About Non Violent Direct Action.................................................................................
What is NVDA?.....................................................................................................
Types of NVDA.....................................................................................................
How has NVDA been used?.................................................................................
Doing NVDA...................................................................................................................
Before the action....................................................................................................
Bring people together...................................................................................
Develop a strategy......................................................................................
Plan and prepare the logistics.....................................................................
Foster media coverage................................................................................
During the action..................................................................................................
Buddy up.....................................................................................................
Make quick decisions..................................................................................
Support each other......................................................................................
After the action......................................................................................................
Celebrate and support each other...............................................................
Further resources........................................................................................................
Guide version: Spring 2013
This guide draws on the advice and experiences of countless organisations and activists who have developed
invaluable skills and perspectives on NVDA. Our thanks to them all.
Disclaimer: This document is for information purposes only. UK Feminista does not endorse and is not responsible for
any uses connected with the information contained in this guide.
UK Feminista
UK Feminista supports people to campaign for equality between women and men. We provide
campaign resources and training, facilitate links between activists, and raise public awareness
about the continued need for feminism. Our vision is of a society in which women live free from
sexism and enjoy all the rights enshrined in the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of
Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
About Non Violent Direct Action
What is Non Violent
Direct Action?
Non Violent Direct Action (NVDA) is a
powerful campaigning method. There are
various definitions and interpretations of
NVDA, but essentially it involves disrupting or
even stopping an injustice. In doing this,
activists can expose a problem and highlight
an alternative.
DIRECT | During the action, activists
themselves make the change directly, rather
than asking someone else – such as a
politician – to act on their behalf.
NON VIOLENT | NVDA is an active form of
resistance which is based on a commitment to
end violence and injustice without committing
further violence.
“Nonviolent direct actions seeks to
create such a crisis and foster such a
tension that a community which has
constantly refused to negotiate is forced
to confront the issue. It seeks so to
dramatize the issue that it can no longer
be ignored.”
Martin Luther King Jr, Letter from
Birmingham Jail
Types of NVDA
There is a vast range of different NVDA
methods that activists can use. Below are
some of the major categories of NVDA. Some
actions will fall under multiple categories.
 Occupation: An occupation involves
entering and holding a space or
 Blockading: Blockading involves
preventing people or goods from
entering or exiting an area or building.
 Strike: a strike is a refusal to carry out
work - paid or unpaid.
 Disruption: Disruption involves
temporarily or permanently preventing
an activity – such as a meeting or
performance – from taking place.
 Civil disobedience: Civil disobedience
is the refusal to obey particular laws or
commands from a government.
 Boycott: To boycott is to refuse to buy
from, use or deal with an individual,
organisation or state.
 Culture jamming: Culture jamming is
action that disrupts or subverts media
culture or institutions, such as
subverting billboard advertisements.
 Hacktivism: Hacktivism is the use of
computers or computer networks in
political protest.
"I do NVDA because it's an important part
of my right to protest and is a really
powerful tactic to making change happen.
Just like petitions, marches and online
pressure have their place, so does NVDA.
There is something really empowering
about taking action for or against
something you feel passionate about and
it’s a great way to meet other people and
learn new skills as an activist.”
Rosie Rogers, member of UK Uncut
Emmeline Pankhurst protesting near Buckingham
Palace, May 22, 1914
How has NVDA been used?
NVDA has a long history of use in feminist movements around the world. It has also played a key
role in many other modern movements for social justice, including the Indian Independence
Movement, the American Civil Rights Movement, the anti-apartheid struggle and movements for
economic and environmental justice.
