- Watch out for early signs of fascism
- The politics of ‘extreme energy’- the bigger picture
- Democracy vs corporate survival
- TIme for Metgasco to admit defeat and back down
- Invasive Gasfields: The people vs Metgasco (Round 2)
- Invasive Gasfields: Its one minute to midnight but communities can win
- The Good Fight Against Coal Seam Gas
- The great gas invasion is doomed to fail as communities unite and fight
- People power vs csg: the year in review
- Lismore meeting a barometer of betrayal
- Gas industry shoots the messenger
- Conflict inevitable as gas mining forced
- Nationals the biggest losers
- NSW govt puppets of gas industry
- The power of locking your gate
- …more commentary
- NVDA Training 16 Nov 2013 Benley Public Hall, NSW
- Stokers Siding Direct Action Workshop
- Activist Workshop at Parliament House, Sydney
- Aidan Ricketts is guest speaker at theAdelaide Activist Workshop 2013 Adelaide Activist Skillshare Workshop
- Wordford Folk Festival workshop
- Bangalow training nv direct action
- …more workshops
- News & Events
- Activist Resources
DEMOCRACY is about more than just elections and political parties vying for power. For democracy to work there are some other fundamental pre-conditions:
- Rights of protest, participation and association;
- Transparent government;
- Personal rights of privacy;
- A free and independent media;
- Respect for the rule of law.
Fascism is a creeping form of totalitarianism where democracy is sacrificed and government serves the interests of the powerful few (these days mostly large corporations). It may sound alarmist, but let’s ask ourselves what are the warning signs of the slide into totalitarianism, and is it possible to unknowingly elect tyranny?
The politics of ‘extreme energy’- the bigger picture
Our local battle against invasive industrial gasfields is part of a mining pandemic that has communities across the state, nationally and globally fighting for their survival. In the UK, the phenomena is called the politics of ‘extreme energy’, which describes how fossil fuel industries have been driven into desperate overreach as the end of fossil economy approaches. Whether driven by scarcity (as in the case of oil) or by the need to simply replace coal with renewables, there is a desperation in the sector that is driving a pandemic of invasive mining.
In NSW we see it in the form of a desperate bid to mine and export as much coal as possible before the carbon bubble bursts, as well as the extreme haste with which gas mining is being progressed without environmental safeguards.
The death of a thousand cuts: using multiple tactics to overwhelm your opponents
(An excerpt from of The Activists Handbook pp 67-68 available online at http://aidanricketts.com)
The idea that you may have to defeat your opponent by a death of a thousand cuts is a recurring theme in activism. You should use your strategic planning stage to get a really broad ranging grasp of all of the tactics that may be available to use in your campaign. You can still select the ones you think are most useful or appropriate and concentrate on these, but there’s no harm in having a few extra tactics up your sleeve. Particularly when dealing with governmental or corporate institutional players.
Environment protesters turn to corporate law – ABC Radio Law Report
The corporate law watchdog looks set to to throw the book at environmental protester Jonathan Moylan.
In January Moylan released a hoax press release which saw the share price of mining company Whitehaven Coal temporarily tumble.
How are environmental groups such as anti-coal seam gas activists turning the tables and using company law against energy corporations?
Damien Carrick: Hello, welcome to the Law Report, I am Damien Carrick. Welcome to the first of our new programs for 2013.
Today, environmental activists and the Corporations Law. Right now the people of northern New South Wales and south and central Queensland are battling floods, and we’re seeing people in these communities come together and work incredibly hard to help those hardest hit.
Investment Risk: An Amplification Tool for Social Movement Campaigns Globally and Locally
Article by Aidan Ricketts published in the Journal of Economic and Social Policy, Vol 15, Iss 3, 2013.
The global social movement that has arisen in response to the threat of carbon-induced climate change is a very complex and amorphous movement that operates simultaneously at a global as well as at an intensely local level. Whilst acknowledging the global complexity and significance of the social movements that have coalesced around the issue of climate change, the purpose of this paper will be to examine emerging corporate campaigning models that have been employed in global campaigns and to examine ways in which these techniques can be effectively deployed in local grass roots campaigns. The specific context of this study is the movement opposed to coal seam gas exploration and mining in Australia, concentrating on a specific case study of the community opposition that has so far effectively delayed the operations of coal seam gas companies in the Northern Rivers region of NSW
The industry’s own risk analysis provides some useful insights into the impact of these grass roots movements. A 2012 report prepared for the unconventional gas industries by ‘Control Risks’, an industry risk consultancy group, observes:
As shown by local bans in the US and Canada, national moratoriums in France and Bulgaria, and tighter regulation in Australia and the UK, the global anti-fracking movement has mounted an effective campaign against the extraction of unconventional gas through hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’). Meanwhile, the oil and gas industry has largely failed to appreciate social and political risks, and has repeatedly been caught off guard by the sophistication, speed and influence of anti-fracking activists. (Wood, 2012, p.1)
Significantly, the Control Risks report identifies locally based campaigns as a major threat to the industry noting that:
(T)he anti-fracking movement has achieved its greatest successes in banning hydraulic fracturing at the local level. (Wood, 2012, p.5)
… … …
A key dynamic that the global risk report may have failed to detect is the sophisticated way in which the efforts of localised social movements are beginning to be amplified by an emerging tactic of engaging the investment community and specifically the way in which direct action and investment risk strategies can be deployed in a mutually reinforcing way (Carrick, 2013).
Emerging corporate campaigning approaches
Corporate campaigning is not new for environmental social movements, it has been a growing phenomenon in various forms for at least the last 30 years (King and Soule, 2007), but what is changing is its reach and focus. As a technique it has matured from retail-based strategies such as public awareness campaigns and consumer boycotts (King, 2008), through to more sophisticated ethical investment campaigns (Vasi and King, 2012).
Melbourne Writers’ Festival 2013
Once Australia grew rich on the sheep’s back, now rocks and minerals carry the economy. It’s no secret that mining has a major impact on the Australian economy. On the flipside, industry expansion and its impacts on the environment are equally contentious. Political journalist David McKnight and activist Aidan Ricketts join Adele Ferguson to look beneath the surface and ask: is Australia digging itself into a hole?
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Stay calm, feel empowered
- Report from the National Toxics Network – April, 2013
- The death of a thousand cuts: using multiple tactics to overwhelm your opponents
- The ‘How To Guide’ for declaring your community gasfield free
- Organising for community resistance to CSG
- Direct Action and the CSG-Free Community Strategy: an activist training resource
- Planning and Mapping your Campaign – a guide for local action groups
In the Media
- Magistrate throws out vexatious police case against CSG protesters
- Stay calm, feel empowered
- Outrage over school PR ‘by stealth’- The Northern Star
- Aidan Ricketts at the Melbourne Writers Festival
- Environment protesters turn to corporate law – ABC Radio Law Report
- If the law is an ass are we obliged to obey it? – Northern Rivers Echo