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
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Protesters Begin Sleep-out In Manchester In Solidarity With Gaza

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Palestine campaigners have this morning begun a ‘sleep-out’ in Manchester city centre in support of the 108,000 Palestinians in Gaza who had their homes destroyed during Israel’s 52 day attack on Gaza and to call for a boycott of Kedem, an Israeli shop based in the city centre. The sleep-out is taking place at a police authorised protest site near to Kedem Cosmetics, an Israeli owned shop that sources the raw materials for its products from the Dead Sea, part of which is Palestinian territory occupied by Israel. Activists have been organising regular demonstrations calling for a boycott of Kedem. They say that purchasing Kedem products provides financial support to the Israeli military. Kedem is also complicit in Israel’s pillage of natural resources from the Palestinian part of the Dead Sea, campaigners say. Activities planned at the sleep out include the reading of names of Palestinian children killed during Israel’s 6 week assault on Gaza, educational talks and an opportunity for people to take part in the ‘Rubble Bucket Challenge‘, a Palestinian take on the Ice Bucket Challenge. Mohammed Ghaleiny, from Gaza said, “Like most families in Gaza, many of my relatives had their homes destroyed and one attack killed 9 members of my extended family. Manchester Palestine Action are doing this sleep-out to highlight the fact that even though the Israeli bombardment has ceased for now there is a dire humanitarian situation in Gaza. Tens of thousands are without adequate shelter and the whole population of Gaza is suffering from severe water, electricity, food and medicine shortages. Even those sheltering in hospitals and UN schools were bombed.”

Trade Agreements Hurt Jobs And Wages

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We already know that so-called “free” trade agreements aren’t free — they hurt jobs and wages and are deeply irresponsible. Indeed, just two past “free” trade deals, NAFTA and China’s addition to the World Trade Organization, resulted in a net loss of almost 135,000 Florida jobs. In addition, when — and if — those workers got another job, their annual wages plummeted an average $13,500. That net loss cost Florida’s economy almost $2 billion in annual wages. The TPP will make things even worse because we’ll be competing with corporations relocating to countries like Vietnam, where the average minimum wage is a meager 56 cents per hour. This agreement will allow foreign corporations to sue the United States through international tribunals over nearly any laws that they allege would cut into their expected future profits. That includes laws designed to protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food on our dinner tables.

Protests Against Abbott Government Held Across Australia

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THOUSANDS of Australians have rallied at March in Australia protests around the country this weekend, protesting against the Abbott government after almost one year in power. Protest organisers say around 40,000 people have marched at 31 locations, including capital cities and tiny regional towns. The wide range of issues being supported by the protesters was summed up by a sign that read: “For stronger public health and education, for addressing climate change, for asylum seeker rights, for real reconciliation, for equitable access to university, for protecting the environment, for international aid based on need not trade, for greater equality of wealth, for cultural diversity, for these reasons and more we march and shout, ‘Boot the Liberals Out!’” These anti-Abbott protests are known for their hilarious posters and signs, featuring cheeky appropriations of the Prime Minister’s face. The August protest did not disappoint.

“Badhoneywell” Makes Its Nationwide Debut

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The US government’s complicity in the Israeli siege of Gaza is no secret. Israel has the eleventh largest military in the world, which is in large part due to US military aid of over $3 billion annually. What remains in the shadows, however, is the alarming extent to which United States corporations profit from the Israeli war machine. A prime example is Honeywell International Inc. Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade, a Canadian group, has documented a long-lasting and profitable economic relationship between Honeywell and the Israeli military, with many of their collaborations traceable directly to war crimes committed by the IDF. The 2010 attack in the waters outside Gaza against the “Freedom Flotilla,” in which 9 activists were killed in an attempt to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza through the Israeli blockade, was perpetrated by a Sa’ar V Corvette, built by another US company, Northrop-Grumman. Yet that ship was armed by Honeywell-built torpedoes. This relationship, in which Honeywell profits from some component of weapons production without appearing to be prominently involved, appears frequently. Take Israel’s M270 MLRS missile system, produced by Lockheed Martin and Israeli Military Industries (IMI). Honeywell produces Jet Reaction Control and Trajectory Correction Systems critical to the M270, which it notes can be “retrofitted into unguided artillery rockets for improved precision.” In the same promotional flier, the company describes its Jet Reaction Controls as providing “unmatched agility, maneuverability, and end-game lethality to tactical missiles and precision-guided munitions.”

