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Reference Library

NMT Calendar

APRIL 2010
19-25 - Week of Solidarity with Latin America
22- CC lecture: Paul Watson

MAY 2010
1- International Workers Day
4- Day of Solidarity with the People of Nicaragua
15- Day of Solidarity with Palestine
22-29 Week of Solidarity with Africa

JUNE 2010
6- Anniversary of Israeli seizure of Gaza
20- International Day of Disarmament
25-26 G-20 summit, Huntsville, Ontario

JULY 2010
26- Day of World Solidarity with the Cuban Revolution

AUG 2010
3- Day of World Solidarity with the Struggle of the People of Guinea-Bissau and the Cape Verde Islands
6- Day of World Solidarity with the Struggle of the Japanese People
18- Day of Solidarity with the Afro-American People

SEPT 2010
12- Day of Solidarity with the People of Zimbabwe
21- UN International Day of Peace, sponsors PTP, UF & CPI
23- Day of Solidarity with the People of Puerto Rico
25- Day of Solidarity with the People of Mozambique
30-10/6 - Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Asia

OCT 2010
8- Day of the Heroic Guerrilla
10- Indigenous Peoples Day
12- Day of Solidarity with Laos
19- International Media Democracy Day

Interests


Solidarity:

Function

The Functions of Direct Action
As we discuss the uses of direct action, remember one thing: almost all successful actions occur within the context of an ongoing campaign. This means that political – not only logistical – work has been done before the action. This improves the chances that your action will be understood and successful. This also means you intend to follow up on your action. Intervention demands responsibility. Here are some typical functions of direct action within campaigns:

• ANNOUNCEMENT OR ALARM
You have learned of a situation that demands immediate attention from the public. Your direct action is meant to shine a light on a hidden (more likely, covered-up) danger that must not be kept secret.

• REINFORCEMENT
You have been campaigning on an issue, yet somehow the issue remains murky to the public. You take action to clearly define the evil or injustice, and the parties responsible.

• PUNCTUATION
Direct action can be used to sustain interest in a campaign. It is a dramatic reminder that the problem has not gone away. Direct action can serve as a milepost – the early anti- nuclear movement marked time by Seabrook occupations – or it may commemorate an outrage that should not be forgotten, such as the fifth anniversary of the Exxon Valdez spill, or ten years since Chernobyl.

• ESCALATION
A frequent use of direct action is to raise the stakes in an ongoing struggle. If a group of activists who have not previously used direct action turns to it, this sends a message that the situation has become critical and direct action is the last remaining avenue of protest.

• MORALE
Sometimes when a group has suffered a setback and morale is low – or a group is tired from a long struggle – direct action can serve to raise the spirits and renew the struggle.

There is no doubt that direct action is a powerful builder of morale and community, but a word of caution. Those of us who have engaged in direct action know its transforming effect. It leads to new discoveries about yourself, changes and intensifies your relationship with your fellow activists, and alters profoundly your notions of power. It is intoxicating. But these personal-growth benefits are not the reason for doing direct action. Your actions should strive to make an objective change in the world – to literally change the course of history. The change you seek is the main course of the action; empowerment, self-awareness and community are dessert.