UK Uncut - Refuge Against the Cuts
In November 2012 UK Uncut activists
occupied dozens of branches of cafe chain
Starbucks to highlight that there is an
alternative to the Government’s programme
of cuts to crucial women’s services like
refuges. That alternative includes cracking
down on tax avoidance by companies such
as Starbucks. After the protests were
announced Starbucks pledged to pay £20
million in corporation tax and the
Government pledged to crack down on tax
avoidance. (Photo: Guy Bell)
Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace
The Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace
brought an end to the Second Liberian Civil
War in 2003. Thousands of women mounted a
sustained NVDA campaign which included
staging a sit-in outside the Presidential Palace
and stopping anyone from leaving the peace
talks taking place in the building without a
resolution. Leymah Gbowee, one of the
leaders of the mass action, went on to found
Women Peace and Security Network - Africa,
a pan-African NGO dedicated to promoting
women’s participation and leadership in peace
and security governance.
(Photo: Pewee Flomoku)
The Suffragettes
Campaigners for women’s right to vote in the
UK deployed a range of NVDA techniques in
the late 19th and early 20th Centuries,
including disrupting meetings, attempting to
occupy or ‘rush’ the Houses of Parliament,
non payment of fines, and hunger strikes. On
the night of the 1911 census Emily Wilding
Davison hid in a cupboard in the Palace of
Westminster so she could list ‘House of
Commons’ as her place of residence on the
Chipko movement
Originating in the 1970s in Garhwal
Himalayas of Uttarakhand, the Chipko
movement used NVDA to protect local
forests from deforestation. It was
predominantly women who used wood from
these forests as fuel for cooking, and it was
they who predominated in local resistance to
control of the forests being given over to
external logging corporations. The Chipko
movement is often referred to as an example
of ‘ecofeminism’.
Greenham Common Women’s Peace
In 1981 a Peace Camp was set up at RAF
Greenham Common in Berkshire, England,
to protest against nuclear weapons being
sited there. The activists used NVDA
techniques such as blockades to disrupt the
activities at the site. The missiles were
eventually removed in 1991-92.
(Photo: Ceridwen)
Dagenham sewing machinists strike
On 7 June 1968 women sewing machinists at
the Ford Motor Company plant in Dagenham
went on strike to protest at being paid less than
men for equivalent work. Their walk-out lasted
three weeks, brought the factory to a standstill,
and contributed to the passing of the Equal Pay
Act in 1970. (Photo: TUC Library)
Doing Non Violent Direct Action
This is an introductory guide on carrying out
NVDA, which can be applied to a range of
scenarios and types of action. Parts of the
guidance relate specifically to NVDA that has
a physical action site, rather than boycotts, for
instance. This document is meant as a rough
guide. The crucial point is to find a strategy
and process that works for you.
Often, NVDA will be carried out as part of a
campaign (a connected series of activities
conducted over a period of time to achieve a
specific goal). One-off actions, rather than a
campaign, can still have a big impact.
However, it is important to understand how the
single action contributes to others' campaigns
and/or the wider movement for change.
Before the action
1) Bring people together
Most NVDA is carried out collectively in a
group. Even if it is just one person doing the
action, they usually require some back-up
support. People are the most important and
powerful resource you have - so working
effectively together is crucial.
Form a group
Groups who come together to do NVDA are
often referred to as 'affinity groups'. They are
autonomous groups of around 5-15 people
who work together and support each other to
plan and stage an action. Getting to know
each other and establishing mutual trust is an
important part of building a strong affinity
group. A group may come together on a longterm basis or just to stage a single action, and
usually meet regularly in the run-up to an
Decide how to make decisions
Agree how decisions about the action are
going to be made. One method often used by
groups is consensus decision making. This is
a way of collectively making decisions and is
used to enable everyone to participate in the
process. The aim is to reach a decision that
everyone supports. This does not mean
everyone will be 100%
satisfied with the decision, but that everyone is
willing to agree to it. This process shouldn't be
used for every decision you make when
planning an action. Times not to use it include:
when the matter at hand is trivial, when there
is insufficient information to make a decision
and when there isn't time.
To ensure meetings of the affinity group run
smoothly and effectively appoint a facilitator.
The role of the facilitator is to ensure that the
group achieves its objectives in the meeting.
They do not make decisions for the group, but
suggest ways to help the group move forward
and collectively reach decisions. A facilitator
can also help ensure everyone is able to
participate in the meeting and that it is not
dominated by a few individuals. You can
appoint one person to facilitate all the
meetings, or rotate who takes on this role at
each meeting.
