Date Recorded: Nov 3rd, 2004
|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, theatrical protests and sabotage. Direct actions often ( but not always) involve 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, about which Mike Hudema speaks.
|Mike Hudema has been a longtime dedicated and creative activist in Edmonton, Alberta. He has participated in a 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. He has 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. The book is now being used as a text in university courses and is being considered for a new course on citizenship at the University of Alberta.
Mike currently works for the International Human Rights organisation, Global Exchange, as the Jumpstart Ford Coordinator trying to push Ford Motors to go zero emissions by 2020 to significantly lessen the continent’s dependence on oil.