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Encyclopedia > Direct action

Direct action is a form of political activism which seeks immediate remedy for perceived ills, as opposed to indirect actions such as electing representatives who promise to provide remedy at some later date. Direct action can include such activities as strikes, workplace occupations, sabotage, sit-ins, squatting, revolutionary/guerrilla warfare, demonstrations, vandalism or graffiti, and terrorism. Direct actions are often (but not always) a form of civil disobedience and are thus sometimes illegal. For example vandalism is illegal, while demonstrations are not illegal (in most constitutional democracies). Less confrontational forms of this definition of direct action include establishing radical social centers, and performing street theatre. Urban guerrilla refers to someone who fights a government using unconventional warfare in an urban environment. ... The Squamish Five (sometimes referred to as the Vancouver Five) were a group of self-styled urban guerrillas active in Canada during the early 1980s. ... Kopassus ,abbreviation for Komando Pasukan Khusus(Special Commando Force or as Special Forces Command) is an Indonesian Army special forces group that conducts special operations missions for the Indonesian government, such as direct action, unconventional warfare, sabotage, counter-terrorism, and intelligence. ... Activism, in a general sense, can be described as intentional action to bring about social or political change. ... This article is about the political process. ... A legislator (or lawmaker) is a person who writes and passes laws, especially someone who is a member of a legislature. ... Workplace occupation is a form of direct action in which employees assume control of their place of work, ignoring the commands of their employers. ... For other uses, see Sabotage (disambiguation). ... A sit-in or sit-down is a form of direct action that involves one or more persons nonviolently occupying an area for protest, often to promote political, social, or economic change. ... For other uses, see squat. ... For other uses, see Revolution (disambiguation). ... “Guerrilla” redirects here. ... For other uses, see Demonstration. ... Vandalism is the conspicuous defacement or destruction of a structure, a symbol or anything else that goes against the will of the owner/governing body. ... For other uses, see Graffiti (disambiguation). ... Terrorist redirects here. ... For other uses, see Civil disobedience (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Law (disambiguation). ... Social Centres are community spaces. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Utilizing creativity and resources within their power, direct action participants aim to either:

  • obstruct another political agent or political organization from performing some practice to which the activists object; or,
  • solve problems major societal institutions (businesses, governments, powerful churches or establishment unions) are not addressing.

Some direct action participants engage in "indirect actions" (voting in elections, targeted boycotts) as part of larger campaigns. This article is about the political process. ... Look up Boycott in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Contents

History

Direct action tactics have been around for as long as conflicts have existed, but the theory of direct action developed primarily in the context of labor struggles. In his 1920 book, Direct Action, William Mellor placed direct action firmly in the struggle between worker and employer for control "over the economic life of society." Mellor defined direct action "as the use of some form of economic power for securing of ends desired by those who possess that power." Mellor considered direct action a tool of both owners and workers and for this reason he included within his definition lockouts and cartels, as well as strikes and sabotage. However, by this time the American anarchist and feminist Voltairine de Cleyre had already given a strong defense of direct action, linking it with struggles for civil rights: William Mellor (1888-1942) was a leftwing UK journalist. ... Much of the recent sociological debate on power revolves around the issue of the constraining and/or enabling nature of power. ... A lockout is a work stoppage in which an employer prevents employees from working. ... For the American pop-punk band, see Cartel (band). ... Voltairine de Cleyre (November 17, 1866–June 20, 1912) was, according to Emma Goldman, the most gifted and brilliant anarchist woman America ever produced; yet she is not widely known even among anarchists today. ...

"the Salvation Army was vigorously practising direct action in the maintenance of the freedom of its members to speak, assemble, and pray. Over and over they were arrested, fined, and imprisoned ... till they finally compelled their persecutors to let them alone." (de Cleyre, undated)

By the middle of the 20th century, the sphere of direct action had undoubtedly expanded, though the meaning of the term had perhaps contracted. Most campaigns for social change—notably those seeking suffrage, improved working conditions, civil rights, abortion rights, an end to gentrification,and environmental protection—employ at least some types of violent or nonviolent direct action. Shield of The Salvation Army The Salvation Army is a non-military evangelical Christian organisation. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... Civil rights or positive rights are those legal rights retained by citizens and protected by the government. ...