For guidance on how to do consensus
decision making and facilitating meetings visit, Seeds for Change or Rhizome
Make a collective agreement
At the outset it is useful for the group to make
a collective agreement which underpins how
the action is organised. This will help the
group work effectively together and build trust
amongst members. The agreement may
 Shared understanding of why you are
using NVDA, rather than another
campaigning tactic. This could be
because you have exhausted formal
channels for making change, or
because you think it is uniquely
powerful in this instance in helping
achieve your objective.
 Shared understanding of what 'nonviolent action' means and agreement on
how members will/will not behave
during an action. This could include
how you will respond to security or
 How decisions are to be made
 Ground-rules for meetings, such as not
interrupting others and confidentiality
 If and how new members of the affinity
group are to be recruited
Allocate roles
Decide what roles need to be performed
before, during and after the action and
allocate these among the group. Make sure
everyone understands what their role(s)
requires, how much time it will involve, and
that tasks are spread fairly amongst the group.
No one should take on a task they can't fulfil
as this will have implications for the rest of the
group. What roles you require will depend on
what the action is.
Roles prior to the action
Below are some of the typical roles that need
to be filled before the action. They may be
divided between multiple members of the
 Meeting facilitator: facilitate planning
meetings of the affinity group. This role
may rotate around members of the group.
Propose and get agreement on the
agenda for the meeting in advance.
 Meetings organiser: arrange times and
venues for planning meetings and
circulate details.
 Media: Coordinate media plan, collect
journalist contact details, write press
release, outreach to friendly journalists.
This may be divided between multiple
members of the group.
 Social media: Coordinate plan for using
social media (such as Facebook and
Twitter) before, during and after the
 Publicity and communications: e.g. a
leaflet to give out during the action
 Research: the issue and the target
 Equipment and props
 Logistics: planning the practicalities of
staging the action, such as travel and
entering/exiting the site
 Legal research, planning and liaison
US civil rights activist Rosa Parks used NVDA to
resist racial segregation laws.
2) Develop a strategy
Why? Before you start painting banners and
writing press releases, you need a strategy. A
strategy is an overall plan for the action and
will underpin everything you do. A well thought
through strategy will help ensure your action
translates into real change and has as big an
impact as possible (and your desired impact!).
How? There are five key elements that make
up a NVDA strategy. As a group, discuss and
agree on each element in turn, starting with
your aim.
NVDA Strategy
1. Aim
2. Objective
3. Target
What is the ultimate change
you want to help bring about?
Make sure your affinity group
has a shared understanding of
the underlying problem and its
causes. Analysing the power
structures underpinning the
problem will help you identify
effective 'entry points' for
actions to tackle it.
What outcome(s) do you want
to see as a result of this
What or who are you
focussing your action on?
NVDA is about directly
stopping or interrupting an
injustice. To do that you need
to target a source of that
injustice. Choosing a wellknown target, such as a brand
or shop, can help generate
media coverage because it
will be familiar and thus easier
for audiences to connect with.
4. Message
Picking a 'real-life' target also
enables you take a broad,
complex issue and condense
it into a tangible, specific
example – and show that
change is possible.
What is the message you
want to communicate through
this action?
You need to choose one overarching message to
communicate through your
choice of target and tactic,
media and communications.
The message should be short
and simple. Ideally, it should
fit on a banner!
Questions to
Example: UK Uncut's 'Refuge From
 What's the
 Who's harmed by
it and who
 What's causing or
contributing to this
Stop the Government's public sector
cuts - which are disproportionately
hitting women and turning back the
clock on women's equality. These cuts
have seen women's refuges closed
and women's unemployment reach a
25 year high.
 What will
success look
 How will you
measure it?
Primary objective: get the
Government to commit to take action
to stop tax avoidance by large
companies. Highlight that this tax
revenue could replace savings being
made through public sector cuts.
