We could have started off with a lawyer joke, but honestly we are so very lucky to have had the chance to deal with the best of them in our work supporting activists with legal information, referrals and “know your rights” briefings across the country. No joke lawyers – we need you!We unfortunately see repression continuing to grow – an unprecedented attack on nonviolent activists happened today with three people on minor charges being remanded for three weeks. It has been previously unheard of for people on civil disobedience charges to be jailed, or required to await sentencing on remand (in lock up or prison) in Australia – though unfortunately it is commonplace for minor crime for Aboriginal people.We recently met with a growing coalition of groups monitoring and challenging the raft of anti protest laws across the country – … Read More »
This is an edited transcript of a talk from Progress 2019 on 20th June on a panel convened to discuss Big Ideas for Human Rights – we were lucky to share the stage with The Human Rights Law Centre, and people discussing citizen led participatory democracy, donation reform and exciting new anti corruption work from Hannah Aulbey.As an organisation working to support civil resistance and nonviolent direct action, and grassroots activism we see whats happening on the ground, and it isn’t pretty. In fact the reason I didn’t get to cover this written speech in total whilst I was there, was that it felt important to include another story. I didn’t get to see Kumi Naidoo and his call for civil disobedience (oh hai we’d love some help! No NGO’s do this bar some small/highly skilled/technical Greenpeace actions – good … Read More »
We were thrilled to be invited to submit an essay to this brilliant collection – Rebalancing Rights – Communities, Corporations, and Nature.
What would change if we decided that the natural world we are part of had rights of its own – the right to exist, to habitat, to be free from pollution?
This collection began its life as an exploration of the concept of Rights of Nature. However, in early research and conversations it swiftly became clear that it would be worthwhile setting this concept into the broader context of the suppression of human rights and civil and political rights. As it was frequently pointed out, there is little point establishing a new set of rights if existing rights are not being honoured. Worse, given ongoing anti-environmental framing, it could … Read More »
What is happening on Djab Wurrung country, with the birthing trees and how do I help.
Firstly, to be clear, we are not a First nations run group. We are an organisation that works in solidarity to train, resource, mentor and support all people across the many Aboriginal nations on this continent – who are engaging in civil resistance – civil disobedience and non-violent direct action – to protect country, and culture, and stand for social and racial justice.
One of the ways we can do that is to gather up resources to make them easily available and amplify the voices of mob on the ground when they are busy with acts of resistance.
LATEST NEWS – As of 27/3/19 Main Roads have agreed to halt proceedings until the next Federal Court hearing regarding Aboriginal Heritage in mid April. People are still … Read More »
“she is cute and had a nice speech but it hasn’t changed anything,”
~ so said some cranky old activist muttering in the corner about Greta being a puppet whilst tens of thousands of young people around the country are prepping signs, writing speeches, bracing themselves for getting out of their comfort zone, organising logistics for rallies, talking political strategy.
The tide is turning and a bunch of people haven’t worked that out yet. They are adults. They can’t help being a little slow.
We say, Get on board or get out of the way. Find your closest strike here
When you have a mainstream TV program advertising your March you doing something right!
Young people have been at the forefront of social movements for decades…. The difference being – not this young, not this informed, and not this many.
You could feel an electricity in … Read More »
CounterAct has been supporting student activists since we established in 2013. We are thrilled to see the leadership emerging from young people as part of the worldwide #ClimateStrike protests.
Students and young people have played a critical role in social movements for decades, and training has been a part of that. From the civil rights movement (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) to the Vietnam War protests, to the people powered uprising led by Otpor youth, that defeated dictator Slobadan Milosevic in Yugoslavia, to protection of our environment and forests – young people have been at the forefront. And its hardly new. You can read more about a childrens strike in the early 1900’s here. … Read More »
One of our New Years Resolutions is to encourage the progressive and radical movements on the Australian continent to get better at digital privacy and security… essentially putting less of ourselves out into the interwebs for our opposition for free.
Government and private companies collect data on activists – this has been demonstrated many times over the years. Activists working against fossil fuels are an example of people that have been targeted – innocuous peaceful activities have been reported on by expensive contractors, we have been spied on, had groups infiltrated by police and corporate spies. In the UK, long term undercover policing resulted in women having long term relationships and even children with police spies. Whilst we are not aware of such extreme cases in Australia, it is not something to take lightly, but its also not something that should … Read More »
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 »
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 … Read More »
What an amazing two weeks as we watched the world Break Free from fossil fuels. Some would say it was poetry.
The last of the Break Free global actions has just rolled out and it has been called the single biggest act of coordinated resistance to fossil fuels in history. From the stunning display of Ende Gelande in Germany, to Ogoni resistance in Nigeria, Philippines and ten other countries, 30 000 people participated in 20 huge actions on six continents. The movement has set our terms.
In Australia on the 8th May nearly 2,000 people participated in the largest single act of civil disobedience in the history of Australia’s climate movement. Together people stopped any coal coming into, or going out of, the world’s largest coal ports at Newcastle.
Working with allies in 350.org, Front Line Action on Coal, traditional custodians, pacific islanders, … Read More »