The Wobblies say "Direct Action Gets the Goods". They've been saying it for almost a century now. But what is Direct Action?
Direct Action doesn't mean standing around chanting,
blockades or even fighting cops. The level of confrontation is not what
makes something direct action.
Direct Action means acting without intermediaries. If the goal is "Get
Ralph Nader into the debates", then you do just that... you walk in and
set him up with a podium and a microphone.
Writting letters to the corporate-democrat-republican controlled commission on presidental
debates isn't direct action.
Ofcourse, generally speaking, almost anything involving electoral
represenative politics isn't direct action. You are electing someone to
act for you, that is not acting for yourselves. It's pretty questionable
to call protests to get Nader into the debates Direct Action. It's
indirect, it's symbolic, it's an appeal to the powerful, and it's in the
context of disempowering electoral process. It is activism. It is
protest. It can contain civil disobedience. Direct Action It Is Not.
That why so many anarchists are for direct action, and for democratic
decision making processes, but opposed to our current electoral farce.
"What is Direct Action?", An Anarchist FAQ
"Anarchist Politics and Direct Action", by Rob Sparrow
"Direct Action" by Voltarine De Cleyre
"How to Fire Your Boss: A Worker's Guide to Direct Action", IWW
I've just been seeing the phrase abused alot recently.
Direct Action and Civil Disobedience are two different things.
Sometimes a direct action involves civil disobedience, sometimes it
doesn't. Sometimes civil disobedience is indirect action. And
violence/non-violence is a completely another matter entirely.
This all raises the question, how much Direct Action is in the Direct Action Network.