 Who profits
most from the
 Who holds the
power to make
change? Who
 What are the
What will
persuade them
to respond to
the action?
 Who is your key
 Who can deliver
the change you
want to make?
 What other
audiences will this
action speak to?
the Cuts' action, November 2012*
Secondary objectives: mobilise
support and strengthen feminist and
anti-cuts movements through mass
collective action; generate national
media coverage to raise public
awareness about the issue and so
increased political pressure to act.
Target: Starbucks coffee chain. In
2012 it was revealed they hadn't paid
any corporation tax in the last three
years, despite making sales of
Starbucks is a house-hold name with
hundreds of high-street branches.
This makes it a highly accessible
target and people across the country
can participate/run their own actions.
As a well-known brand it is a mediafriendly target and is also highly
susceptible to 'brand damage' through
just such adverse media attention thus increasing the potential power of
the action.
Key message: Stop the cuts to
women's services and collect tax
revenue from companies like
Starbucks instead.
Action title: Refuge from the Cuts
5. Tactic
What method of NVDA are
you using to deliver your
Choose the method that a)
most effectively impacts on
your target and b) best
embodies the message you
want to communicate.
Remember, the 'medium is
the message'. You will
communicate with your
audience not just through
what you say or write as part
of the action, but also through
what you do.
 Will the tactic
mobilise support?
Could it alienate
 Is it realistic - do
you have the time
and resources to
execute it?
Tactic: Occupy Starbucks branches.
Symbolically transform them into the
women’s services being cut by the
Government, such as refuges and
SureStart centres.
This method serves to disrupt the
normal operations of Starbucks. On
the day activists entered branches,
chanted slogans, handed out leaflets
to customers and remained in the
stores until they collectively decided to
*This action was carried out as part of a long-running campaign of actions to persuade the Government to stop public
sector cuts and crack-down on tax avoidance by large companies. For more details about action visit
Deciding on your tactic
When choosing what tactic to use and how
best to execute it, ask yourselves the five W’s:
1. What method of NVDA will be most
2. Why this tactic and not others?
3. Where are you going to hold the action?
4. When is the best time to stage the action
and how much time do you have
available to organise it?
5. Who is available to take part and how
many people do you need?
When answering these questions, remember
that context is crucial! A tactic that worked in
one situation won’t necessarily work in
another. It depends on the issue, the stage of
the campaign, the level of public support, the
legal and cultural context – and many other
factors! Be inspired by other actions and learn
from them – but don’t just copy them exactly.
No two situations are ever the same.
“When we knew we wanted to target
Starbucks we knew occupying it was the
only way to go. The aim of the day of
action was to transform Starbucks spaces
into services for women that the
government are choosing to cut so
boycotting Starbucks, hacking their
website or subverting their signs just
wouldn't do the job like some old fashion
Rosie Rogers, UK Uncut
3) Plan and prepare the logistics
Map out the full list of logistical tasks you need
to complete before the action and allocate
them to members of the group.
Legal issues
Whatever action you perform make sure all
members of the group are fully aware of their
legal rights and the legal implications of the
action. Before the action, discuss the various
scenarios that may arise regarding security or
police presence at the action site - and decide
how you would respond. You can never
entirely predict what will happen on the day,
but as much as possible try and scope out
what the most likely scenarios will be.
Sources of information and support:
 Liberty: Liberty provides online guidance
on your legal rights to peaceful protest:
o Your Right to Protest (joint briefing
with NUS):
o Your right to peaceful protest
 Green and Black Cross (GBC): GBC is a
grassroots project set up to support
social justice struggles in the UK. It
provides legal support at protests and
guidance and training on protest rights:
 Activists' Legal Project: not for profit
collective that provides information and
training for activists on the law:
In practice:
The action
UK Uncut occupation of
Starbucks branches to
highlight the impact of the
Government’s cuts on
November 2012
Relevant legal considerations
 Aggravated trespass: it is a criminal
offence to trespass on land and do
something intended to ‘intimidate’
obstruct or disrupt people doing
something they are legally entitled to
do. The maximum sentence for this
is three months imprisonment or a
fine up to £2500.
