A strong movement is an organised movement.
An organised movement is informed.
The climate crisis is here and now averting total climate catastrophe will require immediate political action and global reform.
Strategies including mass civic engagement and civil disobedience are necessary to avert total climate catastrophe given the current absence of political will.
To support community-led action on climate change by ensuring that all participants in the broader climate movement are legally informed, allowing individuals to make the best possible choices for themselves and they causes they champion.
Colonial Australia has a system of laws that do not treat all people equally, and our interactions with the law can be vastly different, and even life-threatening for some people, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, members of the LGBTIQAP+ Brotherboy and Sistergirl community, and people of colour.
Who are we?
Action Ready is a not-for-profit organisation formed by volunteers in Meanjin/Brisbane who believe that educating the community in the law can help ordinary people subvert the system in new and creative ways while making informed, strategic decisions. As thousands of people in Australia are standing up to take civil action on climate change while politicians sit on their hands, there is no better time to provide a coherent platform for legal education and resources aimed at empowering community members.
As tension amidst the climate crisis builds, more and more people are resorting to taking actions that involve interactions with the law in many different ways, from processes like applying for protest permits to planning for an arrest. As a result, we exist first and foremost to provide synthesised and easy-to-understand legal information that is tailored to the needs of the climate movement. This is designed to help people take informed risks, make informed decisions for the movement and engage positively with the law where it facilitates public participation i.e. through filing an objection to a proposed fossil fuel project.
In short - we aim to make sure people feel safe and ready to take every available action on climate change.
REMINDER: The law changes significantly state to state. All information is relevant to the Queensland context only. Check out CounterAct for information outside of Queensland.
What we believe
We believe that civil disobedience and nonviolent direct action are vital and necessary components of a strong democracy and an effective social movement. These types of actions often involve interactions with the police who have a wide discretion. In this context, police must be held accountable for unethical, discriminatory, violent and oppressive behaviour. Broadcasting police misconduct and campaigning for greater accountability in this space provides a gateway into broader discussions for radical, mass reform to the benefit of over-policed communities.
We recognise that choice is a privilege: to choose to be arrested, to have the choice to be informed and ready, to have the choice not to fight for survival. We acknowledge that operating within the existing legal system maintains and replicates social divisions even within progressive movements and that without drastic reform, Australia’s colonial law will always be a tool for subjugation.
It is our hope that a well-informed activist, whose goals within the legal system are not restricted to minimising harm to self, can instead find ways to subvert and use the law. When the outcome no longer matters, the law loses its power.
What we do
If you are an organisation/community group planning an action, or an individual planning to be involved, you should consult our website to understand the legal information relevant to your plans, and you may wish to download our handbook. You can also reach out to us for help with:
Provision of general legal briefings prior to an action.
Ensuring members of your group are ready to take on a legal marshal/legal observer role on the day of your action. Linking up with your group to collect data and produce general trends for campaigning purposes.
Assistance in arranging legal representation for more complex matters.
Research tasks where information you would find useful is not already on our website and would be an asset to the broader movement.
What we are not
Unfortunately, as a volunteer organisation run by people who are not lawyers and cannot give advice, nor engage in legal practice, there are important limits to our work. For instance, we cannot:
Give legal advice. We can only assist you in obtaining a lawyer through our referrals service.
Provide ongoing support if you have been charged with an offence or require other assistance. We can only refer you to information on our website, or advise that you seek legal advice.
Provide welfare assistance. This important work is outside of our capacity and must be sought from your associated community group.
Align with any particular activist organisation. Our value is in our independence.
What we hope to become
With climate chaos accelerating quickly, the recent approval of thermal coal mining in the Galilee Basin and increasing civil disobedience and police misconduct, we believe there is a huge gap that needs filling here in Queensland. These are some of the specific tasks we would like Action Ready to be able to undertake as we grow:
Campaign and lobby on issues specific to protest law and democratic freedoms. This might include running campaigns concerning legislation that derogates the rights of activists.
Provide off-site legal resources and information relevant to Camp Binbee, the frontline action camp opposing the Adani coal mine.
Create a cohesive police accountability project similar to what is currently run in Victoria.
Work with First Nations people to help provide culturally specific legal briefings and resources for mob in Queensland where there is a need.
If you would like to help us grow and expand our vision, please visit our Volunteer With Us page to find out more.