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

Events


Humanity awaken – there is no time

Posted on December 7th, by Counteractive in Events, News. No Comments

“It is it worth it. we can not stop the struggle, we can not stop looking for a dignified life for all”

Gustav Castro Soto from Mexico spoke of watching his comrade Berta Caceres being gunned down and dying in his arms. She had a $50 000 price on her head.

120 environmentalists have been murdered since 2010, with a 95% impunity rate in Honduras. Across the globe 185 environmental activists were killed in 2015.

The room was in tears hearing of the loss of a beloved colleague. This was one of the stories of resilience we were privileged to hear as part of the Friends of the Earth International Bi-Annual General meeting in Bandar Lampung last week.

We got a phone call ten days ago whilst presenting at a conference interstate – Can we go to Sumatra, Indonesia to facilitate the school of … 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 »



Census and Sensibility

Posted on August 3rd, by Counteractive in Events, News, Resources. 1 Comment

It’s a bit of a concern when one of the earliest vocal advocates for privacy around the Census is “Australia’s most beloved cartoonist” First Dog on the Moon.

Whilst we have a lot of love for Brenda the civil disobedience penguin, it has been eerily quiet over the last couple of months regarding the Census with just a few people raising concerns and describing it as “without doubt, the most significant invasion of privacy ever perpetrated on Australians by the ABS,” says ex ABS statistician Bill McLennan. EDIT 5/8: and another quality effort by First Dog about the “Census Cage fight” here.

Thankfully, in the last week or two there has been some belated activity online, with the #CensusFail hashtag generating a lot of discussion and debate, but still not much in the way of an organised campaign of resistance or high profile … Read More »



Unfuck the Planet

Posted on July 24th, by Counteractive in Campaigns, Events, News. No Comments

How do we unfuck the planet?

Well, it’s not entirely an easy question to answer but we went to Splendour in the Grass and tried to have a crack at it along with some of the best activist brains in the country.

Splendour in the Grass turns 16 this year, and the Splendour Forum has become a key part of it over the last seven years with the growing institution of the Splendour Q&A (which Barnaby Joyce woosed out of this year), lots of comedy and nerdy learning.

They have a great tradition of bringing progressive and contentious ideas, and injecting a bit of politics and activism into a festival scene otherwise filled with dancing, drinking and too much plastic.

Our unfucking conversation was wide ranging – hosted by Dr Lindsay McDougall – prolific tweeter, musician and all round champ.

We heard about the biggest … Read More »



the fossil free resistance

Posted on July 23rd, by Counteractive in Events, News. No Comments

We are out of time

A right wing government and unpredictable Senate with power held by racist and climate denying extremists has just been confirmed for Australia.

We are in the last few years of what was called the “critical decade” for our climate.

The minerals council has welcomed the “trifecta” of government cabinet appointments with open arms and have been positively giddy online, practically flirting with Senator Canavan, and falling over themselves to welcome the combined portfolio of energy and environment.

APPEA Chief Executive Dr Malcolm Roberts said: “The Holy Grail of policy is integrated environment and energy policies, which can deliver lower emissions and affordable energy security.

“Combining environment and energy into a single portfolio is a bold move that should be supported by everyone seeking sound long-term policy.  Environmental policy is often energy policy and vice versa. (continued in media release)

My friends, … Read More »



Lets get creative

Posted on April 28th, by Counteractive in Events. No Comments

We are excited to announce our new workshop, ARTS AND HEART in campaigning – a residential at gorgeous Common Ground in Seymour for the first weekend of Winter.

As we have been plotting and preparing for this workshop it was great to see the success of the long running campaign, Liberate Tate – a superb example of combining art and activism together for maximum impact.

Dear Australia – Let’s shake it up!

Tired of the same old chants, boring marches, die-ins and tactics that haven’t evolved since the 1970’s?

Want to think big, think creative and grab people’s attention?

Inspired by creative culture jamming, groups like the Yes Men, the fabulous colour and props of international climate marches and use of art and theatre across the world – we thought it was high time the environment movement got some more creative juices flowing here, as … 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 »



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.

Apparently?

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 »