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!

Activists Bust Up Aquifer Exemption Workshop

Fracking protest in LA March 2015

We were twenty minutes into one of the most boring PowerPoint presentations I have ever seen. While we looked at “shaded areas of cross-sections of multiple productive zones of oil fields,” the regulator was droning on and on. You’d think I’d be nodding off. But no, my heart was beating and my palms were sweating. I was about to do one of the boldest actions I have done since becoming an activist three and a half years ago. Professionally dressed in a sedate gray dress and heels, I was seconds away from disrupting something called an “aquifer exemption workshop” led by DOOGR — the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Regulation –the very state agency that recently had been exposed for illegally allowing oil companies to inject toxic fracking wastewater into 2500 wells near California aquifers. Arriving at the hotel two hours before the workshop was to begin, I was pleasantly surprised to see how well we activists had “cleaned up” dressed in our best professional business attire. It was decided that Susan, a local Long Beach resident, would be the first to interrupt by asking the innocent question: “What is this workshop all about?” And then the disarming zinger: “Is it to teach them how to continue to poison our water?” A few minutes later I would chime in. Right after that, Alicia would pull out two bottles of “frack water,” bring them to the regulators and ask them if they would drink it. Then Antonietta would shout out. “This must stop.” We would all stand up and echo her. . . .

SOA Watch Spring Action: Growing Stronger Together

SOA Watch protest at Ft. Benning, GA 2014

School of the Americas Watch is mobilizing this April for our Spring Days of Action (SDOA). Our 2015 SDOA theme is “Growing Stronger Together – Resisting the ‘Drug War’ Across the Americas”. Will you help us take the message to Washington, DC? Join us for actions in the streets and halls of Congress to hasten the end of the Drug War and its accompanying destruction. Part of social change is grassroots power, and we’ll be having a welcome party, congressional visits, critical mass bike ride, concert, movement strategy session, and more!

Women Walk For Peace In Korea

Korea women walk for peace image

In May 2015, in just under two months, 30 women from around the world will walk for peace in Korea. We are hoping to meet with North Korean women and learn about their hopes and aspirations for a reunited Korea free from war. We are also hoping to meet with South Korean women and learn about their hopes and aspirations for a reunited Korea free from war. As if that weren’t challenging enough, we hope to cross the De-Militarized Zone (DMZ) that divides them and millions of families. You can visit our website to learn more about who is walking and why we’re walking to reunite families and end the Korean War. As you can imagine, it is quite the epic journey that requires traveling through Beijing, obtaining visas, coordinating travel from a dozen different countries, and everything else that comes with such a major overseas trip. Most of our delegation of dedicated women peacemakers are paying their own way, but the reality is that it is a costly event. But the impact could be “game changing” as The Nation journalist, Tim Shorrock, tweeted last week.

Oregonians Are ‘Mad as Hell’ About Trade Deals

Sen. Ron Wyden speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill. (AP / Harry Hamburg)

According to people I’ve talked to on the ground in Oregon, that may be something close to what many residents there are feeling right now. But instead of shouting out the window, Oregonians are petitioning and phoning their senator, Ron Wyden, to ask him to oppose granting so-called fast track authority to President Obama. Granting that authority would allow the president to speed two dangerous international trade pacts through Congress, and Wyden, the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Finance, is a critically important figure whose support will be necessary for the passage of the agreements—known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP.

[VIDEO] The Occupation Of The Mission Police Station

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On the anniversary of unarmed San Francisco resident Alex Nieto being shot 59 times, community members block the driveway at the Mission Police Station. Residents and supporters also detained a “tech bus” from Yahoo that was trespassing in the neighborhood. Protesters shut down the entire block of Valencia St. between 17th and 18th Streets for four hours and fifteen minutes: “415,” which is the police code for a “disturbance, and is also San Francisco’s area code. Community members gave speeches and spoken world performances accompanied by the Liberation Brass Orchestra and Bloco Loco. The four officers were tried in absentia by a Peoples Tribunal. After being found guilty, the Nieto’s smboloically ripped the officers badges to shreds and trampled them in the street.

University Protests Around The World: Fighting Commercialisation

‘Graduate students should be guaranteed a minimum amount of funding that sits above the poverty line.’ Photograph: Lennart Maschmeyer

Students at University of the Arts, London, took over their university’s reception area last Thursday to protest against proposed cuts to some of its course programmes. This makes UAL one of the latest institutions around the world to be hit by occupations and strikes by staff and students. The causes of such protests vary: some are concerned about working conditions facing graduate students, others point to a lack of transparency about how universities are run. A key issue is the commercialisation of higher education, which many feel has led university leaders to prioritise financial goals over the needs of staff and students. We speak to academics and students in Canada, the Netherlands and the UK to find out why they’re taking a stand.

Protests At Cooper Union On Tuition, NY Atty Gnrl Investigating

Cooper Union's $111M academic building in Cooper Square (Flickr user Structures NYC)

The Wall Street Journal reports that Attorney General Eric Schneiderman will probe the financial decisions made by the school that led to its reported insolvency, including a $175 million loan to build new facilities, potentially inaccurate numbers on the school’s website, a bonus awarded to the president preceding the current administration, and the handling of the the land underneath the Chrysler Building, which belongs to the school and reportedly netted it $7 million annually. The AG’s office will also investigate the school’s decision to charge tuition. The school is currently in the midst of a lawsuit levied by a group of professors, alumni and students who claim the Board of Trustees could have avoided charging tuition—$20K per semester, starting with this school year’s freshman class—if it weren’t for a number of poor financial decisions.

