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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Action! April Recess Is Time To Stop Sanctions On Venezuela

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The attempt to impose sanctions is driven by Congress members from Florida and New Jersey with strong ties to extreme rightwing Cuban-American groups who support the U.S. embargo against Cuba. Sadly, the Obama administration has also indicated that it is considering targeted sanctions against the Venezuelan government. Currently, no other country in the hemisphere besides Cuba is subject to U.S. sanctions. As President Pepe Mujica of Uruguay recently stated, “when the entire world asks the U.S. to shelve its economic blockade policy against Cuba, voices emerge from within that government threatening sanctions against Venezuela. Are the lessons of history never learned?” Tell your elected officials that their vote for sanctions would be a vote for further bloodshed by anti-democratic forces.

Month Of Resistance To Stop Mass Incarceration

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The malignancy of mass incarceration did not arise from a sudden epidemic of crime. Nor did it result from people making poor personal choices. Instead it arose from cold political calculations made in response to the massive and heroic struggle for the rights of Black and other minority peoples that took place in the 1960’s and 70’s, and in response to the enormous economic and social changes brought about by globalized production. This cancer of mass incarceration has been, from the beginning, nothing but a new Jim Crow in place of the old one. Like the old Jim Crow, it drew on, fed off and reinforced the deep-seated roots of the racism that grew up with slavery. Like the old Jim Crow, it has been, from the beginning, unjustifiable, utterly immoral and thoroughly illegitimate. This must stop – NOW! Not the next generation, not in ten years, not any time off in some promised future that never seems to come. NOW!

Honor The Earth Invites You To DC To Stop Pipelines

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Next Tuesday, April 22, 2014, Honor is joining with Native peoples and ranchers (called the Cowboy and Indian Alliance) from along the pipeline route in Washington, DC, to show Obama and the world that Native Nations will stand firm in asserting our human and constitutionally protected treaty rights in saying NO to the Keystone XL Pipeline. We won’t be leaving DC until the voices of our people are heard. We invite you to visit us at the tipi camp on the National Mall during the week, but urge you to participate on Saturday the 26th in a day of action. Click here to RSVP, and to donate to Honor the Earth’s work to support this action, and the frontline groups opposing this pipeline in their territories. Just as we keep a close watch on the Keystone XL, we must also work to oppose the pipelines of the north, many of which are as big or bigger than the KXL. Honor has been focusing our efforts on the Sandpiper pipeline.

Jimmy Carter Urges Rejecting Keystone

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Jimmy Carter wants Barack Obama to block Keystone XL, the controversial pipeline to funnel Canadian oil-sands crude to Gulf Coast refineries. Carter is the first former U.S. president to urge the current occupant of the Oval Office to reject TransCanada’s long-delayed $5.5-billion project. Carter – who is outspoken on human-rights issues – added his voice to nine other Nobel Peace Prize winners as political pressure for Obama to decide the project’s fate ramps up. As the President decides on “the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, please do not underestimate its importance,” the Nobel laureates’ open letter urges. Other signatories include South Africa’s anti-apartheid hero, Desmond Tutu, and Jody Williams, who, along with the Canadian government, led the global campaign to ban land mines. Rejecting Keystone, they said, would show whether Obama was serious when he pledged to act against global warming in the interests of future generations.

Oppose Another Step Toward Post Office Privatization

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On a recent Saturday morning, 500 protesters poured out of a parade of school buses, signs and megaphones in hand, and tried their best to shame a single Staples store just outside Chicago. Among them was Mike Suchomel, a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Postal Service, who traveled all the way from New Jersey for a nearby labor conference. What has infuriated Suchomel and many of his fellow postal union members is a new arrangement struck between USPS and the office supply retailer. Under the premise of a pilot program, a limited number of Staples locations are now offering most of the same services provided at post offices, to be handled by Staples employees rather than postal workers. “It’s just a big step toward privatization,” said Suchomel, who hopped a bus to the protest from the Labor Notes conference, a biannual gathering of labor activists held in Chicago. “I think it’s a terrible thing that the postmaster general would even think about this.”

Wash U Sit-In Against Peabody Coal: Which Side Are You On?

