The Activists’ Handbook

A step-by-step guide to participatory democracy

The Activists’ Handbook is a powerful guide to grassroots activism. A priceless resource for everyone ready to make a difference, environmental activist Aidan Ricketts offers a step-by-step handbook for citizens eager to start or get involved in grass-roots movements and beyond.

Providing all essential practical tools, methods and strategies needed for a successful campaign and extensively discussing legal and ethical issues, this book empowers its readers to effectively promote their cause. Lots of ready-to-use documents and comprehensive information on digital activism and group strategy make this book an essential companion for any campaign. Including case studies from the US, UK, Canada and Australia, this is the ultimate guidebook to participatory democracy.

In this accessible text, Ricketts generously shares insights and wisdom he’s gained through twenty years of dedicated activism. His legal training and experience are the real strength to this manual. Too few community activists use the law to its potential and Aidan advocates creative and powerful legal strategies. ~ James Whelan, director, The Change Agency

The biggest problem in the world is not hunger, disease, conflict or corruption. It is apathy – the fact that we see all these problems around us and we do nothing. This handbook shows us that something can be done through organising and action, and shows us how to do it. Now it’s up to us. ~ Michael Norton, author, 365 Ways to Change the World.

Table of Contents


  1. Activism, advocacy and the practice of democracy
  2. Building successful social movements
  3. Strategy: The art of activism
  4. Planning and mapping your campaign: practical tools and processes
  5. Media, publicity and research
  6. Public sector activism: How to change the law and influence government policy
  7. Corporate Activism
  8. Direct action, protest and your rights
  9. Digital Activism
  10. Strategic Litigation
  11. Social change and conflict resolution
  12. Empowerment and personal sustainability: Staying active and avoiding burnout

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International buyers:
US & Canada – purchase via Amazon
UK & Europe – purchase via Zed Books