The anti-nuclear movement used direct action, particularly during the 1980s. Groups opposing the introduction of cruise missiles into the United Kingdom employed tactics such as breaking into and occupying United States air bases, and blocking roads to prevent the movement of military convoys and disrupt military projects. In the U.S., mass protests opposed nuclear energy, weapons, and military intervention throughout the decade, resulting in thousands of arrests. Many groups also set up semi-permanent "peace camps" outside air bases such as Molesworth and Greenham Common, and at the Nevada Test Site. U.S. and USSR/Russian nuclear weapons stockpiles, 1945-2006 Nuclear disarmament is the proposed dismantling of nuclear weapons, particularly those of the United States and the Soviet Union (later Russia) targeted on each other. ... The 1980s refers to the years from 1980 to 1989. ... A Taurus KEPD 350 cruise missile of the German Luftwaffe A cruise missile is a guided missile which carries an explosive payload and uses a lifting wing and a propulsion system, usually a jet engine, to allow sustained flight; it is essentially a flying bomb. ... First peace camps Peace camps are known from the 1920s. ... The Nevada Test Site is a United States Department of Energy reservation located in Nye County, Nevada, about 65 miles (105 km) northwest of the City of Las Vegas, near . ...


Anti-globalization activists made headlines around the world in 1999, when they forced the Seattle WTO Ministerial Conference of 1999 to end early with direct action tactics such as blocking traffic and destroying property. Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... On November 30, 1999, the World Trade Organization convened in Seattle, Washington, USA, for what was to be the launch of a new millennial round of trade negotiations. ...


One of the largest direct actions in recent years took place in San Francisco the day after the Iraq War began in 2003. Twenty-thousand people occupied the streets and over 2,000 people were arrested in affinity group actions throughout downtown San Francisco, home to military-related corporations such as Bechtel. (See March 20, 2003 anti-war protest). For other uses, see Iraq war (disambiguation). ... The anti-war affinity group Collateral Damage. All seven were convicted on December 4, 2002 of 2nd Degree Criminal Trespass for occupying the office of Senator Allard in protest of the war in Iraq An affinity group is a small group of activists (usually from 3-20) who work together... Bechtel Corporation (Bechtel Group) is the largest engineering company in the United States, ranking as the 9th-largest privately owned company in the U.S. With headquarters in San Francisco, Bechtel had 40,000 employees as of 2006 working on projects in nearly 50 countries with $20. ... On March 20, 2003, the day after the invasion of Iraq had begun, thousands of protests and demonstrations were held around the world in opposition to the war in Iraq. ...


Direct action has also been used on a smaller scale. Refugee Salim Rambo was saved from being flown from the UK back to the Democratic Republic of the Congo when one person stood up on his flight and refused to sit down. After a two hour delay the man was arrested, but the pilot refused to fly with Rambo on board. Salim Rambo was ultimately released from state custody and remains free today. Salim Rambo is a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo. ...


Nonviolent direct action

Nonviolent direct action is any form of direct action that does not rely on violent tactics. Mahatma Gandhi's teachings of Satyagraha (or truth force) have inspired many practitioners of nonviolent direct action (NVDA). In 1963, civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr. described the goal of NVDA in his Letter from Birmingham Jail: "Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored." Nonviolence (or non-violence), whether held as a moral philosophy or only employed as an action strategy, rejects the use of physical violence in efforts to attain social, economic or political change. ... “Gandhi” redirects here. ... Mohandas Karamchand “Mahatma” Gandhi, who developed Satyagraha Satyagraha (Sanskrit: सत्याग्रह satyāgraha) is a philosophy and practice of nonviolent resistance developed by Mohandas K. Gandhi. ... For other uses, see 1963 (disambiguation). ... Martin Luther King, Jr. ... Martin Luther King Jr The Letter from Birmingham Jail or Letter from Birmingham City Jail, commonly but incorrectly rendered Letter from a Birmingham Jail, was an open letter on April 16, 1963 written by Martin Luther King, Jr. ...


One major debate is whether destruction of property can be included within the realm of nonviolence. This debate can be illustrated by the response to groups like the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front, which use property destruction and sabotage as direct action tactics. Although these types of actions are often viewed as a form of violence, and even terrorism, supporters define violence as harm directed towards living things and not property. The Earth Liberation Front (ELF) is the collective name for anonymous and autonomous individuals or groups that, according to the now defunct Earth Liberation Front Press Office, use economic sabotage and guerrilla warfare to stop the exploitation and destruction of the natural environment. ... Beagles stolen by British ALF activists from a testing laboratory owned by the Boots Group. ... Terrorist redirects here. ...


In the U.S., the term has come to signify civil disobedience, and protest in general, particularly where the organizers are not concerned with preventing violence. In the 1980s, a California direct action protest group called Livermore Action Group called its newspaper Direct Action. The paper ran for 25 issues, and covered hundreds of nonviolent actions around the world. The book Direct Action: An Historical Novel took its name from this paper, and records dozens of actions in the San Francisco Bay Area. For other uses, see Civil disobedience (disambiguation). ...


