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!

Breaking: 75,000 People Tell Obama To Fire FCC Chair Wheeler

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Today, digital rights group Fight for the Future — best known for their pivotal role in major Internet protests like the SOPA Blackout and the Internet Slowdown — electronically delivered more than 75,000 signatures to President Barack Obama calling for the White House to publicly support full Title II reclassification and demote FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler for failing to do his job protecting the public’s access to a free and open Internet. The delivery came just hours after the Wall Street Journal reported that Wheeler is close to finalizing a net neutrality proposal that would explicitly allow for Internet fast lanes and slow lanes, despite the fact that the FCC has received more than 3.7 million public comments opposing the fast lanes, overwhelmingly in support of banning so-called “paid prioritization” through the use of Title II reclassification.

Hong Kong Political & Economic Leader Compares Protesters To Slaves

Laura Cha Hong Kong

Thousands have signed an online petition denouncing reported comments by an HSBC Holdings board member in which she likened Hong Kong protesters’ demands for democracy to the emancipation of slaves. Laura Cha, who is also a member of Hong Kong’s policy-making Executive Council, chairwoman of the city’s Financial Services Development Council and a member of China’s parliament, was quoted as making the comments at an event in Paris. “American slaves were liberated in 1861 but did not get voting rights until 107 years later. So why can’t Hong Kong wait for a while?” the Standard newspaper on Thursday quoted Cha as saying, referring to demands for free elections in the former British colony. The comments triggered outrage on social media and nearly 6,000 people had signed the petition by Friday evening. The web site of the petition said it had been launched by Jeffrey Chan from Hong Kong. It only appeared to be in English. “We, the Hong Kong public, will not stand these remarks likening our rights to slavery, nor will we stand the kind of voter disenfranchisement her and her associates attempt to perpetrate on the Hong Kong public,” said the petition to HSBC, that sought an apology from Cha.

A Mother Protests Solitary Confinement

Dolores Canales speaking against the use of solitary confinement at a panel in California. (WNV/Global Women’s Strike)

By 2011, SHU prisoners had had enough. They declared a hunger strike, demanding an end to these policies and conditions. Over a thousand people, including Johnny, joined in. Although not the first time SHU prisoners have gone on hunger strike, this particular call came at a time when prison organizing was intensifying. Less than a year earlier, in December 2010, people in a dozen Georgia prisons united across racial lines to go on work strike. Their demands included wages for their labor, educational opportunities, decent health care, nutritious meals and improved living conditions. In Illinois, activists were on the verge of closing the notorious Tamms prison, where men spent years in extreme isolation. Across the nation, lawsuits against inhumane prison conditions were filed — and won.

‘Carry That Weight’ National Day Of Action At Columbia And Beyond

Cindy Ma / Senior Staff Photographer
NO MORE | The rally drew support from 28 other student groups on campus, ranging from Students for Justice in Palestine to the Kings Crown Shakespeare Troupe.

More than 150 Columbia students, faculty, and community members gathered on Low Steps on Wednesday holding mattresses, pillows, and signs to rally against the University’s handling of sexual assault on campus. Billed as a National Day of Action to “Help Carry the Weight,” the event was inspired by the senior art thesis project of Emma Sulkowicz, CC ’15. For her thesis, titled “Mattress Performance: Carry That Weight,” Sulkowicz will carry a mattress with her as long as her alleged rapist still attends Columbia, as a protest against the University’s systemic mishandling of sexual assault cases. The rally, organized by student activist groups No Red Tape Columbia and Carrying the Weight Together, also drew support from 28 other student organizations—representing the 28 students who have filed federal complaints against Columbia since April.

Beyond Extreme Energy Week Of Action In DC

Photo by Jonathan H. Lee

Starting November 1st, hundreds of people are planning to take part in a very full week of climate action in Washington, D.C., focused on FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The week will also draw connections to other very problematic institutions as far as the global warming crisis. Over 50 organizations have endorsed this week of action, many of them local groups fighting fracking, fracking infrastructure and proposed fracked-gas export terminals. On Friday, November 7th, the last day of the week, dozens of fracktivists from the fracking-ravaged state of Pennsylvania are traveling to DC to anchor that morning’s action at FERC.

The Energy East Pipeline Won't Get Built Either

The proposed route of TransCanada's Energy East Pipeline. (Image: PRI)

fter TransCanada filed its official application with the National Energy Board today, environmental organizations in Canada and the United States, First Nations and community organizers said the Energy East pipeline will never be built. “It’s not going to happen,” said Patrick Bonin of Greenpeace Canada. “Energy East would negate all the good work on climate that has been done at the provincial level, pose a major threat to millions of people’s drinking water and disrespect Canadians in Eastern Canada, who care as much as any other Canadian about oil spills contaminating their homes, waterways and livelihoods.” Energy East – extending from Alberta to New Brunswick – would be the longest oil pipeline in North America and the single largest tar sands pipeline, transporting 30 per cent more oil than Keystone XL and double the size of Northern Gateway.

Tar Sands Resistance Blowing Huge Hole In Oil Industry's Bottom Line

Tar sands protesters on the front lines of the resistance movement are having an impact on the industry's bottom line, finds new report. (Photo: TarSandsBlockade.org)

The growing tide of tar sands resistance—seen in blockades, tree sits, petitions, education efforts and calls to divest—is having a measurable negative impact on the bottom line of the tar sands industry, according to a new report, prompting researchers to declare that “business as usual for tar sands is over.” Published Wednesday by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis and Oil Change International, the report, Material Risks: How Public Accountability Is Slowing Tar Sands Development (pdf), finds that tar sands production revenues were down about $30.9 billion from 2010 through 2013. And according to the report, more than half of that lost revenue, roughly $17 billion, can be attributed to the fierce grassroots campaigns that have sprung up throughout North America in the past few years.

