Melbourne/Naarm Activist Groups

Inspired by Slackbastard’s Trot Guide, and in the interest of helping people keen on taking a stand on issues they’re passionate about – this is a list of active, or recently active, activist groups in Naarm/Melbourne.

Rules for inclusion on this list:

  • Must be predominantly unfunded, grassroots and do boots-on-ground activism (whether that be rallies, pickets, non-violent direct action, mutual aid and/or etc) as its primary activity; hence, this list doesn’t include non-government organisations (NGOs) or trade unions.
  • Must be ongoing groups/campaigns.
  • Must be explicitly progressive or Left.
  • Must organise in Naarm/Melbourne (or in regional Victoria for inclusion on the regional groups list. Note some groups may have regional subgroups/branches).
  • Must not be a political party or political organisation (but can be aligned).

A note about politics: in Melbourne, many activist groups are directly aligned with, or have heavy involvement from, one of three Trotskyite parties/organisations – those being Socialist Alternative, Socialist Alliance and Solidarity. Many other groups aren’t aligned to either of these parties. Hence where one’s politics sits should be a consideration as to what group/s one chooses to get involved with.

Also note that while most groups on this list are all inclusive of everyone regardless of race, age, gender identity, sexuality, etc who may wish to get involved – direct organisational involvement in some groups may be limited to certain special categories. For example. common sense should dictate that organising within School Strike 4 Climate is limited to school students; though adults can still attend actions in support.

 

The list, as of April 2022:

  • Blockade Australia (BA) – doing most of its activity in New South Wales but has significant involvement from Melbourne based activists. Gearing up for mobilisations in late June/early July. Non politically aligned.
  • Blockade IMARC (BIMARC) – burning along on a low simmer following the postponement of the IMARC conference to October this year. Non politically aligned.
  • Campaign Against Racism and Fascism (CARF) – Shifted its late 2021 focus from opposition to the anti lockdown movement to refugee rights, staging almost weekly protests at the Park Hotel in Carlton on Fridays, which they also did throughout 2021. Aligned with Socialist Alternative.
  • Community Union Defense League (CUDL) – continues to do its weekly food kitchen/mutual aid. Aligned with the Australian Communist Party.
  • Extinction Rebellion (XR) – still kicking along. Recently coordinated a serious of actions targeting fuel terminals in the western suburbs. Non politically aligned.
  • Fight Together For Justice (FTFJ) – still continues to maintain its daily presence at the Park Hotel in Carlton as more detainees see their freedom. Will likely shift its attention to other detention centres when/if the last of the Park Hotel detainees are released into the community, as well as supporting the recently released. Non-politically aligned.
  • The Freedom Cage – spun off from Fight Together For Justice, focused on a cage at the front of the Park Hotel, Carlton which has had numerous public figures stand in it for photo ops. Non politically aligned.
  • Free Palestine Melbourne – still running monthly activist organising meetings. Aligned with Socialist Alternative with involvement from other political groups and independent activists.
  • Frontline Action on Coal (FLAC) – simmering along nationally, has been pretty quiet locally but it still exists. Non politically aligned.
  • Grandmothers For Refugees – doing regular actions at Josh Frydenberg’s electorate offices as well as having a presence at the Park Hotel, as well as having contingents at refugee rights protests. Non politically aligned.
  • Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) – like with Renegade Activists, called a rally late last year in opposition to the AUKUS treaty, which wasn’t cancelled due to COVID exposure. Aligned with Solidarity.
  • March4Justice (M4J) – held rallies across the state (and the country) in late February – though with smaller numbers when compared to mobilisations held at the height of Christian Porter’s rape allegations. Non politically aligned.
  • Rainbow Rebellion (Facebook page) (note: not aligned with Extinction Rebellion, even though ‘Rainbow Rebellion’ is XR’s LGBTI affinity group in some locations i.e. New South Wales) – called a large rally in February in opposition to the Religious Discrimination Bill, followed by a significantly smaller follow up a week later when said bill was shelved. Has been quiet since then. Aligned with Socialist Alternative.
  • Refugee Action Collective (RAC) – meeting on a regular basis and still leading the larger mobilisations at the Park Hotel in Carlton. Nominally non politically aligned but has involvement from Socialist Alliance and Solidarity.
  • Refugee Advocacy Network (RAN) – A coalition of groups and organisations, organises the annual Palm Sunday rally for refugees. Non politically aligned.
  • Renegade Activists – held regular meetings under the title “Raucous Anti-AUKUS Caucus”. Called a protest late last year against the AUKUS treaty, which was cancelled due COVID-19 exposure of one of the organisers. Non politically aligned.
  • Refugees, Survivors and Ex-Detainees (RISE) – has been active on social media, generally campaigning for divestment in entities profiting off of detention facilities. Last action was a student led walkout held last year.
  • Save Public Housing Collective – recently held a small protest outside the Homes Victoria headquarters in the Melbourne CBD. Non politically aligned.
  • School Strike 4 Climate (SS4C) – mobilised in late March with a couple thousand attendees. Also did activities and actions over a four day period. Non politically aligned.
  • Shadow Projection – has worked with Fight Together For Justice and Extinction Rebellion to project relevant messages and images onto things in support of climate action and refugee rights. Non politically aligned.
  • Tamil Refugee Council – has been doing some online events, though most of its recent in person activity has been taking place in Sydney. Aligned with Socialist Alternative with involvement from other political groups and independent activists.
  • Tomorrow Movement – multi issue campaign group for people under 35 years old, a project of YOUNG campaigns. Has had a presence at some rallies and does regular welcome/induction meetings. Non politically aligned.
  • Uni Students For Climate Justice (USCJ) – recently called a rally that took place at the exact same time School Strike 4 Climate held its mobilisation, with a relatively small attendance (though it had Lidia Thorpe as a speaker). Aligned with Socialist Alternative.
  • Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance (WAR) (Facebook) – organises the annual Invasion Day rallies in Naarm/Melbourne. Non politically aligned.
  • Whistleblowers, Activists and Communities Alliance (WACA) (Facebook page) – simmering along. Staged actions at the Park Hotel, in collaboration with Fight Together For Justice, during the height of the Novak Djokovic saga with a planned mobilisation in May (that may not go ahead if the remaining refugees are freed). Also staged a protest against police involvement at the Midsumma Pride March. Non politically aligned.
  • Workers For Climate Action (Facebook page) – aligned with Solidarity.
  • Workers Solidarity – recently organised a small rally calling for a workers led response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Presumably organising in the background. Has involvement from multiple political groups.

Regional groups:

  • Combined Refugee Action Group (CRAG) (Geelong) – presumably still meeting on a regular basis, but has been quiet in terms of actions recently. Notionally non-politically aligned but has strong involvement from Socialist Alliance.
  • Geelong Housing Action Group (GHAG) (Facebook Page) – seems to be simmering along. Recently did an action at the front of Richard Marles’ office. Strong association with Socialist Alliance.
  • Otway Climate Emergency Action Network (OCEAN) – recently held two rallies in Apollo Bay. Non politically aligned.
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