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

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FIRES: Give to the grassroots

Posted on January 14th, by Counteractive in Uncategorized. No Comments

As the entire continent reels from what may be the worst fires in recent human history, and East Coast capital cities and regions gasp for clean air, we can see huge generosity and gorgeous acts of caring to bring a small piece of hope … a little blue sky amidst the grey.

Direct action is happening all over the place. You can read about Mutual Aid and Direct action to understand it more here – and we will update when we have the most recent Oz based groups. This is a great local example – volunteers sharing skills and resources to crowdsource temporary accommodation – what legends! There is also this new app to direct people to resources they may need in fire impacted regions.

In the coming weeks our team will be working out how to best support the emergent movement … Read More »



Vale Bill Ryan

Posted on December 24th, by Counteractive in Uncategorized. No Comments

We are at a bit of a loss. In time more words will come. Bill Ryan was a model for aging disgracefully. Using his age and his experience/s to challenge expectations and defy fossil fuels, he supported training for, and participating creatively in nonviolent resistance for climate justice. We were honoured to work with him. And floored, that his son Colin, another friend of CounterAct, has recommended donations to CounterAct in lieu of flowers or other gifts. We will take any donations gracefully, and we try for a thousand flowers blooming. Of resistance. And revolting young and old!

Bill has been honoured today in articles in SBS News and 7 news, another here and that is surely just the start. High profile members of Parliament, media and people across the continent are speaking out on one of our greatest activist elders.He … Read More »



Calling all lawyers

Posted on December 5th, by Counteractive in Uncategorized. No Comments

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 »



Keep loving, keep fighting

Posted on June 21st, by Counteractive in Uncategorized. No Comments

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 »



Suppression of the right to protest

Posted on April 29th, by Counteractive in Uncategorized. No Comments

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 »



The battle for Djab Wurrung country

Posted on March 26th, by Counteractive in Uncategorized. No Comments

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 »



15th March will make history

Posted on March 14th, by Counteractive in Uncategorized. 1 Comment

“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 »



Supporting the #ClimateStrike

Posted on February 19th, by Counteractive in Uncategorized. No Comments

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 »



New year, less you – tools for more secure activism

Posted on January 21st, by Counteractive in Uncategorized. 2 comments

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 »



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 »