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Entering its second week, the inspiring Washington University sit-in against Peabody Energy has already gone beyond its goals to cut school ties with the St. Louis-based coal giant, and forced the rest of the nation to ask themselves an urgent question in an age of climate change and reckless strip mining ruin: Which side are you on? Will other schools, alumni groups — and investors in Peabody Energy — follow the lead of the Washington U. students? Case in point: Tonight in my native Saline County in southern Illinois, the county commissioners genuflected to short-term Peabody coal dollars over the “negative impact on about a dozen homeowners who live near the site of the proposed mine,” according to one cynical commissioner, and voted to allow the company to close off Rocky Branch road for a proposed strip mine expansion, despite the lack of EPA permits, and documented evidence of flooding, blasting and emergency access problems. Facing financial ruin, grave heath problems and displacement, the Rocky Branch residents will fight on, thanks to the Wash U. students, and continue to tell the truth: We all live in the coalfields now, in this age of climate change, and it is no longer acceptable to allow anyone to be collateral damage to a disastrous energy policy.

The Colombia Free Trade Agreement, Dishonesty Of Obama/AFL-CIO

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When Barack Obama was running for president in 2008, he told the AFL-CIO convention that he would oppose the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement promoted by then-president Bush “because the violence against unions in Colombia would make a mockery of the very labor protections that we have insisted be included in these kinds of agreements.” Labor advocates cheered. Once in office, though, Obama advocated for a Labor Action Plan to overcome what he saw as the obstacles to Congressional ratification of the Agreement. He and Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos signed the LAP on April 7, 2011, and Congress ratified the FTA a year later. Colombian opposition to the agreement was always deeper and broader than that in the United States. Violence against unionists became the main opposition slogan in the US, but it was always a slender issue to base a campaign on. The argument implied that the FTA was overall a good idea that would benefit Colombians, and was used to pressure the government to improve its labor policies so it could get the FTA as a reward.

Philly Police Will No Longer Hold Immigrants On Behalf Of ICE

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Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has publicly signed an executive order that the city will no longer keep immigrants in police custody at the request of Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE. The Wednesday announcement makes Philadelphia the latest city in the country to limit cooperation with federal officials. After months of lobbying by immigrant advocates, Nutter has decided the city will no longer honor ICE one-page detainers, which ask police to hold onto someone until that individual can be transferred to federal custody — except when requests for violent offenders are backed by a formal warrant. “The Philadelphia Police Department relies on information gathered from residents to solve crimes each and every day,” Nutter said. “We do that in order to protect the safety of our communities. And without a significant level of trust and faith, citizens or others who are here just won’t talk to law enforcement authorities.”

Cowboy And Indian Alliance Plan Anti-Keystone XL Protest In DC

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In American history, cowboys and Indians have always been enemies, fighting against one another for control of the land. Today, their descendants have teamed up to fight an enemy that seeks to destroy them both – the Keystone XL pipeline. On April 22, members of the Cowboy Indian Alliance, a group of farmers, ranchers and tribal communities who live along the route of the proposed pipeline, will ride and march on Washington, setting up a camp for five days outside of the White House. On the Bold Nebraska site, the Reject and Protect event describes what will occur during the demonstration: “Four days after the Cowboy Indian Alliance tipis first go up on the Mall, we’ll gather at 11 a.m. on Saturday the 26 at an encampment to make our closing argument against the pipeline. As we gather, everyone there will be asked to make their thumbprint mark on a tipi. Then we’ll hear from the farmers, ranchers, tribal leaders and refinery community members who will be directly impacted by Keystone XL and the tar sands – and who have pledged to lead the resistance should it be approved.”

Anti-War Activist Proudly Pleads Guilty To ‘Disturbing’ US War Criminal General Petraeus

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Judge Kim Schaefer asked the defendant if she had created a disturbance that day. Van Poolen proudly said, “Yes, I stood up and spoke in front of several hundred people, and I said, ‘General David Petraeus you are a war criminal responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent men, women and children. I am a graduate of Calvin College and a follower of Jesus Christ and I am here to speak out.’” Judge Schaefer interrupted and asked what the effect was. Van Poolen responded, “Petraeus stopped speaking and then two men brought me outside.” Next Van Poolen’s lawyer David LeGrande spoke in her defense, saying, “It was an intentional act of civil disobedience. The tradition sees it as appropriate to break laws and deal with the consequences…to right injustice.” . . . Van Poolen responded, “I was practicing free speech in a non-violent way. I did so with the sincere belief that, to call attention to the outrageous and immoral acts of U.S. leaders, civil disobedience is required. I hope my actions followed in the footsteps of other great and inspiring leaders.”