Outrageous Tolls Are Causing An Anti-Toll Movement

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Bob Poole of the Reason Foundation has decided to pick a fight he can’t win. He just published an article personally attacking anti-toll group leaders across the nation, and he had a extra special below-the-belt attack saved just for yours truly. He’s responding to the populist anti-toll revolt taking place in America, and he can’t help but go on the attack because these grassroots efforts are finally making progress. He’s lashing out in response to a 5-page cover story in the Weekly Standard that slammed the new rage among transportation think tanks like Reason, called HOT lanes. It stands for High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes. Sometimes they convert existing HOV lanes into toll lanes, other times they’re new lanes but only open to carpoolers and those who pay tolls. The author, Jonathan Last, used many of the same terms to describe this wrong-headed policy as the anti-toll groups do – government picking winners and losers, crony capitalism, privatized profits, socialized losses, Lexus lanes, etc. If the shoes fits, and it does, it’s not hard for liberty-minded people to come to the same conclusions all by themselves. They can spot a scam when they see one. But Poole asks, ‘Where do these ideas come from?’ Or more to his point, who is promoting ideas in opposition to his libertarian ivory tower theory-world of road pricing? His answer is a nasty attack on grassroots advocates attempting to save the middle class from the biggest, most expensive tax grab in our lifetimes. This isn’t the first time I’ve encountered Poole or the Reason Foundation. I ran into Poole in the halls of the Texas Capitol when our anti-toll group, Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom (TURF), was asking legislators to sign onto a public private partnership (P3) moratorium in 2007. I’d enter a legislator’s office and there he was lobbying lawmakers to support P3s and disregard the public outcry. The original moratorium passed with a vote of 169-5. It’s been a rough road for P3s in Texas ever since, and it’s about to get rougher.

Thousands Of Protesters Filing In For NATO Summit

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With just 5 days before the NATO summit in Wales kicks off, security is tightening and counter-NATO protesters are making their presence felt. In anticipation of a NATO summit in the Welsh city of Newport, activists have began to arrive, setting up a protest camp. It is expected that tens of thousands of people will join the camp in the days leading up to the summit, starting on Thursday. Newport is starting to resemble a fortress as the preparations are made with 3 meter high fences, barricades and roads blocked. Nine and half thousand police officers will also be in the city to protect the summit. According to a statement posted by the Stop the War Coalition website, the United States will at the two-day summit pressure Western powers “to increase their already huge military budgets at a time when poverty and inequality are soaring.” “None of the cuts would be necessary if the sums Britain spends on its military and armaments were invested in social need instead of the war machine,” said the coalition in a statement.

Bahraini Activist Begins Hunger Strike After Being Denied Entry

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Maryam Al-Khawaja, a Bahraini citizen and the Co-Director of the Gulf Center For Human Rights, was denied entry to her country today [August 30, 2014]. According to the organisation, she was planning to visit her father, prominent human rights activist Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, who is in prison and on his sixth day of a hunger strike. Her father was jailed during the harsh government crackdown which followed pro-democracy protests which swept Bahrain, starting on February 14, 2011. He is sentenced to life imprisonment. This is his second hunger strike. His first lasted for 110 days and ended after he was force-fed by authorities. After the authorities detained Maryam Al-Khawaja on unknown charges and confiscated her Danish passport (she holds both Danish and Bahraini citizenships), she announced on Twitter that she would go on hunger strike: I’m being detained in airport. Telling me I don’t have Bahraini citizenship. I’m asking for proof. — Maryam Alkhawaja (@MARYAMALKHAWAJA) August 29, 2014

Climate Change Should Be Part Of Environmental Reviews

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The initial February 2008 legal petition issued by the plaintiffs was rather simple: the White House’s Council for Environmental Quality (CEQ) should provide guidance to federal agencies it coordinates with to weigh climate change impacts when utilizing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) on energy policy decisions. A legal process completely skirted in recent prominent tar sands pipeline cases by both TransCanada and Enbridge, NEPA is referred to by legal scholars as the“Magna Carta” of environmental law. In the midst of the procedural lawsuit filed against it, CEQ finally responded to the 2008 petition for the first time on August 7, writing a ten-page denial letter to the plaintiffs. The conclusion of this legal battle royale, at least for now, occurred just over a month after Judge R. Brooke Jackson struck down a coal mining expansion plan proposed in Colorado at the West Elk coal mine owned by Arch Coal. Jackson cited climate change in his judgment, saying several federal agencies that originally permitted the mine expansion proposal did not consider climate impacts when they did their NEPA analysis and accompanying environmental impact statement (EIS).

Protesters: Senators Menendez and Booker ‘No more blank check for Israel'

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On Tuesday August 26, 2014, more than 50 demonstrators protested outside the Newark, New Jersey, offices of U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker demanding that the legislators stop providing a blank check for Israel’s crimes. Thirteen demonstrators were arrested inside the building as they read out the names of some of the nearly 500 Palestinian children killed in Gaza. The U.S. Senate has played a shameful role during the recent Israeli assault on Gaza, twice voting 100-0 to give its full support to Israel, saying nothing about its violations of international humanitarian law (indeed, condemning the United Nations’ Human Rights Council for deigning to investigate war crimes), nothing about the blockade of Gaza, and nothing about the occupation, while promising Israel still more weapons.

