Guide Direct Action

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The term "civil disobedience" originally meant deliberately breaking a law that you believe is unjust for example, black and white people sitting together at segregated lunch counters in the American south during the Civil Rights movement , but it is often used now to refer generally to actions that might result in arrest. Actions that involve breaking the law are obviously not a tactic that should be employed lightly or without sufficient preparation and training.

However, sometimes an injustice is too great to tolerate and a moment of opportunity presents itself to highlight that injustice through an action that involves breaking the law. For example, the head of your country's government is meeting with the President of China, and you happen to have access to the building right across the street from where they are meeting. You could get your message about Tibet to the two leaders, the public and the media by hanging a big banner with your message out of the window of that building.

You could be arrested for such an action.

It is up to you to ask yourself the question, "is what we will get out of this opportunity worth the risk? Again, please do not participate in actions that could result in your arrest without training, and without consulting a lawyer.

Direct Action Plan

If you are interested in such training opportunities, please contact SFT's international headquarters at info studentsforafreetibet. This means that political - not just logistical - work has been done long before the action takes place. This improves the chances that your action will be understood and be successful. This also means that you intend to follow up on your action. Intervention demands responsibility. Announcement or Alarm. You have learned of a situation that demands immediate attention from the public.

Your direct action is meant to shine a light on a hidden or more likely, covered-up danger or injustice that must not be kept secret.


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You have been campaigning on an issue, yet somehow the issue remains unclear to the public. You take action to clearly define the injustice, the parties responsible, and the solution. Direct action can be used to sustain interest in a campaign. It is a dramatic reminder that the problem has not gone away. Direct action can serve as a milepost - like doing an action on the anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day March 10 - or it may commemorate an outrage that should not be forgotten.

A frequent use of direct action is to raise the stakes in an ongoing struggle. If a group of people who have not previously used direct action turns to this tactic, this sends a message that the situation has become critical, or that direct action is the last remaining avenue of pressing for a solution.

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Direct action definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary

Sometimes when a group has suffered a setback and morale is low - or a group is tired from a long struggle - direct action can serve to raise the spirits and renew the struggle. There is no doubt that direct action is a powerful builder of morale and community, but a word of caution on this last one: all of us who have engaged in direct action know its transformative effects. It leads to new discoveries about oneself, changes and intensifies ones relationship with fellow activists and people with you in the struggle, and can profoundly alter one's notions of power.

It is intoxicating. But these personal-growth benefits are not the reasons for doing direct action.

Why Direct Action?

Your actions should make an objective change in the world - to literally change the course of history. The change you seek is the main goal of the action; empowerment, self-awareness and community are a bonus. Civil disobedience is the assertion of a right which law should give but which it denies Non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as cooperation with good All through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants… and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall, always.

There has been some debate over "hard" vs. Some people advocate "harder" action and criticize "soft" action as being "just symbolic. But this argument shows a misunderstanding: all direct action is symbolic by nature. When people say "hard" actions, they usually mean physical intervention or blocking. It is thought that hard actions cost the object of the action "a real price" and often end in arrests. Demonstrations and vigils also tend to wear the soft label.

You can argue that the difference remains in the risk entailed by the action, or is difficulty. This is, in the end, a red herring. We give them both access to psychological care and better education to prepare them for a bright adulthood. By the end of , we will increase the number of kids we take care of in Poland up to 2, Furthermore, we will build a village in India in the upcoming year. It will be home and school for over street kids that have nothing or nobody to live safely with.

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