Youth Rising! 10 Recent Actions Organized By Young People

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1. Occupying SLU Photos have been updated, and autopsy reports have changed, but for Occupy SLU the #Ferguson message remains the same. From October 13 to 17 demonstrators camped at the Saint Louis University clock tower in an act of resistance to racial profiling and police brutality. 2. Storming City Hall Following #FergusonOctober’s Weekend of Resistance, organizers from Young Activists United St. Louis and Millennial Activists United met with St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. Five representatives spoke with the mayor after a #YouthTakover occupation of St. Louis’s City Hall, where we insisted on a meeting and a list of demands, including effective civilian oversight of the police department with subpoena power. . .

FCC Ready To Compromise On Net Neutrality

Hungary Protest Internet Tax

We have come so far since we learned at the end of April that the FCC was preparing to propose rules that would allow the Giant Telecoms like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon to create fast lanes for those who can pay more. This would kill net neutrality. We understood that if we lose net neutrality – over time our ability to share information through social media, reach the public with our websites and organize online would diminish. The Internet would become like corporate media. It would change from the open and free platform for the exchange of information and ideas that it currently is to a controlled and censored platform that decides what you can see and share. The people have spoken loudly and clearly – through millions of phone calls, emails and public comments, an occupation outside the FCC and actions from coast to coast we, the people, forced reclassification of the Internet under Title II so that it would be treated as a public good onto the table.

3,000-Mile March For Climate Action To Arrive In DC On Nov 1

Photo from Climate March.org

When the original thirty-four people started walking from Port of Wilmington, Los Angeles, they had no idea that walking across the country would turn into a life-changing experience. Traversing major cities, hiking the Appalachians, trekking the Plains, and crossing the proposed KXL pipeline route gave them eight months to consider their purpose for marching. Walking 3,000 miles has been cathartic for all of them. During the first weeks of the March, they learned to overcome the physical challenges of walking 15-25 miles a day–8 to 10 hours each day, resting one day a week. The core group stayed together from the beginning; not one person dropped out, according to Jimmy Betts, an organizer and participant.

Parliament Square Protest Law Is Too Restrictive, Needs Urgent Review

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The appalling treatment of protesters occupying Parliament Square last week (Occupy protesters forced to hand over pizza boxes and tarpaulin, 24 October, theguardian.com) calls for an urgent review of current legislation governing protest there. For 10 days, until Sunday, Occupy Democracy campaigners hosted a daily programme of assemblies and workshops outside parliament to address what they say is “a huge democratic deficit” in Britain today. Using the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 (PRSRA), which bans any “structure designed for staying” along with any “amplified sound”, police responded by kettling protesters and confiscating a wide range of items including umbrellas and sleeping bags which protesters were using to keep dry and warm.

Massive Civil Disobedience In Vermont A Possible Game-Changer

Dance party against the pipeline / photo from Rising Tide Vermont

This morning, a group of students stood in protest against Governor Shumlin’s fossil fuels infrastructure policy after a night of massive civil disobedience that saw some 64 people arrested. Yesterday’s demonstration consisted of more than a hundred community members staging a mass sit in at Shumlin’s office on the top floor of the Pavillion Building, accompanied by a dance party on the bottom floor. The sit in lasted several hours. Shumlin was not present, but requested that everyone act respectfully, stating, “While I agree that climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing our state, nation, and world, I disagree with the protesters’ position on the natural gas pipeline, which I believe will help hasten our state’s transition away from dirtier fuel oil and help our economy.”

Felony Trial For Greenpeace Protesters In Cincinnati Delayed

Nine activists were involved in the March 4 publicity stunt at the Cincinnati headquarters of P&G. Greenpeace

The trial of Greenpeace activists who face charges of burglary and vandalism related to a protest at the Cincinnati headquarters of Procter & Gamble Co. has been delayed until next year. Eight of the nine activists were expected to stand trial Oct. 27 in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court, but the start of the jury trial has been rescheduled for Jan. 20. One of the activists, Tyler Wilkerson, 27, died Oct. 6 of an undisclosed cause. An Oct. 16 filing asked that the charges be dropped against Wilkerson, a former Marine who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan and was working in California as an organic farmer. “There is no connection between the new trial date and Tyler’s death,” Greenpeace spokeswoman Kat Clark said today.

Israel Increases Pressure On Nonviolent Struggle’s Flagship Village

Palestinians, international and Israeli activists demonstrate against the separation barrier and the occupation in the West Bank village of Bil’in, October 17, 2014. (Photo by Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

There’s nothing new under the sun in Bil’in. If you take a look at the Wikipedia page on Bil’in, you’ll see that the last updates about the village’s struggle against the separation wall refer to 2012. B’Tselem’s page on Bil’in was last updated almost two years ago. One could easily be led to believe that the struggle is over. But Bil’in continues to demonstrate. Perhaps updating Wikipedia and B’Tselem’s website isn’t necessary. The situation in Bil’in remains as it was. Veteran protesters even experience flashbacks to 2008, when the demonstrations took place near the old route of the wall.

Egypt Court Sentences 23 Protesters To Prison

WikiMedia (Takver)

An Egyptian court on Sunday sentenced 23 activists to three years in prison for protesting without a permit, an act that violates a law enacted in November 2013. The men were arrested in June while protesting the restrictive protest law that requires demonstrators to obtain permission from authorities one week in advance of gathering in public, grants the interior ministry the right to reject requests and imposes severe fines for violations. In addition to violating the protest law, the men were also convicted of blocking off a road during the demonstration, damaging public property and using violence “with the aim of terrorizing citizens.”