First Time Protest At Bankers Meeting In Jackson Hole, WY

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This year’s Jackson Hole hobnob, once again hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, last week attracted the usual assortment of central bankers, finance ministers, and influential business journalists. But this year’s gathering also attracted something else: protesters. For the first time ever, activists converged on Jackson Hole — to let the Fed’s central bankers know, as protest organizers put it, that “it’s not just the rich who are watching them.” Over 70 groups and unions backed the protest and signed onto an open letter that calls on America’s central bankers to start nurturing an economy that works for workers. At one point, early on in the Jackson Hole gathering, protesters actually had a brief exchange with Federal Reserve Board chair Janet Yellin. “We understand the issues you’re talking about,” Yellin told them, “and we’re doing everything we can.”

Over 1,000 Protest In Ferguson, Call For Highway Shutdown Monday

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More than 1,000 people protested in Ferguson today. There was a call to action at the event. Organizers at the rally called on demonstrators to drive on Interstate 70 and other area highways at 4:30 p.m. Monday, turn their hazard lights on and stop their vehicles for four and a half minutes to symbolize the four and a half hours that Mr. Brown’s body lay in the street. “We’re going to tie it down, lock it down,” Anthony Shahid, one of the lead organizers of the rally, told supporters from the stage at a park. The following week, if the coalition’s demands were not met, including that Officer Wilson be fired and arrested on charges of murder, another four-minute traffic shutdown would occur on two days instead of just one, he said.

Clear Demands Needed At People's Climate March

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A big tent, as in, the circus is coming to town… But this tent is so big that it even includes organizations that support fracking and the tar sands gigaproject. Yup, they’re in the tent, too. Call me crazy, but I think that tent is too damn big. According to some of the organizers, as long as everyone agrees that climate action is needed, then it’s all good. But are all climate actions created equal? No. In fact, there is another entity called The Climate Group that is planning a whole week of activities around the Ban Ki-moon summit to call for “climate action.” Who is this Climate Group? They are a self-described “campaign” whose goal is a “low carbon economy.” Okay, so? Well, their idea of action on climate change includes many “solutions” debunked as false by the global climate justice movement, including carbon capture and storage, and other technologies that allow business as usual to bounce happily along while the planet slowly burns. This is not surprising since The Climate Group’s corporate partners include Duke Energy, HSBC, Goldman Sachs, Greenstone, Nike and many others.

Breaking: Vine Videos Show Massive Protest In Ferguson

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On Saturday August 30th a large protest was held in Ferguson in response to the police killing of Michael Brown, Jr. The crowd was made up of a combination of local residents and people from around the country who are opposed to police brutality and want to see justice in the case of Michael Brown. Black Lives Matter brought 500 people to the event. The protest, which included Michael Brown’s family in the lead (as the video below shows) included more than 1,000 people. Despite heavy rain at one point, the protesters marched through the streets of Ferguson to the police department headquarters. Below are a series of videos from Vine that give you a good sense of the protest.

The Defining Battle for Net Neutrality

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The world needs a hero, and that hero is you. Our worldwide web is currently dangling above an alligator-filled moat, tied to the train tracks, strapped to a live bomb (tick-tock), and rapidly headed towards gory destruction at the end of a Comcast/Bell/ [insert-your-country's-biggest-telco-name-here]-branded conveyor belt. Time of death: 12:00am. Cause of death: Big Telecom, aggressive lobbying, money and power imbalances, and a misguided FCC net neutrality decision that ignores over 1.1 million comments and counting from everyday Internet users like you. You know how Facebook asked Page owners to pay up if they wanted their content to actually show up on people’s news feeds? Without Net Neutrality, the entire Internet would be like that, for all content ever. Cable company f***ery, indeed. But it doesn’t have to turn out that way. The battle for Net Neutrality is ours to win. Reinforcements pour in every day. We’ve gained reprieves in the form of not one, but two deadline extensions – a sign that the FCC recognizes how important Net Neutrality is, and how many people care about it. This battle may be located in the United States, but make no mistake—its outcome will affect the entire world.

Occupy Central In Hong Kong Begins Civil Resistance Campaign For Democracy

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Occupy Central co-founder Benny Tai Yiu-ting says the movement’s supporters will gather on Sunday – after Beijing officially lays down its framework for political reform – to mark the beginning of a “continuous and long-term” civil disobedience campaign. Tai promised the campaign will be peaceful and rational. “If the campaign begins to lose control or violent acts occur, I will stand at the front of the crowd to stop them,” the legal academic added. He told RTHK on Thursday that the finer details of the movement’s “final resort” – a mass sit-in on Central streets – were still under consideration after Beijing on Wednesday laid out a restrictive draft framework for the city’s first popular election of its leader in 2017. But Tai said weekly protests would be held as part of the civil disobedience campaign, and he will shave his head to show the “spirit of sacrifice”. Thousands of university students are expected to boycott classes in mid-September, said Alex Chow Yong-kang, general secretary of the Federation of Students.