In light of recent threats of ASIO and the Federal police spying on environmental campaigners, a new book by author, university lecturer and activism trainer Aidan Ricketts is likely to cause further “interest.” The Activists Handbook: A Step By Step Guide to Participatory Democracy is being launched tomorrow night, Thursday, May 3, 2012.

Author Aidan Ricketts says he is not deterred by threats of ASIO involvement because “The right to peaceful protest is the cornerstone of a true democracy and we should not be afraid to promote it.”

The Activists Handbook has been released internationally, including in the UK, USA and the Pacific, and will be a valuable resource for the burgeoning movement against coal seam gas (CSG) mining in Australia. Aidan Ricketts sees an escalation in the fight against CSG mining that he says is “igniting resistance in both urban and rural communities. This will inevitably involve large scale, non-violent direct action as a major component of the campaign.”

Aidan has been busy in recent months presenting activism training to rural communities in NSW. At 6:00pm tomorrow night Aidan will share his experiences and launch The Activists Handbook at The Wilderness Society’s office at Level 2 – 288 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. The information evening and book launch is being jointly promoted by the Melbourne offices of The Wilderness Society and Friends of the Earth.

Cam Walker, the Campaigns Coordinator at Friends of the Earth said, “Aidan’s visit is timely because of the growing community campaign against CSG. In recent weeks, more than 50 community groups, one state MP and two local councils have opposed the development of CSG proposals. There is a growing movement opposing this industry and Aidan’s experience of working with communities in NSW will bring valuable information and insights to the Victorian campaign.”

Pia Perversi-Burchall, Community Campaigner from the Wilderness Society Victoria, said, “The movement to protect our environment relies on committed activists who speak up against the multiple threats it is facing  today.   We  look forward to welcoming Aidan to Melbourne and having the opportunity to hear about his work.”

The Activists Handbook is a culmination of a lifetime of passion and dedication to social change and reflects Aidan’s extensive experience working with a wide range of activists and campaign groups.

Aidan Ricketts said, “We are witnessing a change in the type of people involved in protest, and also a significant change in tactics. Formerly conservative rural and farming communities are declaring themselves CSG-free and are vowing to use direct action tactics to enforce zero tolerance zones against all CSG activity. This approach is spreading quickly in NSW and there’s every reason to expect it will take off in Victoria.”

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