Standard legal information to take with you
during the action:
o ‘Bust card’ detailing your rights and the
phone number of legal support and a
relevant solicitor. Model bust card
offered by Green and Black Cross:
o Any evidence - such as a form or email
correspondence - demonstrating
express permission for your action from
the police or other relevant authority if
you have sought it.
Research and reconnaissance
Research needs may include information on
the target, the action site, the issue you are
campaigning on and the NVDA tactic you
have chosen.
Do a reconnaissance (or 'reccie') of the action
site. Without giving the game away about what
you are planning (!) visit the site if feasible and
get as much information about it as you can.
This could include information on building
entrances/exits and access to/from the site,
What actually happened
Protestors entered two central
London Starbucks branches and
successfully occupied the shop temporarily preventing trading. The
police were called who then
proceeded to ask the protestors to
leave the stores. The protestors
informed the police they would
have a short discussion as a group
about whether they wanted to
leave. The protestors in both stores
agreed to leave and continued the
protests outside the shops. No one
was arrested or sanctioned in any
security, size of the space and the number of
staff on duty.
Schedule: ‘Enter, hold, exit’
Put together a plan for how you will enter the
chosen site for your NVDA, how you will 'hold'
the space and how you will exit the site. You
may want to appoint individuals or teams to
lead the entry to/exit from the site.
Decide what you will do whilst at the action
site. Will there be chanting, entertainment,
speeches? If you are there for a long time,
how will you keep protestors' spirits up?
Things rarely go precisely according to plan
during an action. Brainstorm various scenarios
and possible responses from people at the
target site and decide how you will respond.
For example, if the route you had chosen into
the action site is blocked for whatever reason,
what will you do? If security try to forcible
remove you from the site, what will you do? If
passers-by are supportive/hostile how will you
Make or source any props for the action, like
banners and flags. How visibly interesting the
action is will help determine how much media
coverage it gets. Think about how to use
props to make the action look compelling and
to visibly communicate your key message.
Group communications
Work out how the group will communicate
during the action. Will it be via mobile phone,
hand signals, shouting? Will you have a
meeting point/time for if you lose each other?
Think through various scenarios and establish
what will be feasible when the action is in
Personal health and safety
 If you have any medical issues (such as
epilepsy or diabetes) make sure other
members of the group are aware, take any
emergency medication you might need
with you, and ensure other members of
the group know what to do should a
medical issue arise during the action.
 Take a first aid kit
 Take food and water with you. It’s
important you don’t become dehydrated or
experience low blood sugar levels when
carrying out an action as this can impair
your judgement. Bear in mind when
carrying out NVDA you can’t always be
sure how long you’ll be at the action site.
So take multiple layers of clothing to keep
you warm, whether the action is indoors or
 Don't drink alcohol before or during the
action. This can impair your judgement
and you need to be ready to make quick
decisions in fast changing circumstances.
4) Foster media coverage
Press coverage
Attracting press coverage of your action will
likely be very important for reaching and
influencing your key audiences.
> See the UK Feminista guide on 'using the
media' for general information and advice.
When carrying out NVDA you also need to:
Decide whether to tell particular
journalists in advance: if you want to
ensure your target does not find out in
advance about the action you will not
be able to send out a general press
release. Are there certain journalists
who write on the issue you are acting
on who you trust to keep details
confidential? If there is a journalist you
trust, you can provide them with details
in advance so they are ready to report
as soon as it has started, or you could
even invite them to come along on the
action and report directly from it.
Appoint a media liaison: Appoint one
person as the point of contact for all
media enquiries. Their role won't
necessarily be to do the interviews, but
to collect requests and pass them on to
other members of the group. Decide
how you will allocate requests in
advance of the action. If the media
liaison is on-site, ensure you have a
back-up plan if there is any risk that
individual might be arrested.
