Why Direct Action?


November 19, 2008 :: Mike Hudema
Moderated by Jenn Prosser

Direct action is a form of resistance that aims to derail offensive practices to create more favorable ones using immediately available means. Such actions include boycotts, strikes, sit-ins, letter-writing campaigns, protests and sabotage. Direct action sometimes involves civil disobedience.

The uprising against the World Trade Organization in Seattle, Washington, in November 1999 was the most visible and dramatic protest in the United States since the Vietnam War. It catapulted the concept of direct action and resistance into the North American mainstream psyche, although direct actions and their participants have been around since societies were developed. The historically innovative tactics of environmentalists, abolitionists, suffragettes, and nuclear-freeze advocates have resulted in a present-day thriving culture of creative forms of resistance.

Mike Hudema, climate and energy campaigner with Greenpeace, Canada will discuss the role of direct action in bringing about social change. He will take us through decades of experience working in Alberta and make the case that direct action is often necessary for progressive change.

Mike Hudema has been a longtime dedicated and creative activist in Edmonton, Alberta. He has participated in countless direct actions, the most high-profile of which have included actions in the streets of Quebec City for the FTAA protests, sleeping on the steps of the Alberta legislature to protest rising tuition rates, and occupying Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan’s office to defeat Canada’s anti-terrorism legislation. Hudema gained his bachelor of education, majoring in drama, and most recently his law degree, specializing in labour and environmental law. He co-hosts CJSR’s alternative news program Rise Up: Radio Free Edmonton, and is the author of “An Action a Day Keeps Global Capitalism Away” published by Between the Lines Press.

Mike currently works for Greenpeace, Canada fighting to stop the Athabasca tar sands. He is also a climb trainer with the Ruckus Society and has held activist training camps which teach aspiring activists skills ranging from climbing to blockades.

Free designated parking will be available in a marked area at the Far West lot


Time: 4:00 – 5:30 PM

Venue: Galileo’s Gallery, SU building, University of Lethbridge

Cost: Free. Coffee and snacks provided


Share URL: http://sacpa.ca/6z856