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NCJ Number: 50494 Find in a Library
Title: DIRECT ACTION AS A POLITICAL TECHNIQUE (FROM POLICE IN AUSTRALIA - DEVELOPMENT, FUNCTIONS AND PROCEDURES, 1977, BY KERRY L MILTE AND THOMAS A WEBER - SEE NCJ-50485)
Author(s): A CAMPBELL
Corporate Author: Butterworth Pty Ltd
Australia
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: Butterworth Pty Ltd
Chatswood 2067, Australia
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: POLITICALLY MOTIVATED ACTS OF CONFRONTATION ARE DISCUSSED, WITH A VIEW TO IMPLICATIONS FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT IN AUSTRALIA.
Abstract: DIRECT POLITICAL ACTION ENCOMPASSES A VARIETY OF ACTIVITIES, INCLUDING PROTEST MARCHES, RALLIES, BOYCOTTS, GUERILLA WARFARE, SIT-INS, STRIKES, REFUSAL TO PAY TAXES AND GOING RATES, AND OTHER FORMS OF CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE (E.G., CLOSURE OF STREETS TO TRAFFIC, DISRUPTION OF TEACHING INSTITUTIONS). THE NATURE OF THE MOST COMMON FORM OF MASS DIRECT ACTION, THE DEMONSTRATION, IS ANALYZED, WITH REFERENCE TO THE DYNAMICS OF DEMONSTRATIONS, THE VARIETY OF MOTIVATIONS AMONG PARTICIPANTS, AND FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO THE POTENTIAL FOR VIOLENCE IN ANY MASS DEMONSTRATION. A TYPOLOGY OF PERSONS AND MOTIVES INVOLVED IN DIRECT ACTION IS REVIEWED, AND FOUR STAGES OF DIRECT ACTION--DEMOCRATIC DISSENT AND CRITICISM, COMMITMENT TO DIRECT ACTION, CONFRONTATION CRISIS, AND PREREVOLUTIONARY ACTIVITIES-ARE IDENTIFIED. THE APPROPRIATENESS OF DIRECT ACTION IN DEMOCRATIC SOCIETIES IS CONSIDERED, AS IS THE STRATEGY OF EXTREMIST GROUPS WHICH USE DIRECT MASS ACTION AS A DESTABILIZING TACTIC. IT IS NOTED THAT THE USE OF DIRECT ACTION AS A MEANS OF SYMBOLIC PROTEST AND AS A MEANS OF PUBLICIZING PERCEIVED GRIEVANCES AND ACHIEVING PRACTICAL GOALS IS LEGITIMATE AND ACCEPTABLE WITHIN A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY, ALTHOUGH DIRECT ACTION HISTORICALLY HAS BEEN MOST EFFECTIVE WHEN OTHER FORMS OF POLITICAL ACTION HAVE BEEN UNAVAILABLE OR UNREPRESENTATIVE. HOWEVER, RADICAL GROUPS INCREASINGLY HAVE USED DIRECT ACTION AS A STRATEGIC WEAPON, AT TIMES IN WAYS THAT POSE THREATS TO PUBLIC ORDER, TO SOCIAL AND POLITICAL CONSENSUS, AND TO PATTERNS OF COMMUNICATION BETWEEN GOVERNMENT AND CITIZENS. THE INTENTIONS, MOTIVES, AND STRATEGIES BEHIND DIRECT ACTION MUST BE UNDERSTOOD IN ORDER TO ASSESS THE THREAT POTENTIAL OF SUCH ACTIVITY. POLICE OFFICERS, WHO MUST DEAL WITH THE MANIFESTATIONS OF DIRECT ACTION STRATEGIES, CAN BENEFIT FROM AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE ETHICAL, SOCIAL, LEGAL, AND POLITICAL FACTORS UNDERLYING THESE STRATEGIES. (LKM)
Index Term(s): Australia; Civil disorders; Collective violence; Crowd behavior; Political offenders
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50494

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