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

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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 »



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 »



They want to stop us training

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

Today the report into the tax deductible status of environment groups was released, and has been thoroughly rejected as anti democratic by the environment movement. Whilst there are significant issues raised with a range of recommendations the government is clearly intending to stifle dissent with this:

The Committee recommends that administrative sanctions be introduced for environmental deductible gift recipients that encourage, support, promote, or endorse illegal or unlawful activity undertaken by employees, members, or volunteers of the organisation or by others without formal connections to the organisation.

We were one of the organisations to be specifically cited and one of the recommendations is clearly directed at limited our training work.

Payment of penalties or court-ordered fines in relation to the above should also be captured. Similarly, supporting (financially or otherwise), training in, or promoting the above should be captured.

“At a time when … Read More »



Something rotten in NSW

Posted on April 15th, by Counteractive in Legal, News, Resources. No Comments

There is something rotten in the state of NSW. The strength and speed of the changes to basic civil liberties has picked up pace again with yet more changes afoot as Premier Mike Baird rides roughshod over long held legal principles and basic human rights.

Clearly NSW legislators have learned from the experiences of other states as community campaigns have galvanized opposition to draconian laws. Victoria pushed back effectively on the summary offences “move on laws”, with the Andrews government repealing these laws as their first act of government. In Tasmania they were amended after vocal opposition and are currently being challenged in the High Court, and in WA they are still languishing on the list of legislation yet to be brought forward for debate.

But in NSW the recent Inclosed Lands, Crimes and Law Enforcement Legislation Amendment (Interference) Bill 2016 was … 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 »



Eight resolutions for the climate movement

Posted on January 1st, by Counteractive in Campaigns, News. 2 comments

OK, so firstly we should clarify – what even is the climate movement?

This is a tricky question in itself. There is what it is, and what some think it is, and what it could be.

Broadly, it could be concerned citizens who care about the impacts of climate change on the earth and its inhabitants, and are doing something about it.

For many, it has been siloed too long as a greenie concern, when it is (and needs to be) so much more than that.

It could, and should be a movement of movements.

That dialogue is finally moving and the fabric of different movements is being woven together.

The reason Flood the System resources resonated with many in the grassroots of climate activism in Australia was simply because it was actually talking about climate in the way it should be.

A symptom of a diseased … Read More »



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 »