CounterAct provides training, capacity building and resources to environmental and social justice campaigners across Australia.


Flood the System

Posted on December 11th, by Counteractive in Campaigns, News. 3 comments

As the Paris talks wind to a close, with the expected depressingly weak outcomes seeming likely, people across Australia stepped up in a massive day of coordinated nonviolent direct action, to show the government and corporations that where they fail to act, the people will lead.

The day kicked off with actions at Newcastle, Port Kembla and Brisbane. In Brisbane one man in a tree-sit tied off to a rail line disrupted coal transport for more than five hours.

And the action we supported in the centre of Melbourne’s wealthy business district brought Collins Street to a halt for nearly four hours – causing traffic gridlock, as two teams of activists chained themselves to “connect the dots” and blockade the front entrances of both BHP Billiton and Westpac Bank – two examples of our broken system.

Between these two sites, a web of … Read More »

The peoples parliament

Posted on December 4th, by Counteractive in Campaigns, News. No Comments

On Wednesday 2nd February the largest climate civil disobedience in Australia’s history occurred in Federal Parliament. People from all walks of life came together for a powerful gathering holding our elected leaders to account.

Led by traditional custodians, pacific islanders and communities impacted by living on the frontlines of climate change, over 250 gathered in Canberra for several days preparation, action, and learning. As we occupied Parliament House the staff got quite the surprise as hundreds of people commenced their own Peoples Parliament – hearing from those with most to lose (and most to learn from) from climate change.

The well organised event saw more than 200 people dragged from Parliament simply for speaking their mind in the foyer. No arrests were made.

You can check the Peoples Parliament website and still send messages of support, and read others here. Some of the … Read More »

Harvesting resistance

Posted on November 8th, by Counteractive in Campaigns, Events, News. No Comments

On the first weekend of November 2015 a significant event took place on a farm near the small town of Breeza, NSW. More than 500 people gathered for the Liverpool Plains Harvest Festival– travelling from as far away as Melbourne and Airlie Beach – to learn more, and build resistance to the proposed Shenhua coal mine.

The project has been highly controversial and the resistance diverse. The support for the local farmers and inspiring female leaders of the Liverpool Plains Youth crosses party political divides – the event was attended by Greens MPs, ex member Tony Windsor, and Jacque Lambe.

With the black soil of the Liverpool plains being among the most fertile in the country, a growing chorus of people from across Australia have raised urgent concerns with our food bowl being trashed for a foreign owned company to dig up … Read More »

Melbourne vs #Borderfarce

Posted on August 28th, by Counteractive in Campaigns, Events, News. No Comments

It seemed like a good idea at the time. To someone. Somewhere.


When the approval figures are down and there aren’t any 8-10 rated flag announcements then why not get a national security scare, and deploy “Border Force” to check visa’s (that everyone carries on them at all times) and possibly throw in a bit of casual racial profiling in… downtown Melbourne?

“The original announcement quoted ABF regional commander for Victoria and Tasmania Don Smith as saying officers would be positioned at various locations around the city and would speak “with any individual we cross paths with”. (ABC)

Except Melbourne was having none of it.

As social media recoiled, nauseated at the historic overtones of “checking your papers“, a range of groups and individuals scrambled quickly – the word went out to gather at 2pm at Flinders Street Station where a media conference was … Read More »

Civil disobedience in the public interest

Posted on July 27th, by Counteractive in Campaigns, Case study, News, Resources, Uncategorized. No Comments

It’s a challenging process to write a submission for a parliamentary inquiry that seems so likely have a forgone conclusion.

The committee that is examining the tax deductible status and regulations of environment groups telegraphed their desired outcomes long before receiving any evidence. Luckily for us, the mining companies were a bit slow on the uptake so they were allowed late submissions, and then we were – which is exciting – as we thought we’d missed the chance with a full plate, and only slightly less resources than the mining industry.

Over 99% of the more than 9000 submissions supported the environment movement, and the incredible history and gains that have been made for everyone in this country – through a range of protest, lobbying, advocacy, markets and divestment campaigning and yes, tree planting.

