Some say the third Monday in January is the most depressing day of the year – dubbed Blue Monday. Well there’s nothing to lift your spirits like moving tales of people power in action. Last Friday I was asked to present on direct action as a strategy for campaigning on the oil industry. I realised that tens of actions had taken place around the world in just the first few weeks of the year. This gallery collects them together, with links to longer stories about each respective campaign.

By way of introduction, here’s the clarifications I made in the presentation on what we might include in direct action on big oil:

We could spend the day discussing what ‘direct action’ really means, when is it best used – is it to open debate and grab headlines, or the only way to impact profits? Is it an end point after all other means have been tried, or a starting point since sometimes its the only proportionate response? We’d discuss the language around violence – when proportionate and acceptable? – and non-violence – what does that really mean, how do we exercise that? I’m going to define DA as putting bodies on the line to get in the way.
As for direct action on big oil, this could mean any action that is anti-oppression and relating to some part of the oil industrial complex, or fossil fuel based capitalism. There are many ways struggles against big oil are connected to broader struggles and other campaigns from GM crops to cuts to racist policing.
I could look for inspiration from past decades, centuries…from overthrow of British colonial powers in India to civil rights in the US. Instead I’m going to start from now – the first few weeks of 2013, the year of direct action to end the oil age?

See individual images for links to the stories they tell. And add others in the comments section below!