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Environmental direct action in Manchester, Oxford and North Wales: a protest event analysis

Doherty

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Abstract

Direct action campaigns against new roads in the UK received much attention, but campaign groups were locally organised and little is known about how they worked. Protests by three local environmental direct action groups in the years 1992-2001 are examined. Their repertoire was confrontational, targeted mainly at business and the state. Most protests were small-scale and most were unreported in either local or national media. In the larger groups, in Manchester and Oxford, most actions were carried out locally and direct action groups worked mainly alone. In the smaller Bangor group, campaigners sometimes needed alliances with less radical groups to campaign effectively, and travelled more to events outside their locality. Environmental direct action groups remain largely autonomous from strategic alliances, locally or nationally, and from efforts to influence state policy. Their protests are challenges to the norms underlying political and capitalist institutions rather than calculated attempts to influence government. Evidence that their actions, on issues such as road-building, genetic modification, global justice and climate change, were affecting public debate sustained and revitalised action more than did changes in political opportunities.

Citation

Doherty. (2007). Environmental direct action in Manchester, Oxford and North Wales: a protest event analysis. Environmental Politics, 805 -825. https://doi.org/10.1080/09644010701634182

Acceptance Date Oct 17, 2007
Publication Date Oct 17, 2007
Journal Environmental Politics
Print ISSN 0964-4016
Publisher Routledge
Pages 805 -825
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/09644010701634182
Keywords political movements, direct action, environmental politics
Publisher URL http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09644010701634182

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