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

News


My Health Record – Opting out

Posted on July 19th, by Counteractive in Campaigns, Case study, News, Surveillance. No Comments

People in this country have demonstrated the level of trust they have in government by crashing websites and call systems with 20 000 people opting out of #MyHealthRecord in the first day and many thousands more since then. Numerous people have found out they have had records set up without their active consent and huge concerns about privacy have been raised.

We are providing a round up for you to enable an informed decision. As we support and train advocates and activists we have become more aware of the huge issue of digital privacy and how little the average person seems aware of, let alone the activist community. We want to help improve literacy in this area, and encourage more discussion regarding the extensive surveillance and data harvesting undertaken by government and corporates.

You can check out the huge compilation of concerns … 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 »



SOS! Planetary emergency

Posted on July 14th, by Counteractive in Events, News. No Comments

It was great to see Students of Sustainability back in full force in July 2017. Held in the politically active community of Newcastle that hosts the worlds largest coal port – the commitment to climate justice was evident as one of the strong themes that were touched on – along with just transitions, an ongong commitment to sovereignty and treaty as well as strong social justice themes.

We ran workshops on legal education for activists, live tweeting for actions and events, creative activism and a discussion on the recent win to save the Beeliar wetlands in WA that we supported. We are excited that we might be seeing new activist legals collective forming in Queensland.

It was brilliant to see experienced Newcastle activists supporting a new wave of younger student activists in a powerful, nonviolent day of action that saw 11 bank … Read More »



Lawyers network launched

Posted on June 16th, by Counteractive in Legal, News, Resources, Uncategorized. No Comments

 

Melbourne Activist Legal Support (MALS) launched our lawyers network with Amnesty International on the 30th May 2017. CounterAct supports and works with MALS and has found our work increasingly overlapping in recent years – as community legal centres get de-funded it is more often up to activists to self educate about the law.

We heard from several lawyers with combined decades of experience in supporting activists and progressive causes – Matt Wilson (MALS) Rob Stary, Meghan Fitzgerald and Danya Black.

Rob Stary is well known in Melbourne for providing pro bono representation for activists, but also for working with people who have little resource and need support – his work for the people who other lawyers won’t touch is written about more in this article.

He shared a strong perspective on the trends of policing that we have seen in the last decade – describing … Read More »



Damning police report launched – Beeliar protesters call for investigation

Posted on May 4th, by Counteractive in Events, Legal, News. No Comments

Beeliar Legal team launch damning report – call for investigation

A report is being launched today by the legal support team for the Beeliar protests that documents over twenty incidents of excessive use of force, unlawful use of pepper spray, injuries from horses,  tasers threatening minors, unlawful arrests, innocent people being strip searched and a culture of aggression and violence towards community activists.

In addition a community survey with more than 200 respondents, revealed a devastating loss of trust in the community, including significant and disturbing findings relating to more than 100 children and how they viewed police as a result of the protests – in addition to numerous violent incidents witnessed and experienced and a notably different approach taken to Aboriginal activists.

Beeliar Legal Support member Christine Duckham said, “Our team called for people in the community to come forward with their … Read More »