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

Resources


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 »



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 »



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 »



a beautiful mind

Posted on March 4th, by Counteractive in Resources. No Comments

One of the things we all often try to do early in the year is get some better habits to de-clutter our minds and our workplaces, as well as our lives.

Something we often don’t give facebook credit for is the brilliant ability to informally crowd source information. Whilst Zuckerberg might be able to profit from the data harvesting he does on us all, he also gives us the ability to harvest our own friend’s brains… (that sounds creepier than intended), and when you have an activist friends network that spans continents, and are connected to some of the busiest and smartest progressive people in the country it becomes a remarkably useful tool.

So, after doing a call out for hot tips and reviewing my productivity and sanity levels going into 2016 this is the advice I got, which was so good, … 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 »



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 »



it is alive

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

Whew! After nearly 18 months since we first discussed it, we are so thrilled to say that our Legals Handbook is alive! And has been released into the wild. Much painstaking work in conjunction with Environmental Justice Australia and our fabulous interns, Jen and Orietta, many hours of edits, and fine tuning, and a lot of discussion, sourcing photos and graphics with our wonderful designer… and it is here. Thanks also to Victoria Law Foundation for covering most of the printing.

This was a deliberate collaboration where we hoped to strike a chord between accurate legal information, and a real sense of how interactions with police can sometimes play out – whilst giving a realistic perspective of the overstated, but often relatively minor consequences for participating in peaceful civil disobedience protest. It was designed to be approachable for new activists, trying … Read More »



Starting some good

Posted on May 1st, by Counteractive in Resources. No Comments

Lessons from an activist crowd funding campaign
This blog has been written as background to the #StartingGood live tweet chat we are participating in on the 1st May, 8am AEST.  Follow the hashtag for discussion. By Nicola Paris (Twitter: @peacenicsta or @CounterActOz)

What is one thing many activists are really bad at doing?
Asking for money. For ourselves. Sometimes it is easy to ask for other people, for projects we care about it. But essentially I was asking people to support me, with a relatively untested idea.

For me it was incredibly difficult, and of course to add to the challenges – I was in uncharted waters. How do you ask folks to donate money to a project that can be seen as training people to ‘break the law’?

Nonviolent direct action has a long and proud history, both in Australia and overseas, and systematic … Read More »



We won… six months on

Posted on October 24th, by Counteractive in Campaigns, Resources. No Comments

Well it has been a long time coming, but we have finally launched the updated version of the Camp Walmadan booklet, complete with the ‘WE WON’ wrap around copy, with reflections and stories from the successful campaign to stop Woodside’s proposed gas refinery on the Kimberley coast.

A huge shout out to our lovely and patient designer friend Lilia who did such a fab job and everyone who shared their stories… as well as those that didn’t have a chance.

Celebration is important, and we wanted to make the resource available for everyone to share, but add in some positive stories – as we all know, wins like this don’t come around every day.

It is timely as ‘Heritage Fight‘ – the remarkable documentary of the Goolarabooloo people and Broome community is currently showing on NITV, and Part One is available for a … Read More »