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News ::
Direct Action and Nader?
05 Oct 2000
What exactly is direct action?

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.

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you didn't read your own link
05 Oct 2000
Direct action most certainly is protests and marching and civil disobediance. The Anarchist FAQ directly states that. People act on their own power and with no intermediary when they choose to involve themselves in protests, when they organize protests and boycotts (both given as examples of direct action by the FAQ) and when they march.

Just what do you propose direct action is? Throwing rocks at the police? That's pretty direct, and it's sure active. But what the fuck does it accomplish? Nothing- unless the message you're trying to convey is that you're a violent simpleton.

I guess you're upset that things aren't moving "fast enough", that change isn't coming on your terms (ie: immediately). I think you'd agree that society has to turn itself around in terms of its attitudes towards commerce, workers' rights, the environment, and many many other things. That is going to take a mighty long time. Your (unstated and unexplained) "real" direct action will not bring that about any more swiftly.

You didn't read Flint's message
05 Oct 2000
You didn't read Flint's message. Nowhere does it state that marches, civil disobedience, etc can not be direct action. In fact, it states the opposite. What it does say is that civil disobedience to get Nader into a fundamentally flawed and "representative" (i.e. you give someone else the power) is not direct action. While an argument could be made that support for Nader will widen the political floor, and therefore could be considered a form of (pretty abstract) direct action (although I'm certainly not going to make that argument), Flint's point of the tossing around of the phrase "direct action" is pretty amply demonstrated by your comments, which ignore the difference between direct action and all forms of civil disobedience, a difference that had been pretty clearly delineated above.
It's Either Accelerating or DeCelerating
06 Oct 2000
The Initial Posting has a valid point:
With several thousand people showing up in (mildly active) resistance on O3, the results either Accelerate, Static or DeCelerate the Movement; Cconsequences multiply exponentially and for all those who are disappointed with no Direct RESULTS, they drop off as "burn-outs". COINTELPRO traitors know this and rely on it.
Let's not forget the Direct SUCCESS of shutting that WTO fucker down in Seattle provided the great catalyst that for many of us, changed our lives into activists and launched the Movement.
So, if we want to be what we want to create, accept multi-objectives AND strategies just as you accept Multi-cultures and we REALLY WILL tear down Corporate-Government's betrayal of the public and their Exploiting/Repressing machine.
06 Oct 2000
Whatever, Arguing about definitions is just an exercise in futility. I consider the activist pallet to contain a spectrum of tactics, from writing a letter or talking to someone on the street to blockcading to monkey wrenching. It's silly to be dissing one tactic or another or constantly thinking we've got to create another Seattle. That's like trying to create another 'Woodstock". If you're a marshall artist for instance, you adapt your stratedgy to the situation.Being in the here and now means a tactic that worked before may or may not be appropriate. Making any kind of blanket statement is just a distraction. In Solidarity