Here’s a little something I wrote for the reader for the upcoming Radical Youth conference in Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland. Enjoy!
Direct action is any action which, if successful, achieves the desired result/s in and of itself, without appealing to a “higher power”. Direct action is based on the idea that we should all run our own lives, and that asking someone else to make a change for us, even if the change is made, is counter-productive as it only reinforces the idea that we cannot act for ourselves.
In activism, direct action can be anything from rescuing animals from places of abuse and murder to creating your own media through groups like Aotearoa Indymedia, from gluing shut locks on the doors of shops and offices to starting up an infoshop to provide access to radical literature.
But direct action isn’t only for activism – it is a way of life. Every time you sort out a problem yourself instead of asking your parents, your teachers, the government or the police to fix it for you, you make a statement that says “Fuck you, I don’t recognise your authority over me. I’m taking back my own life!”
Every time you grow your own food instead of paying for it at a supermarket, every time you go on strike with your workmates for better wages and conditions, you are helping the world move one step closer to a better society. So why wait? Make every action a direct one!
“Reclaim the Streets does not see direct action as a last resort, but a preferred way of doing things … a way for individuals to take control of their own lives and environments … If global civilisation does not manage to destroy the ecosphere and human civilisation … and a new culture of social and ecological justice is developed .. Reclaim the Streets would hope that direct action would not stop but continue to be a central part of a direct democratic system.”
- From Reclaim the Streets, an ecological movement in the UK in the 1990s