Have a media rep off-site and/or with
access to the internet: When the action
has started you need to get a press
release out to media outlets and call
round them 'pitching' the story and
encouraging them to cover it. For this
you need to have prepared a list of
journalists and media outlets to contact
and have someone with access to the
internet and phone ready to do this.
Ensure everyone knows the key media
messages: If journalists attend the
action they may wish to speak directly
with the protestors, rather than a
Personal belongings
Only plan to take what you absolutely have to
during the action.
Training and support
Identify any training needs members of the
group have in order to stage the action. Visit for guidance on a
wide range of activism skills and techniques
and reach out to organisations or individuals
who might be able to help.
designated spokesperson. Prepare a
basic Q&A sheet for all group members
to ensure everyone knows what the key
messages are and how to respond to
likely questions in case they are
approached for a comment.
Be prepared to counter criticism or
misinformation: Consider what
challenges or criticisms may be levelled
at your action or what you are calling
for and decide how you will respond.
An important task for the group
members doing social media and
interviews is to ensure the full facts
about the issue and the action are
Social media
You can directly communicate news about the
action yourselves and ask others to show their
support and solidarity via social media.
Options include:
Twitter: an account dedicated to your
group/action will enable you to update
followers live and direct from the action.
Decide on a hashtag for the action and
draft some key tweets in advance so
you don't have to think them all up on
the day. You can also schedule the
sending of tweets in advance using
Facebook: a page for the action/group
will allow you to share key updates,
media coverage and information about
why you are taking action.
Website or blog: this can act as a main
reference point for people to find out
about the issue you are taking action
on, what you are calling for, and how
others can take action in support.
Film: if there is a member of your group
with film-making skills, or you know a
trusted amateur film-maker, film the
action as it happens. You can also
make a basic film of the action using a
standard smartphone and upload it to
your website/social media account after
the action.
Going live:
If your social media account(s) are only going
live once the action has started - so as not to
give the game away - you'll need to get the
word out quickly to potential followers. For
example, identify in advance some key
individuals and organisations who you will
tweet @ and ask them to re-tweet to their
followers. Brief trusted organisations and
individuals before the action and ask them to
share details of your action once it is live.
Off-site support:
Ensure there is someone off site whose role is
to ensure information keeps flowing through
your media channels throughout the action.
Don't rely on external media organisations to
take photos of your action. Appoint a member
of the group as a photographer. Share the
photos via social media and send them to
media outlets with a press release after the
Feminist subvertising spotted by Uplift magazine.
During the action
This is the time to put all your planning in to
Roles during the action
Typical roles during the action include:
 Travel: Coordinate travel and transport to
and from the action site
 Legal support: someone off-site to act as a
point of contact
 Media representative(s): Tweet live during
the action, update Facebook profile, send
out press release, respond to requests from
journalists and conduct interviews.
 Documentation: record the action as it
happen through photographs and film
 Action participants
 Facilitator for quick consensus decision
 Police / security liaison: liaise with officials
and relay messages between the group
and officials.
 Flyer distributers / banner holders / chant
2) Make quick decisions
Actions are often fast-paced and there is
rarely time for lengthy consensus decision
making processes. However, there may be
decisions you have to make that you hadn't
foreseen. Happily, activists have developed a
'quick consensus' process to use on these
occasions! You should practice this process
before the action so everyone knows exactly
how it works.
Quick consensus
Facilitator clarifies decision that needs to
be made
If time, discuss proposal and make small
amendments, then restate it
'Any blocks?
1) Buddy up
You may wish to use the 'buddy system' used
by some activists when carrying out NVDA.
This ensures that no-one ever finds themself
alone in a situation during the action. Before
the action, everyone either pairs up or divides
into small groups of up to four people (or
'buddies'). The aim is that buddies then look
out for each other during the action. For
 Make sure you know if your buddy has
any health issues or medical needs you
should be aware of
 Check how your buddy is feeling,
emotionally and physically, during the
 Leave the action together
'Any stand asides?'
Implement decision
Notes on quick consensus
 Appoint a facilitator in advance of the
 The facilitator briefly summaries the
situation and states the decision that
needs to be made. They then ask
members of the groups for a proposal
on what the group should do.
