‘Tree-sits, Barricades and Lock-ons: Obstructive Direct Action and the History of the Environmental Movement, 1979–1990′ (PhD in History, 2018).
During the 1980s the protection of bio-diverse places became a major global issue. In part this resulted from efforts by Indigenous people in a variety of countries to protect and reclaim territories. Challenges to dominant practices also came from non-Indigenous conservationists and alternative rural communities. A significant part of what captured and shifted public awareness was a series of environmental blockades that were launched from the 1970s onwards. These events combined the use of Obstructive Direct Action with protest camps to disrupt logging, clearing, mining and other activities. In providing a national and comparative history of campaigns in Australia, the US and Canada, this thesis examines how the environmental blockading repertoire was initially developed and embedded in each country. It establishes that through sustained, close and intense levels of protest within bio-diverse environments activists created a tactical ‘toolkit’ that was eventually diffused globally to a variety of movements.
Supervisors: Professor Sean Scalmer, Associate Professor Sara Wills