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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Protests Interrupt Armed Services Cheerleading For War

CODE PINK and Popular Resistance protest at Armed Services hearing 9-16-14

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army General Martin Dempsey testified before the war-friendly Senate Armed Services Committee on September 16, 2014 about the extent of the US military’s role in fighting Islamic. The hearing was interrupted by peace protesters from CODE PINK and Popular Resistance. Non-Profit Quarerly began noting “The hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday morning began with repeated disruptions from antiwar protesters.” They went on to urge more action from the antiwar movement, writing: “History would suggest that it’s time for the antiwar movement to raise important issues about the U.S. plan to deal with ISIL. Maybe this war against ISIL is different; maybe this is an instance where U.S. military action is necessary to stop ISIL, which has now gathered a large military force and deployed it like a professional army. Maybe ISIL can’t be dealt with the way that the U.S. is addressing Al Qaeda affiliates in Yemen and Somalia. But it is nevertheless the role of the anti-war movement to engage in and elevate the quality of the debate when American civilian and military leaders contemplate military action overseas.”

State Forces School Board To Test Kindergarteners

Opponents to Kindergarten testing in Florida school board hearing

A Florida school board rescinded its vote Tuesday to opt out of standardized testing standardized, changing its mind about its unprecedented decision that captured the growing discontent among parents and teachers nationwide over the number of tests children are given. In a first for Florida and possibly the nation, Lee County voted last week not to administer tests tied to the Common Core academic standards or any end-of-course exams. The vote came after parents organized petitions, Facebook groups and meetings in favor of scaling back or getting rid of standardized testing. “People said, ‘Enough is enough,’” said Bob Schaeffer, education director for the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, which endorsed the opt-out vote. “The volume of standardized testing has exploded out of control.” But the decision was met with immediate backlash: Superintendent Nancy Graham warned the opt-out could hurt students and asked the board to change its vote.

Fury Of Ferguson Descends On St. Louis County

Ferguson at St. Louis County Council Meeting

The fury of Ferguson descended on the seat of St. Louis County with a vengeance Tuesday night with demonstrators unleashing a torrent of chants, invective and threats at a County Council that listened for two hours in stunned silence. Protesters demanded the arrest of Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot 18-year-old Michael Brown to death on a Ferguson street five weeks ago, the removal of County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch from the Brown case, the resignations of County Police Chief Jon Belmar and Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson and accountability from the elected county legislative arm. But the bulk of the ire was directed at Steve Stenger, the 6th District Democratic councilman facing Republican state Rep. Rick Stream in the November general election in the race for county executive. Several speakers demanded that Stenger call on his “BFF (Best Friend Forever)” St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch to resign by noon today. McCulloch was the councilman’s chief political ally in Stenger’s primary defeat of incumbent County Executive Charlie Dooley four days before Brown was shot to death.

Haitian Tourism Project Leads To Damage And Repression

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“Destination Île-à-Vache” is a government-driven tourist project planned for a small island off the northern coast of Haiti, Île-à-Vache. Plans include an international airport, golf courses,1,500 hotel bungalows, agri-tourism, and “tourist villages” which will include boutiques, restaurants and even a night club. Groundbreaking on the project occurred in August, 2013, without the inclusion or participation of the community. Once the construction on the road began in late 2013, the community began to peacefully protest and formed a local group in December, 2013 called KOPI (Collective for Île-à-Vache). In response, the government has coerced, repressed, and intimidated the population. A leader of the resistance movement has been a political prisoner – imprisoned without charge or trial – since February 24, 2014. The details of some of these acts are included in the declaration below.

