the rockets and tunnels will continue,” said retired Colonel and diplomat Ann Wright.

New Missile Defense Base Public Hearings In Four States

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There are various kinds of ‘missile defense’ (MD) systems now being tested. The one with the very worst testing record is the Ground-based Mid-course program. It is very likely the most expensive of the MD programs because of the sheer difficulty of trying to have a bullet-hit-a-bullet in deep space at more than 15,000 mph. In the end the program is incredibly destabilizing as the entire MD program is all about being the shield to take out Russian or Chinese retaliatory response after a Pentagon first-strike attack on them. This stuff ain’t theoretical either as the Space Command annually holds a computer war game to practice this very kind of an attack. We see the miniature version it being carried out by Israel in Gaza right now. You might call the Gaza attack by Israel as a field test of the Israel-US MD program. The military industrial complex, and in particular the MD lobby, has been pushing Congress hard to deploy a US east coast interceptor site. The already bought-and-paid-for bunch in Washington has mandated that the Pentagon do a feasibility study to determine which of four states (Maine, New York, Michigan, Ohio) would be the best place to host the interceptor missile facility. Public hearings to work on the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) have been announced. They are listed below.

No Drones Illinois Endorses Call To Drop Boeing From Chicago Air & Water Show

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No Drones Illinois has endorsed the following call by Anti-War Committee – Chicago, Jews for Justice in Palestine, U.S. Palestinian Community Network and 8th Day Center for Justice: Protest Boeing Death Machines in Gaza: Demand Chicago Drop Boeing from Air and Water Show! Boeing Company is a major sponsor of Chicago’s annual Air and Water Show this summer. Many people come to the lake shore every year to see displays of jets and other aircraft. Boeing weaponry are responsible for many of the over 1000 dead and over 6000 seriously wounded Palestinians in Gaza in the past three weeks. The dead are mostly civilians, including over 200 children. Israel’s fighter jets – the F15s and F16s – as well as Apache helicopters are all made by Boeing. Boeing has made billions from the sale of weapons for use in Israel’s attacks, as part of its eight year old siege of Gaza. The City of Chicago should drop Boeing from the sponsors of the Air and Water Show. No company that makes profit from the slaughter of civilians should be included.

Five Latin American Countries Withdraw Envoys From Israel

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The decision of the Latin American countries to recall their ambassadors in Tel Aviv is a “deep disappointment”, says Israel. El Salvador on Wednesday became the fifth Latin American country to withdraw its ambassador from Israel in protest at Israel’s military offensive in Gaza. Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Peru have already recalled their ambassadors. Israeli Foreign Ministry Spokesman Yigal Palmor said that the move encourages Hamas; “this decision encourages Hamas which has been recognized as a terrorist organization by several countries. The countries standing against terror must act responsibly and should not reward them. While Hamas has been responsible for hindering a ceasfire, El Salvador, Peru and Chile were expected to support international attitude for peace and demilitarization of Gaza”, the statement said. Earlier Israel criticized Brazil over its decision to recall its ambassador in protest at Israel’s military offensive in Gaza. Brazil was one of 29 countries in the UN Human Rights Council that voted last Wednesday to investigate Israel over its military offensive in Gaza. During a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping on July 17, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said her country was “profoundly concerned by the dramatic events” in Gaza.