Direct Action Protest, Australia

Direct action has been used in Australia by groups involved in social movements such as the labor, indigenous, peace, and environmental movements. Such actions are usually undertaken by small, often autonomous groups wanting to make strong statements about social practices they regard as morally wrong. Sometimes, these actions are illegal and so constitute civil disobedience. The messages they are attempting to communicate are directed at ordinary people, urging them to join or, at least adopt, the same moral positions, rather than to governments or other representative institutions to change their policies.

Strikes, sabotage, and go-slows tended to characterize direct action in the Australian labor movement up to World War II. Radical labor organizations like the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or “Wobblies”) used such ...

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