Apparently the last one is the only one that … Read More »

Defending the commons

Posted on July 20th, by Counteractive in Campaigns, Case study, Events, News. No Comments

This article was originally published here in New Matilda: Environmentalist and non-violent direct action trainer Nicola Paris hits back at a parliamentary inquiry threatening green groups’ tax exempt status.

More than thirty years ago people in Tasmania made history as nonviolent protest changed the nature of political debate on the environment in this country.

In recent years, politicians from both sides of the political divide have honoured that victory.

The Franklin River is enjoyed by people today, because of those hardy souls who made history decades ago.

This week in Hobart, key figures from that campaign, and other organisations protecting Tasmania’s iconic wild places, will appear before a hostile parliamentary inquiry seeking to strip environmental organisations of their public support.

The intent of the inquiry has always been clear – even before being telegraphed by outspoken right wing warrior MP, George Christensen.

It’s about removing funding … Read More »

It feels relentless

Posted on June 29th, by Counteractive in Campaigns, News. No Comments

When we were in Queensland last week on the road we heard word of an article that had been printed in the Sydney Morning Herald, presumably at the prompting of the mining industry. We were not contacted and given a right of reply, despite rhetoric and unfounded allegations being lifted directly from material provided by the “voice of the oil and gas industry”, the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association.

Then on friday we were contacted by the Daily Telegraph with a list of questions, also at the behest of the mining industry.

If you are interested in reading their submissions we have re-uploaded them here – Minerals Council Australia – Queensland resources council – Australian Petroleum Production & Energy Exploration Association

They are watching our social media channels, hunting us on linked in, trawling through reports on our website, and have their … Read More »

Pledging to protect country

Posted on June 22nd, by Counteractive in Campaigns, News. No Comments

Today we stood with more than 120 people from across the country, and all up and down the reef coast of Queensland, pledging to do what it takes to stand in the way of the expansion of the coal industry in the Galilee basin, and the proposed expansion of Abbott Point coal terminal.

After sharing workshops and experience on Birri land for several days we headed to the port for a peaceful action. Led by a delegation of traditional owners, we were welcomed onto Juru country and gave our pledges to defend country to Aunty Carol Prior. The delegation breached port private roads, and attempted to deliver the pledges to the facility but were turned back.

We stood with them today, and you can too. Check out our photos and sign the pledge:

UPDATE: And see the beautiful event for yourself in … Read More »

Raising the heat – raising the bar

Posted on May 21st, by Counteractive in Campaigns, Case study, Events, News. No Comments

What a day! Actions all over the country, including a massive action we supported and participated in at a key Melbourne Commonwealth Bank branch. More than 60 people gathered with 25 remaining all day (9 hours!) occupying and triggering a complete shut down of the bank, as well as a number of others around the country. It was part of a massive week of action that have coordinated, and this action was pulled off by Direct Action Melbourne, consisting of a large range of groups and individuals concerned about climate change, such as Quit Coal,, Frontline Action on Coal, CounterAct and others.

We were calling on Commbank to rule out funding in the controversial climate catastrophe in waiting – the proposed Abbott Point coal, port expansion, and the massive mines proposed, by Adani, for the Galilee Basin in Queensland.

Activists … Read More »

We are under attack

Posted on April 11th, by Counteractive in Campaigns, Events, News. No Comments

On the 730 report last night CounterAct and Friends of the Earth were singled out by the right wing warriors of the Liberal party.

With an enquiry being opened into the tax deductible status of environment groups, this is just another attack on the effective work of our grassroots organisations.

We have been informed George Christensen, all round charmer, and climate denier provided documentation to the 730 report, outlining his attacks on us, our work educating people about their rights and how to participate in nonviolent action… as well as various grudges against Friends of the Earth and their financial arrangements with affiliates like ours, and auspicing other grassroots groups – all of which is above the law.

Despite a comprehensive review in 2012, a subsequent enquiry in 2014 … in all of which FOE have been completely cleared of any wrong doing, … Read More »