Pennsylvania Groups Demand Voice In Oil & Gas Decisions

Oil pumps and drilling equipment in an oil field in Kern County, where the majority of California's oil and gas production is centered. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Residents living in the shale fields and public interest groups are outraged at the latest comments from the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association (PIOGA). Last week, Kevin Moody from PIOGA stated at public hearings with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that public interest considerations “have no place” on oil and gas oversight bodies. In response to PIOGA, residents in the shale fields and public interest groups are renewing their calls for full public participation in the changing oil and gas regulations. “They finally said it out loud,” said Joseph Otis Minott, Esq., Executive Director of the Clean Air Council. “This confirms that the industry wants to be regulated only by itself.

Detroit Water Shutoff Crisis: Water Brigade Grows

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Last September, as Detroit residents were still in the midst of 80-degree summer weather, the city’s water department went to court. Its issue was the 27,000-some customers who were getting Detroit water but weren’t paying their bills. As of March 2014, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) was missing about $175 million in water payments, almost $100,000 of that from residential customers who had lost their jobs or couldn’t afford the hefty water bill last summer. Residents were already paying an average of $64 per month water access. With an 8.7 percent increase in June, many unemployed residents and individuals on Social Security Income checks couldn’t afford water for cooking, washing and basic needs.

Group Organizing To Disarm And Displace NYPD

Jose LaSalle of Copwatch Patrol Unit speaks at a Disarm NYPD event on March 21. (WNV/Ashoka Jegroo)

A newly-formed group of activists are teaming up with Copwatch, an anti-police brutality group that records video of police conduct in their communities, to create “no-cop zones,” and maybe even disarm the police, through the use of direct action. “Disarm NYPD” is a new collective seeking to immediately stop the New York Police Department from killing anyone ever again. The group seeks to monitor and pressure police, with the help of local communities and Copwatch groups, until they retreat from over-policed neighborhoods and then maintain these cop-free zones with alternative, community-based forms of conflict resolution. Along with that, the group also seeks the total disarmament of the police.

Feds Delay Port Ambrose Decision In Face Of Public Opposition

Anthony Rogers-Wright of Environmental Action speaks against the proposed Port Ambrose liquified natural gas port at a Jan. 7 public hearing in Jamaica, Queens. Photo: Erik McGregor

Due to massive public opposition, questions regarding fiscal responsibility, air quality conformity issues, and pipeline depth deficiencies, the US Coast Guard and the Maritime Administration (MARAD), in a letter has asked that the “clock be stopped”, thus stalling the process on the Port Ambrose liquefied natural gas facility application. Public response included over 60,000 comments in opposition including detailed comments prepared by Clean Ocean Action on behalf of 53 broad-based organizations from New York and New Jersey representing environmental, fishing, faith, green-energy, and businesses groups. Notably, as of today, not a single elected official in NJ or NY stood publicly in favor of the project.

[VIDEO] Roads Blockaded To Highlight Missing & Murdered Women

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“There is no democracy and we the people have an obligation to demand justice for all. The current status quo in so called Canada serves only the elite few while the majority of Canadians are financial slaves to the system. Politicians do not represent the people, nor have they ever. Indigenous communities know this all too well and have been actively resisting subjugation since contact with the first colonizers who illegally imposed their jurisdiction through covert biological warfare and the ongoing genocide implemented with the residential school system.” Despite the blockade happening far east in the city nearly out of city limits on a bitter cold and windy day, it had a profound effect on the city. It hit all of the news stations, was all over the radio and there were calls coming in from people asking what was happening on Portage. There weren’t huge numbers, but it had its own impact.

Ferguson Police Settle Lawsuit Over Use Of Tear Gas

A protester runs tear gas exploding around him on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. Photo By David Carson, dcarson@post-dispatch.com

Three police agencies have agreed as part of a federal lawsuit settlement with Ferguson protesters to restrict use of tear gas and other chemical agents on crowds. U.S. District Judge Carol Jackson, who issued a temporary restraining order on police after a hearing here Dec. 11, was expected to dismiss the lawsuit Thursday while keeping supervision of compliance through Jan. 1, 2018. The restraining order had told police to provide “reasonable” warning before using gas on a crowd. Lawyers for St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar and Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ronald S. Johnson signed off on settlement terms. Police agreed not to use gas to frighten or punish people lawfully exercising their constitutional rights.

OSP Hunger Strike Enters Second Week

These cages are similar to the ones OSP used to  give level 5B prisoners access to programming. OSP claims they do not provide enough security.

Two recent policy changes at OSP are the main issues, though prisoners have many other specific greivances. The biggest issue, effecting the most prisoners is the withdrawal of congregate recreation. All but the cadre and long timer prisoners at OSP are no longer allowed to go out on the range together for their one hour a day recreation out of their cells. This policy change reduces human contact between prisoners, isolating and dehumanizing them further, and denying them opportunities to demonstrate that they are not security threats, a key component of the security step-down process they need to go through to get out of solitary confinement. It also creates a logistical problem, if only one prisoner at a time is allowed to rec, there is not enough time in a week for each of the over 450 prisoners to get their legally required five hours of rec time per week.

Campaign To Stop Glyphosate, Protect Food

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Toxic herbicide GLYPHOSATE, an active ingredient in Roundup, has been found in the breast milk of nursing mothers and in urine collected from people living far from the sites where Roundup is applied to crops. This means that it is IN OUR FOOD supply, on food crops, in processed foods of all kinds, including pediatric and feeding supplements for the most vulnerable children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems. Monsanto tells us that Glyphosate does not accumulate in our bodies, but the research being conducted does not back up their statements. Only organically grown, Non GMO (genetically modified) food and food products are free from glyphosate and other toxic herbicides. How dangerous is GLYPHOSATE?