Direct Action

Direct action occurs when a group of people take an action which is intended to reveal an existing problem, highlight an alternative, or demonstrate a possible solution to a social issue. This can include nonviolent and less often violent activities which target persons, groups, or property deemed offensive to the direct action participants. Examples of direct action can include strikes, workplace occupations, political violence, nonviolent resistance, sabotage, property destruction, blockades, etc. By contrast, electoral politics, diplomacy, negotiation, and arbitration are not usually described as direct action, as they are politically mediated. Non-violent actions are sometimes a form of civil disobedience, and may involve a degree of intentional law-breaking where persons place themselves in arrestable situations in order to make a political statement but other actions (such as strikes) may not violate criminal law. The aim is to either obstruct another political agent or political organization from performing some practice to which the activists object; or to solve perceived problems which traditional societal institutions (governments, powerful churches or establishment trade unions) are not addressing to the satisfaction of the direct action participants.

In general, direct action is often used by those seeking social change, and non violent direct action in particular has historically been a regular feature of the tactics employed by social change movements.

Read more about Direct ActionHistory, Nonviolent Direct Action, Violent Direct Action, United Kingdom

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Famous quotes containing the words action and/or direct:

    A servant with this clause
    Makes drudgery divine:
    Who sweeps a room as for Thy laws
    Makes that and th’ action fine.
    George Herbert (1593–1633)

    I, who travel most often for my pleasure, do not direct myself so badly. If it looks ugly on the right, I take the left; if I find myself unfit to ride my horse, I stop.... Have I left something unseen behind me? I go back; it is still on my road. I trace no fixed line, either straight or crooked.
    Michel de Montaigne (1533–1592)