Civil Disobedience Training


Direct Action Guidelines

These direct action guidelines describe limits required for us to set a minimum level of safety for ACT UP demonstrators:

1. ACT UP cannot guarantee the safety of participants at our demonstrators.

2. Yet, we try to protect each other at demonstrations by setting up a support and advocacy structure that can react quickly if problems should arise or if arrests occur. We recommend that all people considering civil disobedience go to a direct action CD training and that they join an affinity group.

3. At the demonstration, we ask that participants act according to the love and caring that we have built or each other. Individual or group actions that endanger the physical well-being of other demonstrators should not be done. Generally actions that might endanger the safety of others at the demonstration include:

a) physical violence directed against others, including the police, spectators and other ACT UP members

b) actions that cause panic such as running and throwing rocks

c) bringing weapons or anything that can be construed as a weapon to the demonstration site; weapons include but are not limited to: guns, knives, nail files, mace, letter openers, scissors, etc.

d) bringing recreational drugs to the demonstration

4. We ask that anyone or any group considering acts of property alteration (i.e. graffiti) commit such acts openly, taking responsibility for these acts, and taking care that these acts endanger no one. If secrecy is necessary, the action should not be part of this demonstration.


ACT UP Direct Action Guidelines

History of Mass Nonviolent Action

Nonviolent Response to Personal Violence

Practicing Nonviolence

Nonviolence Training

Affinity Groups and Support

Steps Toward Making a Campaign

Consensus Decision Making

Legal Issues/Risking Arrest

Legal Flow Chart: What Happens in an Arrest and Your Decisions

Legal Terms: What They Mean

Jail Solidarity

see also the following:

The Demonstrator's Manual (crucial)

Marshal Training Manual

Getting Arrested: Why do we do it?