Nonviolent direct actions against coal: 2013

From SourceWatch
Jump to: navigation, search

Information on earlier actions as well as on the anti-coal movement in particular states or countries can be found at the following articles:

Background

Nonviolent direct action - a term which, in contemporary social movements, is usually used to refer to acts of civil disobedience, in which activists blockade or occupy public or private space - has become an increasingly common tactic of anti-coal climate activists since 2005. While Greenpeace has used direct action tactics since the 1970's, since 2004 other climate justice, Appalachian environmental justice and anti-mountaintop removal movements (such as Rising Tide, Rainforest Action Network, Earth First!, Mountain Justice Summer, and indigenous groups) have used direct action tactics in order to escalate pressure on coal mining and power companies, financial institutions which invest in coal companies, and government officials that support the coal industry. Anti-coal activists have staged dozens of such direct actions in the past few years, many of which have been highly successful at directing public attention toward the growing anti-coal movement.[1][2]

Definition and history of nonviolent direct action

The term "direct action" refers to political activities which attempt to bring about changes in the world in a direct and unmediated way. This concept of mediation is key to the distinction, drawn by many proponents of direct action, between direct and symbolic action: in a symbolic action, participants appeal to government officials or other power-holders to make changes on their behalf, while, in a direct action, participants directly make the changes that they want to see in the world.[3]

Several categories of political and economic activities can thus be understood as direct actions:

  1. Strikes or boycotts against economic authorities
  2. Blockades and occupations of physical spaces
  3. Destruction of property or resources
  4. Violent resistance against authorities
  5. Building alternatives to existing social/economic relationships

Descriptions of specific actions

May 15, 2013: #coalisstupid Blockades Coal Shipment to Brayton Point Coal Plant

Two climate activists docked a lobster boat called the "Henry David T." at the loading dock to block a coal barge called the "Energy Enterprise" from loading the coal. [4]


Resources

References

  1. Ted Nace, Stopping Coal in Its Tracks, Orion Magazine, January/February 2008.
  2. Mountain Justice SummerPrevious Actions, April 2008.
  3. What is Direct Action?. Infoshop website, accessed January 2008.
  4. The 'Henry David T.' Blocks a Coal Tanker at Brayton Point The Nation

Related SourceWatch articles

External links