Rising Tide Vermont Halts Gas Pipeline Construction


“Vermont Gas lied,” said Will Bennington, a spokesperson for Rising Tide Vermont. “They’ve lied about the climate and environmental impacts of the project, they’ve lied to landowners and broken promises, and now they’ve lied about the cost of this project. The Public Service Board, and ultimately GOvernor Shumlin, have no reason to believe Vermont Gas is acting in the public good.” In July, Vermont Gas announced a 40 percent increase in the cost of construction for Phase 1 of the fracked gas pipeline. The company hopes to pass this cost on to ratepayers, increasing the price of gas at a time when many Vermonters are already struggling to heat their homes. Demonstrators oppose the pipeline because it will lock Vermont communities into decades more of dirty fossil fuel use, at a time when a rapid transition away from fossil fuels and extreme energy use is needed.

Al-Azhar Students Sentenced To 5 Years

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The Nasr City Misdemeanor Court sentenced nine Azhar University students to five years in prison and a fine of EGP 50,000 on Sunday, state-owned Al-Ahram reported. The students were arrested in May during clashes with security forces in the Al-Azhar University dormitories. The defendants are charged with “inciting riots, crowding, resisting authorities, damaging public properties, and joining an armed group that aims to disrupt public peace and order”. The detainment of 49 Al-Azhar students in Abu Zaabal Prison began an open-ended hunger strike on 5 September to demand their freedom, according to the Al-Azhar Students Against the Coup (SAC) group. “More than a year has passed and we have been moving along the corridors of prisons, torturous police stations, and in the cells of prison,” the hunger-striking students said in a statement they released from the Abu Zaabal detentions.

First Nation’s Victory: Exemption For Gas Rescinded

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VANCOUVER – In January of this year, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers made a presentation to high-ranking officials in British Columbia’s Environment Ministry, outlining changes they wanted to environmental review rules for natural gas projects. Those changes became law on April 14, but they didn’t stay that way for long. An outcry from First Nations organizations forced an about-face from Environment Minister Mary Polak, who rescinded the revisions two days after they were passed by order-in-council. “Industry prefers shorter regulatory timelines and less regulatory burden to reduce costs,” said internal documents obtained by The Canadian Press through a Freedom of Information request.

Nobel Peace Prize Winners: Halt Legal Action Against Journalist

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n a statement addressed to Obama, the Nobel Peace Laureates — Mairead Corrigan Maguire of Northern Ireland and Jody Williams of the United States — said that they “urge a swift end to the U.S. government’s legal threat of imprisonment and harsh fines for New York Times reporter James Risen, who has covered issues of war and peace.” Maguire and Williams added: “Without confidential sources, journalism would be reduced largely to official stories and propaganda — a situation antithetical to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution that has served as a beacon of press freedom for more than two centuries, inspiring people all over the world.” The Nobel Peace Prize winners addressed what a front-page New York Times article this summer called “the most serious confrontation between the government and the press in recent history.”

‘Stop$30Billion’ Coalition Unveils New Digital Billboard

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It’s been a busy time for Palestine solidarity folks in Albuquerque. Five and half years ago after Israel’s 08-09 massacre in Gaza, the Coalition to Stop$30Billion to Israel, a grassroots group of ordinary citizens, launched a campaign erecting 10 billboards in their city that inspired campaigns in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Portland, Washington DC, Boston, Arizona, and Seattle, just to name just a few. They’re at it again. Last Monday September 8th the coalition put up their first digital billboard in response to the recent carnage in Gaza. The same day an Op-Ed, Judaism, nationalism or an insurance plan? by Iris Keltz, a founding member of Jewish Voice for Peace-ABQ, appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. Keltz’s op-ed made quite a splash by challenging what being pro-Israel really means.

Egypt: Hunger Strikes Against Mass Arbitrary Arrests

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156 people are now on hunger strike in Egypt, 82 inside Egyptian prisons and 74 outside, in solidarity with all those who have been arrested by the Egyptian military and police forces. Estimates say around 41,000 people have been arrested in Egypt since the ousting of Mohammed Morsi in July 2013. Human rights groups report at least 25,000 people have been arrested this year and many have died while in custody. Reports indicate that torture is still widely used on prisoners. While many in Egypt and abroad are elated with today’s news of the Shura Council detainees being released on bail, there are still way too many people locked up in deplorable conditions for ridiculous reasons in Egypt. It is difficult to keep track of who exactly is in Egyptian jail but here’s a list of some recent arrests.

