“The case studies are a wonderful antidote to defeatism because as you read the examples – and recall your own successes – you know that you could do those actions, too.”

Murray Dobbin, rabble.ca

Tactics

Specific forms of creative action, such as a flash mob or an occupation.

Advanced leafleting

Contributed by and

To get important information into the right hands.


Artistic vigil

Contributed by

To mourn the death of a public hero; to link a natural disaster or public tragedy to a political message; to protest the launch of a war.


Banner hang

Contributed by

To boldly articulate a demand; to rebrand a target; to provide a message frame or larger-than-life caption for an action.


Blockade

Contributed by

To physically shut down something bad (a coal mine, the World Trade Organization), to protect something good (a forest, someone’s home), or to make a symbolic statement, such as encircling a target (the White House).


Cacerolazo

Contributed by

To express popular dissent; to overcome fear in repressive settings; to draw wide swaths of the population into active participation in civil disobedience.


Creative disruption

Contributed by

To expose and disrupt the public relations efforts of the armed and dangerous. Particularly useful at speeches, hearings, meetings, fundraisers and the like.


Creative petition delivery

Contributed by

To translate online outcry into offline action; to make mass public opposition unavoidably visible to a campaign target.


Debt strike

Contributed by and

To fight back against financial exploitation when many people are crushed by debt.


Détournement/Culture jamming

Contributed by

Altering the meaning of a target’s messaging or brand; packaging critical messages as highly contagious media viruses.


Direct action

Contributed by

To shut things down; to open things up; to pressure a target; to re-imagine what’s possible; to intervene in a system; to empower people; to defend something good; to shine a spotlight on something bad.


Distributed action

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To demonstrate the breadth, diversity and power of a movement; to swarm a large target in diverse locations.


Electoral guerrilla theater

Contributed by

Running for public office as a creative prank — not to win the election, but to get attention for a radical critique of policy or to sabotage the campaign of a particularly heinous candidate.


Eviction blockade

Contributed by

To organize a strong show of physical resistance to an unjust eviction; to force a moral confrontation with a system that operates amorally.


Flash mob

Contributed by and

To organize a show of dissent on short notice; to quickly replicate a successful tactic in a dispersed yet coordinated way; to create a shared moment of random kindness and senseless beauty.


Forum theater

Contributed by

Forum theater is a tool for exploring and rehearsing possible actions that people can take to transform their world. It’s often used both in preparation to taking action and in anti-oppression workshops.


General strike

Contributed by

To put effective pressure on a corporate or political target by shutting down business as usual; to overcome the challenges of organizing vulnerable workers in isolated sectors.


Guerrilla projection

Contributed by and

To broadcast a message; to frame an action; to rebrand a target; to entertain a crowd.


Hoax

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To create a momentary illusion that exposes injustice through satirical exaggeration, or that demonstrates how another reality is possible.


Human banner

Contributed by

To make a single, unified statement with thousands of people.


Identity correction

Contributed by

To embarrass your target; to correct the public record; to expose corporate malfeasance; to reframe an issue.


Image theater

Contributed by

To foster dialogue and develop action strategies; to create a compelling public image in a direct action.


Infiltration

Contributed by

To learn from, expose, or disrupt the meetings of the powerful.


Inflatables

Contributed by

To bring playfulness to a protest; to soften a tense standoff with police; to ridicule the authorities.


Invisible theater

Contributed by

To pose a moral dilemma in the midst of everyday life — this can be particularly useful on a topic that people might normally be “too polite” to bring up, such as poverty, racism or homophobia.


Legislative theater

Contributed by

Legislative theater takes Augusto Boal’s interactive forum theater exercises from the stage into the real world – as a tool for proposing and enacting legislative and policy changes at any level of government.


Light Brigade

Contributed by

To broadcast a message through collective action; to frame nighttime actions with a key message; to make creative use of overlooked public spaces.


Mass street action

Contributed by and

To pressure a corporate or government target with a mass of people in the street telling a unified story.


Media-jacking

Contributed by , and

To undermine your opposition’s narrative by hijacking their event; to draw attention to your side of the story; to capitalize on your target’s media presence; to reframe an issue; to be a jackass.


Nonviolent search and seizure

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Does the government or a polluting corporation have hidden documents or secret plans? Liberate them!


Occupation

Contributed by and

To hold public space; to pressure a target; to reclaim or squat property; to defend against “development”; to assert Indigenous sovereignty.


Prefigurative intervention

Contributed by

To give a glimpse of the Utopia we’re working for; to show how the world could be; to make such a world feel not just possible, but irresistible.


Public filibuster

Contributed by

Interrupting or shutting down a hearing or government vote.


Strategic nonviolence

Contributed by

To create a framework for broad-based direct action conducive to building large, inclusive, diverse and effective movements.


Trek

Contributed by

To link disparate locations that seek to have impact on a common issue; to model alternative community; to demonstrate commitment to a cause through endurance; to physically embody a pathway to an alternative.