CODE PINK Mocks Egyptian Dictator Sisi Outside Of US Chamber Of Commerce

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The Egyptian military government is one that US corporations should not do business with: “No more business as usual.” That was the message of a CODE PINK protest inside and outside of the US Chamber of Commerce when the Egyptian Finance Minister, Hany Kadry Dimian, was speaking. CODE PINK described the Egyptian government as the “Egyptian Junta” and expressed their solidarity with Egyptian people who want real democracy not a military dictatorship. Since the military took over in July 2013 over 2,000 people have been killed who have protested the government; and 16,000 protesters have been imprisoned. Outside the Chamber of Commerce CODE PINK mocked General Sisi, the dictator of Egypt, who recently resigned his position in the military to run for president in an election that very few will be legitimate. CODE PINK has started a twitter handle for the election of Sisi: #VoteForThePimp

Our Walmart Delivers $7.8 Billion Tax Bill To Walmart

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Walmart workers and taxpayers in Phoenix delivered a $7.8 billion tax bill to Rob Walton, Walmart Chairman, in reaction to the news that the country’s largest retailer and richest family received an estimated $7.8 billion in tax breaks and subsidies in 2013. A report released yesterday by Americans for Tax Fairness showed how Walmart and the Waltons dodged taxes, exploited loopholes and took advantage of taxpayer subsidies, while many of its workers were forced to rely on taxpayer-funded programs like food stamps and Medicaid. The taxpayers hand-delivered the bill to Walton’s home in Paradise Valley, outside Phoenix. “Like most Americans, I work hard, pay my taxes and play by the rules. Why can’t America’s richest family do the same?” said Venanzi Luna, a Walmart worker who undersigned the bill. “Our economy is out of balance and workers are struggling because people like the Waltons don’t pay their fair share.” Walmart made a $16 billion profit in 2013, and the six Walton heirs, who own more than 50 percent of Walmart shares, saw their wealth grow to $148.8 billion—more wealth than 49% of American families combined.

Bold Nebraska: Black Snake Pipelines Bring Heartland Uprising

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From CreativeResistance.org: Bold Nebraska is a grass-roots movement of families, farmers, cowboys, Indians and community members standing up to the energy extraction industry, resisting the Keystone Pipeline and protecting the Earth and the People using creative and imaginative tactics. The Website says: “Our state is currently dominated by one political voice– conservative. And it’s not the conservative voice many of us grew up with in our families. The conservative voice in our state is now dominated by far-right ideas and policies that are more about protecting big business, not fighting for our families.” “If you look back in our Nebraska history, you see a diverse set of political beliefs. You see room for all of us to build on each others ideas to get things done. We think there is a role for common-sense government and we need more progressive, independent and moderate voices in our state’s politics. Nebraskans are bold. We are pioneers. We are reformers. We are independent. Bold Nebraska is setting out to change the political landscape and restore political balance.”

How A Group Of Strangers Stopped One Man From Being Deported

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When Swedish authorities on Thursday attempted to deport refugee and father of two Ghader Ghalamere by airplane to Iran, something extraordinary happened. The other passengers on the flight staged a peaceful protest to stop the airplane from taking off. Ghalamere, who is Kurdish, left his birthplace of Iran years ago due to what he says is persecution—including threat of torture and execution—for his past political activities. He relocated to Sweden, where he was living with his wife Fatemeh, who is a Swedish resident, and their two young children. After Ghalamere’s failed attempts to efforts to attain residency status for himself, Swedish authorities attempted to deport him to Iran on Thursday, via an airplane leaving Östersund, with Stockholm as its first stop, The Independent reports.

Student Victory: Faculty Reinstated After Students Protest Against Cuts

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The Real News has been following the student-led movement against cuts at the University of Southern Maine. Now USM president Theodora Kalikow announced that the university will no longer lay off 12 faculty who were fired to help close a $14 million budget shortfall. USM president also acknowledged that her decision was greatly influenced by the student-led protest against the cuts, and said faculty and students should have a greater future role in these types of decisions. Now joining us to discuss this are our two guests directly involved in the fight against the layoffs at the University of Maine. We have Meaghan LaSala, who was a student at the University of Southern Maine. And we’re also joined by Meghan Brodie, who was a faculty member in the Women and Gender Studies Program at the University of Southern Maine. And she is one of the dozen faculty members who were reentrenched on March 21 and now has been temporarily reprieved last week.