Shadowy Tribunal Decides Mining Companies’ Power

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Does a corporation’s right to profit trump a country’s right to protect its land and water? That was the question today before the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), an obscure tribunal housed within the World Bank in Washington, DC. At a hearing closed to the press and the public, the gold mining company OceanaGold claimed the government of El Salvador owes them hundreds of millions of dollars for denying them a permit to excavate in an ecologically sensitive region. At a rally outside the World Bank Monday, Manuel Pérez-Rocha with the Institute for Policy Studies explained the situation to ThinkProgress: “The $301 million dollars they are demanding is related to the profit-not-made. It’s not that they invested $301 million. They are saying, ‘Well, if you don’t let me operate in your country the way I want, you must pay me for the profits that you prevented me from making.’”

Tribes Worried About Black Hills Uranium Mines

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In the wake of federal hearings about reopening uranium mines and milling in Black Hills treaty territory, members of the Washington, D.C.-based Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) must decide if Native American sacred sites would be adequately preserved under the hotly contested license for the proposal. The proponent, Powertech Uranium Corp., which is changing its name to Azarga Uranium Corp. and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff, argued at August hearings that a Programmatic Agreement for phased-in surveys of cultural resources is sufficient to justify granting the license to operate in the 10,500-acre Dewey-Burdock mining area of southwestern South Dakota. “The complete evaluation of the historic and cultural resources adequately satisfies NRC requirements,” Powertech Azarga Counsel Christopher Pugsley said, in arguing for dismissal of contentions.

Disability-Rights Group Marches To Capitol For Medicaid Program

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About 200 people marched Monday morning to the state Capitol to garner support of a program that would allow Arkansas to move about 2,900 people with developmental disabilities off a waiting list for home-based services. Members of ADAPT, a national grass-roots disability rights group, met around 9:30 a.m. along Broadway to begin their walk toward Gov. Mike Beebe’s office, where they asked him to consider the Community First Choice Option for the state. The option, established under the Affordable Care Act of 2010, provides a 6-percent increase in federal funding to state Medicaid programs for home- and community-based attendant services, according to It would also give Arkansans who qualify for institutional placement the choice of community support rather than institutionalization.

Rallies Against Comcast Merger & For Net Neutrality Today

NY net neutrality protest Sept 15, 2014

Today’s the final day to comment on FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s plan to create a two-tiered Internet — and at lunchtime I gathered with a crowd of 100 activists outside Comcast’s headquarters in Philadelphia. We were there for a Free Press rally to save the Internet … and we came to demand real Net Neutrality and oppose the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger. Joseph Torres of Free Press, Bryan Mercer and Hannah Sassaman of the Media Mobilizing Project, Vanessa Graber of Common Frequency and Chris Rabb of Temple University all gave brief speeches, and then people in the crowd spoke out. We livestreamed everyone’s testimonials to a digital billboard our friends at Fight for the Future stationed right in front of the FCC building in Washington, D.C. “So far,” said Torres, “Tom Wheeler has sided with the big broadband companies, demonstrating just how out of touch he is. He doesn’t seem to understand why millions of people have called on him to protect real Net Neutrality by treating Internet service providers as common carriers.”

Response To Tahltan Mining Protest In Sacred Headwaters

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A First Nations group protesting a copper and gold mining site in the heart of the Sacred Headwaters of northwest B.C. was responded to by RCMP officers with rifles on Friday afternoon, according to several eyewitness accounts. Members of the “Klabona Keepers” have occupied a drill site in Tahltan territory, near Iskut B.C. for several days. The drill is operated by Firesteel Resources of Vancouver. Tahltan band member Peter Jakesta helps run the protest camp, and said four RCMP members came in unannounced, took their radios, and told them to leave or risk being charged with theft.