"Direct Action" has also served as the moniker of at least two groups: the French Action Directe as well as the Canadian group more popularly known as the Squamish Five. Direct Action was also the name of the magazine of the Australian Wobblies. The UK's Solidarity Federation currently publishes a magazine called Direct Action. Action Directe was a French left-wing urban guerrilla or terror group which committed a series of assassinations and violent attacks in France in the 1980s. ... The Squamish Five (sometimes referred to as the Vancouver Five) were a group of self-styled urban guerrillas active in Canada during the early 1980s. ... The IWW Label A Wobbly membership card The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or the Wobblies) is an international union headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, having much in common with anarcho-syndicalist unions, but also many differences. ... Formed in 1994, the Solidarity Federation (SolFed) is a federation of class struggle anarchists active in Britain. ...


Direct action and anarchism

As a principle, direct action is central to autonomism and many strands of anarchist theory, including anarcho-syndicalism, anarcho-communism, insurrectionary anarchism, green anarchism and anarcho-pacifism. Raised fist, stenciled protest symbol of Autonome at the Ernst-Kirchweger-Haus in Vienna, Austria Autonomism refers to a set of left-wing political and social movements and theories close to the socialist movement. ... Anarchist redirects here. ... Anarcho-syndicalism is a branch of anarchism which focuses on the labour movement. ... Anarcho-Communism, or Libertarian Communism, is a political ideology related to Libertarian socialism. ... Insurrectionary anarchism is a revolutionary theory, practice and tendency within the anarchist movement which opposes formal anarchist organizations such as labor unions and federations that are based on a political programme and periodic congresses. ... Theory and practice Issues History Culture By region Lists Related Anarchism Portal Politics Portal ·        Green anarchism is a school of thought within anarchism which puts an emphasis on the environment. ... Anarcho-pacifism is a form of anarchism emphasizing the complete rejection of violence in any form for any purpose (esp. ...


United Kingdom

The Environmental direct action movement in the United Kingdom started in 1990 with the forming of the first UK Earth First! group. The movement rapidly grew from the 1992 Twyford Down protests, culminating in 1997. The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... For the psychology topic, see Environmental psychology. ... The symbol of Earth First!: a Monkey wrench and stone hammer Earth First! is a radical environmentalist organization[1] that emerged in the USA, in the great southwestern desert during the spring of 1980. ... Twyford Down lies to the South East of Winchester, Hampshire, England. ...


See also

Anarchist redirects here. ... Propaganda of the deed (or propaganda by the deed, from the French propagande par le fait) is a concept of anarchist origin, which appeared towards the end of the 19th century, that promoted terrorism against political enemies as a way of inspiring the masses and catalyzing revolution. ... For other uses, see Civil disobedience (disambiguation). ... Few words are as politically or emotionally chared States Army|US Army]][1] counted 109 definitions of terrorism that covered a total of 22 different definitional elements. ... Direct democracy, classically termed pure democracy,[1] comprises a form of democracy and theory of civics wherein sovereignty is lodged in the assembly of all citizens who choose to participate. ... Dual power is a concept first articulated in an article by Lenin, The Dual Power, (dvoevlastie) which described a situation in the wake of the February Revolution in which two powers, the workers councils (or Soviets, particularly the Petrograd Soviet) and the official state apparatus of the Provisional Government coexisted... A general strike is a strike action by an entire labour force in a city, region or country. ... Nonviolence (or non-violence), whether held as a moral philosophy or only employed as an action strategy, rejects the use of physical violence in efforts to attain social, economic or political change. ... For other uses, see Sabotage (disambiguation). ... Ecotage is the commission of usually illegal acts of sabotage motivated by environmentalism, including the prevention of ecocide. ... Monkeywrenching is economic warfare by sabotage, often by illegal means, used to slow down or halt an undesired government-sanctioned activity. ... A tax resister resists or refuses payment of a tax because of opposition to the institution collecting the tax, or to some of that institution’s policies. ... Tree sitting is a form of environmentalist civil disobedience in which a protester sits in a tree, usually on a small platform built for the purpose, to protect it from being cut down (speculating that loggers will not endanger human lives by cutting an occupied tree). ... A security culture is a set of customs shared by a community whose members may engage in illegal activities, the practice of which minimizes the risks of such activities. ... Citizen journalism, also known as participatory journalism, or people journalism is the act of citizens playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information, according to the seminal report We Media: How Audiences are Shaping the Future of News and Information, by Shayne... Temporary IMC in Edinburgh covering protests at the 2005 G8 summit The Independent Media Center (aka Indymedia or IMC) is a global network of participatory journalists that reports with a generally left-wing perspective on political and social issues. ...

