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

Case study


Get your creative on

Posted on June 2nd, by Counteractive in Case study, Resources. No Comments

We just did a workshop with our friends at Action skills, and gathered up some great case studies and examples for creative activism – from stunts, hoaxes, and political satire to graffiti, guerrilla projections and fooling Nazi’s – we are on a mission to get more grassroots activists thinking outside the box.

First off – follow us on facebook as we regularly post great examples, and also check out our youtube playlist – quite a great collection of our favourite videos are there.

This is one of our all time favourite stunts – a small town played a great trick on Nazi’s that come to town every year to preach hate.
Learn from the best… the Yes Men,  and Reverend Billy
Know your history – with Buga Up
Did you know that civil disobedience has a patron saint/animal – it is Brenda the civil disobedience penguin… … Read More »



Battle for Beeliar

Posted on March 11th, by Counteractive in Campaigns, Case study, Legal, News. No Comments

Today the people in Western Australia will make a judgement whether they want Barnett and his Liberal government to continue. All signs point to no, but people are waiting hearts in mouths -will the result bring what country needs?

The last three months have seen a pitched battle at the Beeliar wetlands, in the south of Perth, near Fremantle… as the Liberal government have gone full force into bulldozing the urban bushland, and wetlands for a contentious road project that is expected to blow the states budget out more than $8 billion. As with the East West link before, and in tandem with the West Connex protests in Sydney, it is the community that has stepped up to say no to another unwanted road project. To delay work, to monitor the fauna management, to do everything in their power to stand … Read More »



Check In… but don’t check out – On Standing Rock

Posted on November 1st, by Counteractive in Campaigns, Case study, News. No Comments

Standing, not clicking with Standing Rock

At the high point yesterday facebook told us that ONE MILLION people were talking about Standing Rock and #NoDAPL … the campaign to stop a gas pipeline and destruction of indigenous homelands.

That is very exciting. Imagine if just 10% of those people took a second, small, but meaningful action? Can you help us support people in Australia to do this? Read on.

First off – there are mixed views on whether the “check in” process is doing much to fulfill its stated purpose – to confuse authorities… You would likely have seen a version of this message:

The Morton County Sherriff’s Department has been using Facebook check-ins to find out who is at Standing Rock in order to target them in attempts to disrupt the prayer camps. So Water Protecters are calling on EVERYONE to check-in at … Read More »



A vision for climate civil resistance

Posted on October 12th, by Counteractive in Campaigns, Case study, Resources. 2 comments

There are many conversations happening in the climate movement at the moment – with increasingly dire news – and likely breaching 2 degrees of warming or more by 2050, and the Paris agreement supposedly coming into effect – we are seeing no signals from government they are taking this seriously – instead we have the Labor Party in Queensland invoking special powers, and favours to haste the Adani coal mega mines. Ongoing conversations have been given new momentum by the thinking outlined in “This is an Uprising“ which has generated lively debate and meetings around the country.

One of the challenges we have is a lack of imagination of what the future might look like. It is hard to think through what a healthy future and a powerful resistance movement might look like to get us there when we are constrained … Read More »



6 things that won the #VicGasBan

Posted on August 30th, by Counteractive in Case study, Events, News. 2 comments

Today it was finally announced by the Andrews Labor government that a permanent ban on unconventional gas is to be legislated in Victoria.

It is a huge and significant announcement that will hopefully set an exciting precedent across the country. It was an amazing grassroots campaign that led to this victory. We were only involved in a small part of this campaign, and want to ensure that the big congratulations is sent to the Quit Coal collective and their Coal and Gasfield Free campaign with Friends of the Earth Australia, who worked collaboratively with Lock the Gate to pull off this extraordinary win, on the smell of an oily rag.

Our involvement was during the phase of the campaign when it seemed like drilling for gas by Lakes Oil was imminent. We had the pleasure of heading out to the regions for a series of workshops … Read More »



Getting in the way – to #LetThemStay

Posted on February 12th, by Counteractive in Campaigns, Case study, Events, News, Resources. No Comments

Our round up of resources, groups and training to get involved in, pathways to action and suggestions for affinity group organising to get in the way, to ‪#‎LetThemStay‬ 

It is an incredible time right now with significant movement momentum gathering around the call to #LetThemStay in relation to the 267 refugees at risk of being deported to Nauru and Manus Island after a recent high court case was unsuccessful in challenging offshore detention.

The response across Australia has been phenomenal – from all sectors of civil society, calling on a need for a moral response, rather than a legal one. Civil disobedience and non-cooperation has hit the mainstream with churches offering sanctuary, and other institutions such as trade hall, and individuals joining that offer as well. Teachers and healthcare workers have been speaking out in recent months, refusing to discharge children who … Read More »



Fierce, radical love

Posted on November 22nd, by Counteractive in Case study, Events, News. No Comments

This week I have been thinking about radical love.

A friend asked me this week – what did the word radicalised mean to me? She asked me this before 129 people were killed in Paris. Before 43 people were killed in Beirut. I was mindful even before then about the baggage that comes with this term, but it’s something I think is vital to our experiences as activists. Because we need more people to be radicalised in the right way.

We are radicalised when we start to have a sense of our own power.

Both when we see things we love taken from us, and when we realise we can fight for them and win.

In the last few years I have been focusing on training activists. Amongst many other skills, to take nonviolent direct action. I believe deeply in the power of people … Read More »



To change everything we need everyone

Posted on August 1st, by Counteractive in Case study, Events, Resources. No Comments

As Naomi Klein has brought up with her significant book – “This Changes Everything” we are in the midst of a climate crisis that is fueled by capitalism.

And so, with such urgent problems facing us, we need to work better than ever, across issues, in new coalitions.

She exhorts us – to change everything we need everyone.

So, at our Melbourne Campaigners Network meet at the end of June we decided to ask – Who is everyone?

We wanted to discuss who is currently close to us, in our networks, who have we got good relationships with, and who is missing… where do we need to build the bridges to the groups that we know of, doing good work, but we aren’t closely connected to.

So on a June afternoon in a chaotic session with a few small people running around, we started to … 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 »