DIRECT ACTION CHECKLIST FOR CAMPAIGNERS SKILLSHARE.
Greenpeace, INT. ACTION GROUP.
Effective and successfull direct actions depend on many factors. Here
are five keywords to bear in mind:
Different actions will require different approaches and expertise.
Individual action coordinators will have their own way of working and
the relationship between the action coordinator and the campainer, as
well as the group dynamics withen the action team will be different
each time. The following paper is written in general terms to give
campaigners an insight into the type of work, they will need to do in
preparing, executing and following-up an action.
The following questions must be answered by the campainer before
involving other people in preparing an action:-
1. Does the proposed action fit into the national/international
2. Have you budgeted for the action?
3. What is the target?
4. What do you want to achieve by taking action on the target?
5. What time limitations/preferences do you have?
6. Have you spent time considering how the action will end?
Now sit up meetings with either your national action
coordinator/person in your campaign responsible for actions
group.(Depending on the infrastructure of your office)
The initial meetings will be to brainstorm, so anyone who you feel
will provide input into thes process from within or outside your
campaign should be involved now. It should be noted here that actions
require a high level of security. Most actions will fail if the
authorities fine out about them in advance so in the planning stages
and on the day you should work on a “need to know” basis. That is only
the people who are directly involved should know the deails of the
The first meeting should be used to present the need for the action,
decide what the action will focus on and brainstorm on ways to
creatively and effectively centre on the focus. In this meeting you
1. Determine who is to coordinate the logistics of the action.
2. Ascertain what research is needed to further explore the
feasibility of the better ideas to come out of the brainstorm.
3. Determine what investigative information you require which can be
provided from contacts you have nationally and your campaign has
NB. The research / reconnaissance will be conducted with no rigid plan
in mind, flexibilly and openress to ideas are still very important at
The action coordinator/team will ensure that the research is carried
out as soon as possible by someone(s) who either attended the first
meeting(s) or has been well briefed as to the results of the
The action coordinator will process the results of the reconnaissance
(scout), deal with any follow up reseach and present a series of
alternative action plans which are, in their opinion, safe and
feasible and incorporate the aims of the campaign. (These judgements
are made by a process of risk assessment, elimination and
1 Set date for the next meeting which will continue brainstorming and
decide upon the action to be taken.
2. Seek legal advice and representation. (See legal paper)
3. Inform GP Communications that you are planning an action (see comms
/ media paper)
The logistical coordinator will by now have come up with a selection
of detailed action plans that will be based on the initial
brainstorming sessions. The campaigner will have a general
understanding of the likely legal implications. The campaigner may at
this stage have new information to input as a result of international
feedback from within the campaign. Eg. A new date to fit in with other
actions within the campaign. – Tomorrow!!!
From this meeting a definite action plan will hopefully emerge – time
is of the essence whether the deadline is in one week or two months.
The plan should be decided upon and in general, kept to. More creative
input will always be offered but if new ideas keep coming for too long
there will be conflict and this can end up with the lowest common
denominator (eg another banner hanging).
All the logistics of the action will be dealt with by the action team
and will not be examined in this paper. The campaigner can devote
his/her attentions to preparing all the other parts of the action that
need to run smoothly upto and on the day of the action.
The following points need to be dealt with. Please refer to relevant
1 All written material to be released in conjunction with the
2 Press work to create a good “climate” for the action to be received
by the media.
Locally, nationally and internationally. (see appendix 1)
3 Delegate the role of press officer for the action.
4 Fix all the support required from GP communications to film
the action. (see appendix 2)
5 Contact the lawyers who will represent GP and prepare all the
legal matters. (see appendix 3)
6 Delegate the role of legal liaison officer.
7 Discuss with the logistics coordinator and decide where you will
be during the action and what lines of communication you will need.
(see appendix 4)
8 Foresee how you as a campaigner will end the action. (see appendix 5)
9 Don’t forget the debriefs and the action report. (see appendix 6)