Some groups which employ direct action

ADAPT is a grassroots disability rights organization with chapters in 30 states. ... Anarchists Against the Wall (AAW), sometimes called Anarchists Against the Fence or Jews Against Ghettos, is a loose-knit organization comprised of Israeli anarchists and anti-authoritarians who oppose the construction of the Israeli Gaza Strip barrier and Israeli West Bank barrier. ... Beagles stolen by British ALF activists from a testing laboratory owned by the Boots Group. ... ACT UP, or the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, is a diverse, non-partisan group of individuals . ... The Campus Antiwar Network (CAN) describes itself as an independent, democratic, grassroots network of students opposing the occupation of Iraq and military recruiters in our schools. ... This article is about the anti-war group. ... The cypherpunks (from cipher and punk) comprise an informal group of people interested in privacy and cryptography who originally communicated through the cypherpunks mailing list. ... The symbol of Earth First!: a Monkey wrench and stone hammer Earth First! is a radical environmentalist organization[1] that emerged in the USA, in the great southwestern desert during the spring of 1980. ... The Earth Liberation Front (ELF) is the collective name for anonymous and autonomous individuals or groups that, according to the now defunct Earth Liberation Front Press Office, use economic sabotage and guerrilla warfare to stop the exploitation and destruction of the natural environment. ... Logo Food Not Bombs is a loose-knit group of independent collectives, serving free vegan and vegetarian food to others. ... Greenpeace protest against Esso / Exxon Mobil. ... The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or the Wobblies) is an international union currently headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. At its peak in 1923 the organization claimed some 100,000 members in good standing, and could marshal the support of perhaps 300,000 workers. ... Brazils Landless Workers Movement, or in Portuguese Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST), is the largest social movement in Latin America with an estimated 1. ... A banner ad for MindFreedom International MindFreedom International is a coalition of over 100 grassroots groups and thousands of individual members in 14 nations committed to winning and protecting the human rights of people labeled with psychiatric disorders. ... Not Dead Yet is a United States disability rights group which opposes assisted suicide and euthanasia. ... It has been suggested that Operation Rescue West be merged into this article or section. ... Peta can refer to: Peta (prefix), a prefix meaning times 1015 in the International System of Units People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), an animal-rights organization People Eating Tasty Animals, a parody of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Peta, Greece, a town in the prefecture... Reclaim the Streets (RTS) is a collective with a shared ideal of community ownership of public spaces. ... SDS logo The Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was, historically, a student activist movement in the United States that was one of the main iconic representations of the countrys New Left. ... Trident Ploughshares is an internationally recognised anti-nuclear-weapons group, with the aim of beating swords into ploughshares, specifically by actively trying to disarm the UK Trident nuclear weapons system, in a non-violent, open, peaceful and fully accountable manner. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... War Resisters International or WRI is an international anti-war organization with members and affiliates in over thirty countries. ... Camping next to Drax power station, Selby, Aug 2006 The Camp for Climate Action is a campaign gathering will take place near Heathrow this year from 14th to 21st August 2007 The aim of the camp was to take action against the causes of climate change and to develop ways... The Sons of Liberty as depicted in British press The Sons of Liberty was a secret organization of American Patriots which originated in the Thirteen Colonies before the American Revolution. ...

References

  • de Cleyre, V. (undated) Direct Action. Available at Spunk Online Anarchist Library.
  • Hauser, Luke (2003) Direct Action: An Historical Novel. Available at www.directaction.org.
  • Lunori, G. (1999) Direct Action. Available at sniggle.net.
  • Sparrow, R. (undated) Anarchist Politics and Direct Action. Available at Spunk Online Anarchist Library.

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Direct Action of Jacksonville (368 words)
Direct Action is an airsoft team based out of Jax, Fl.
Although Direct Action is a new team, it is a descendant of ACES (advanced combat of engagement squad), a group of guys in the local area who were formed out of an interest in going beyond paintball into more military similation during the late 1990's.
In the beginning of 2003 the team had a sudden influx of new players expanding the small team to around 30 members, a decision was made to make some basic changes and try to move the team in a new direction.
Direct action - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (963 words)
Direct action is a form of political activism which seeks immediate remedy for perceived ills, as opposed to indirect actions such as electing representatives who promise to provide remedy at some later date.
Direct action can include such activities as strikes, boycotts, workplace occupations, sit-ins, intimidation, revolutionary/guerrilla warfare, or sabotage, and less oppositional methods such as establishing radical social centres, which are often squatted.
Direct actions are often (but not always) a form of civil disobedience, and are sometimes illegal.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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