WHY WE NEED DIRECT ACTION

Direct action, or collective action to change our circumstances, is at the heart of all human advancement. We see instances of direct action in indigenous parables and stories, in the Bible, Torah and Koran. Every people’s movement and popular revolution in modern history has relied on direct action. Direct action is often practiced by people who have few resources, seeking to liberate themselves from an injustice. The Central California Region and Save Our Shores share a proud history of impactful direct action.

Watsonville High School students protest climate change inaction

Register Pajaronian—May 24, 2019 At 9:46 a.m. on May 24, a bell sounded at Watsonville High School and students flooded out of their classrooms. But instead of grabbing a snack or hanging out in the quad, many of them headed to line up on East Beach Street with protest signs in hand. These students had figured out how to practice civil disobedience without getting in trouble or harming their school’s attendance numbers that contribute to annual funding. READ MORE

UCSC students & students from local schools unite at March 15 Climate Rally

Santa Cruz Sentinel—March 16, 2019 On March 15, UCSC students marched into the city carrying signs, picking up students at Mission Hill Middle School and Santa Cruz High School on the way. Around 150 people including students from Pacific Collegiate School, Georgiana Bruce Kirby Preparatory School, Monarch Community Elementary School and Santa Cruz Children’s School met them at the Town Clock at 3 p.m. READ MORE

Santa Cruz Waves—February 6, 2018 Hundreds of people gathered at Lighthouse Point in Santa Cruz to join Save Our Shores in protesting the Trump Administration’s proposal to open California Coasts to new offshore oil drilling and leasing. They marched along West Cliff and assembled at Cowell’s beach in a formation to spell out “No Drilling” on the sandy shore. READ MORE

“As our community lets our voices be heard today—whether against local ICE raids, economic injustice or White Supremacy—we can take inspiration from the heroic struggle of the Watsonville Cannery strikers.”—Jon Silver, Migrant Media READ MORE

This clip from Jon Silver’s powerful documentary Watsonville on Strike shows women explaining why they felt compelled to strike to demand changes at the Watsonville Cannery in the mid-1980’s. 

Good Times—November 5, 2014 In June of 1982, Nikki Craft, Ann Simonton, and other members of the ‘Myth California’ campaign protested against what they saw as female objectification and commodification of the Miss California Pageant. Craft, Simonton, and others were arrested numerous times for their acts of civil disobedience. READ MORE

Six Steps for Nonviolent Direct Action

STEP 1: INFORMATION GATHERING
STEP 2: EDUCATE OTHERS
STEP 3: PERSONAL COMMITMENT
STEP 4: NEGOTIATIONS
STEP 5: DIRECT ACTION
STEP 6: RECONCILIATION

Waging Nonviolence—July 31, 2017 Organizers need movement-building approaches that don’t ignore what animated many of the supporters of both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump: a demand for major rather than incrementalist change. READ MORE

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