 A member of the group briefly states a
The facilitator needs to assess if there
is time for a discussion of the proposal
and for small amendments to be made
to it (which would enhance the
proposal, rather than change it
completely). If not, the facilitator should
proceed to the next step.
The facilitator restates the proposal and
then tests for consensus by asking if
there are any blocks.
o A block is a total veto on a proposal
and means the proposal cannot
proceed. A decision may be
blocked if, for instance, the
proposal would split the group. If a
proposal is blocked you will need
another one. Some groups decide
that an individual can only block a
proposal if they have an alternative
one to put forward.
o A stand-aside means an individual
is willing to let the decision/action
proceed in the group's name, but
they won't take part in it.
supporting each other during an action (as
discussed previously).
If it is a large-scale action and several affinity
groups are participating, one method you can
use to make collective decisions is to operate
a 'spokescouncil'. Each affinity group appoints
a spokesperson and they all come together to
make decisions. What each spokesperson is
empowered to do/decide is up to their affinity
3) Support each other
Work to keep the atmosphere positive
throughout the action: Stay focussed on the
aim of the action and the agreements you
made as a group about how you intended to
behave and respond, even in the face of rising
tension or uncertainty.
Try to stay calm and relaxed: Pay attention to
your own body language and keep your voice
calm and clear when communicating with
members of your group or liaising with
external individuals. This in turn will help other
members of your group to stay focussed and
remain calm throughout the action.
Working as part of an affinity group and
having a buddy are also important ways of
UK Uncut's Refuge From the Cuts, December 2012.
Photo: Guy Bell.
After the action
Roles after the action
Typical roles after the action include:
 Media liaison: liaise on any remaining
requests, collate media coverage
 Publicity and communications: update
social media, upload photos and film
 Legal support: seek and offer support to
members of the group if necessary
 Meeting facilitator: facilitate evaluation of
the action
 Logistics: return or store props, say
thanks to people that helped
Celebrate and support each
Relax and celebrate! Arrange a time and place
for the group to come together immediately
after the action to celebrate, wind-down and
reflect on what you've achieved.
Evaluate your action
Why: It is important to evaluate your action
collectively as a group. It provides an
opportunity for everyone who took part to feed
back and discuss their experiences and reflect
on what you've learnt and what you would do
differently next time.
When: Allow a few days between the action
itself and the evaluation meeting so everyone
has a chance to reflect on the action and
gather key indicators of its impact, such as
press coverage and stats/messages of
support from social media.
How: Appoint a facilitator for the meeting. To
structure the discussion you could draw the
table below on a piece of flip chart paper and
fill in the columns during the discussion.
Part of the action
Did you achieve what you set out to?
Was it the right one?
Was the method of NVDA you used effective?
Key message
Did you get this across through your action and media
Did you get the kind of media coverage you hoped
Group agreement
Were the principles you agreed on before the action
realised during the action?
Were roles divided appropriately? Did you have all the
materials and equipment you needed during the
action? Was everything that could have been planned
or prepared in advance done?
What response did you get from key audiences? This
may include media, politicians, other activists and
members of the public.
What worked well
What we would do
differently next time
Further Resources
Training, guidance and advice
Seeds for Change: resources and
training on grassroots activism
Rhizome: resources and training on
grassroots activism
Basic Blockading (leaflet):
Organising for Power, Organising for
Change: resources and guidance on
Liberty: provides online guidance on
your legal rights to peaceful protest
Green and Black Cross: grassroots
project to support social justice
struggles in the UK
Film footage of NVDA
Dagenham Equal Pay Strikes, 1968 &
A woman's worth: The story of the
Ford sewing machinists
No Dash for Gas: Environmental
activists occupied two 300ft chimney's
at the EDF-owned gas-fired power
station in West Burton in 2012.
Just Do It: feature documentary on
climate activism
The Power of Non Violent Direct
Occupy History: the history of NVDA
Annie Kenney and Christabel Pankhurst, c1908
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