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

News


The reluctant radical

Posted on October 12th, by Counteractive in Events, News. No Comments

We take off our hat to relucant radicals world wide. There are so many people we have had the pleasure of working with, who, prior to doing what they do…. had never quite thought they would be that person – leading a march, occupying an MP’s office, travelling 100’s of kilometres to stand in front of a coal mine.

But they do. And we get to work with them. And its a pleasure and an honour. We’re speaking at an event this evening – the Australian premiere of the Reluctant Radical, hosted by the wonderful Environmental Film Festival – a story about an average guy taking extraordinary action to get in the way of climate change and the fossil fuel industry.

It follows Ken Ward’s challenges and the emotional resilience required to stand in the way of such a massive industry. And … Read More »



Walking for country in WA

Posted on September 28th, by Eloise M in Campaigns, Events, News. No Comments

This year we spent a month walking in solidarity with traditional owners on Wangkatja country on the Walkatjurra Walkabout – Walking for Country. The Walkabout is a one month walk from Wiluna to Leonora, roughly 1000km north east of Fremantle/Walyalup.

The walk is in partnership with the Local Community, FootPrints for Peace Western Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (WANFA), the Anti Nuclear Alliance of Western Australia (ANAWA) and the Conservation Council of Western Australia. It is part of a 40 year campaign, led by staunch Aboriginal leaders, and supported by allies, that has kept WA uranium free for decades and safeguarded many sacred sites.

“While this walk is a valuable personal experience, it is also an action that plays an important role in the broader environmental and Aboriginal sovereignty movements. It is a partnership to share knowledge, culture and environmental awareness in a … Read More »



Non-Indigenous allies MIA at Stolenwealth games

Posted on July 28th, by Counteractive in Case study, News, Resources. No Comments

We were disappointed to see the lack of allies supporting the brave Aboriginal resistance at the Stolenwealth (Commonwealth) games earlier this year.

Beth Muldoon writes about being there, and ideas on being an effective ally. You can also check our overview for allies, and resources page if you interested in learning more.

As my tired body crumpled into a hard, plastic seat at the Coolangatta airport, my friend Nish said, “You know, I think that’s the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.”

“Yeah, by a long shot,” I replied. “I’ve been thinking that all week.”

After a lingering pause, we speculated on why only a small number of non-Indigenous people, ourselves included, joined the protest camp set up by a broad coalition of Indigenous activists opposing the Commonwealth Games.

An open invitation had been sent out months earlier via the Warriors of the … Read More »



My Health Record – Opting out

Posted on July 19th, by Counteractive in Campaigns, Case study, News, Surveillance. 10 comments

UPDATE, 28th September 2018

A huge amount has happened since we posted this overview two months ago. The government has come under significant pressure, with many calling for the program to be scrapped completely. They have embarked on a desperate advertising campaign, and had major level concerns raised by all levels of government, numerous doctors, NGO’s and privacy advocates. (including this thorough overview by a doctor casting doubt on whether basic compliance would even be possible for the average clinic) Of particular concern is section 70 of the My Health Records Act, which empowers the Australian Digital Health Agency to disclose patients’ health information to police, courts and the Australian Taxation Office without a warrant, if they did not opt out. It has also been confirmed that data will be made available to private corporations. The government have made some minor … Read More »



20 years in jail

Posted on June 13th, by Counteractive in Legal, News. No Comments

This isn’t just a dramatic headline. We wish it was. No, in actual fact it is referring to penalties that citizens could be faced with for nonviolent actions of peaceful protest, under new proposed changes to the Espionage Act which could declare a range of peaceful activities as sabotage.

URGENT (update) – TAKE ACTION, these bills were passed in the Lower House Tuesday 26th with bi-partisan support, and are being debated in the Senate Wed-Thurs.

United Nations Rappoteur on Human Rights has been scathing in a previous visit about our human rights record, and had this to say about the proposed legislation: “We are gravely concerned that the Bill would impose draconian criminal penalties on expression and access to information that is central to public debate and accountability in a democratic society.”

For those following this debate at a distance there was a … Read More »



Art and protest – If a tree falls

Posted on May 14th, by Counteractive in Campaigns, News, Resources. No Comments

Eloise joined our team this year, and writes about her experience as an invited artist, to Tarkine in Motion

This year I attended Tarkine in Motion, ran by the Bob Brown Foundation, who are campaigning for 450 000 hectares of forest and coast to be declared a National Park and World Heritage Area. The event, now in it’s fourth year, sees artists venture into the north west corner of Tasmania, to document, experience, and be inspired by the beautiful wilderness that is the Takayna/Tarkine.

At the Arthur River camp the first thing I can hear is the distant roar of the ocean. It’s the end of the day and sunset isn’t far off, but I really want to go down to the waves. Slipping away before anyone can follow me, I crawl through the knotted scrub near the camp, climb over … Read More »



Family friendly organising

Posted on April 20th, by Counteractive in News, Resources, Uncategorized. No Comments

Building a bigger, better movement – Barriers to participation

The climate movement has a problem. If you were to put a stereotype on it, its white, middle class, university educated, and inner city. That was an easy fit a decade ago. Now, less so, but we still have a long way to go. The other issue is that it is hard to define what the climate movement is. If you included everyone who cared about the climate it would be much bigger, but the language used has often been exclusive also. Whilst there have been big leaps in recent years, and leadership shown by young aboriginal people, and pacific islanders, the collective “We” still needs to improve on both how we work, and how we communicate.

We ran a series of trainings for grassroots climate activists in the last six months, and … Read More »



To facebook or not – 7 tips for risk management

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

The news from Cambridge Analytica has many people up in arms #DeleteFacebook has been a source of debate and discussion. But here is the thing – the horse has bolted. Although people impacted by Cambridge Analytica are slowly being informed (there are only 50 or so in Australia apparently, more info here and specifics about how to find out here), there is heaps of other information you have likely shared.

Your information is already out there, and pressure on facebook to change its practices is critical. So we don’t get another 14 years of Zuckerberg saying Sorry Not Sorry.

We believe, as many others do, that it is a vital organising and networking tool, and is particularly helpful for people in remote locations, those living with a disability or anxiety, chronic pain, or anything that keeps folks housebound… and for people to … Read More »



Climate Justice Legals Network – LAUNCH

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

Exciting times! We have been doing this work informally for many years – providing activists with information and legal resources for being involved in safe, peaceful protest.

From brand new activists unsure of how to organise rallies and marches, to farmers who were considering peaceful resistance for the first time, we’ve tried to ensure that anyone participating in environmental and climate justice campaigns has the information for safe, and effective actions.

And there is a greater need than ever before with numerous state governments prioritising business instead of communities in laws that infringe on freedom of assembly, freedom of speech and other activities part of every day advocacy and change making.

SO – we decided it was well overdue to formalise this work – and open up a pathway for legal professionals  to support campaigns for environmental and climate justice. Join us, to … Read More »



Being an ally on Jan 26 and beyond

Posted on January 25th, by Counteractive in Campaigns, News, Resources. No Comments

First off. Listen.

That is what we are doing. And we aren’t writing this to centre our own experiences – we are writing it because we take the time to try and follow and listen to a range of aboriginal voices, and we might have access to information that you haven’t come across. We want to take away from emotional labour of aboriginal people by supporting other allies with a collation of useful information.

So that is the first step. Its not about us, its not about you, it’s about mob. (Photos from Naarm – Melbourne rally here)

And guess what – they have got different views. Like white people, or people descended from Sudan, or Vietnam, or people all named Becky.

Please don’t be like Friendlyjordies and attribute all aboriginal voices to one or two people. (Or maybe don’t be like Friendly jordies … Read More »