This chapter describes the birth of what is now known a NVDA, non-violent direct action. It used to be called “fluffy” and arose in the early 1990’s as a loose-knit community of people arose who challenged the ongoing paving of this green and pleasant land. Their argument was that chopping down trees to make roads would bring more cars and that what the world needed was fewer cars and more trees. They didn’t talk about global warming or carbon footprints…they just acted on very powerful instincts.
A new form of protest arose from this group, which consciously developed strategies of non-violence that would, like jiu-jitsu, takes the force of the attacker and turn it back against them. And they had to be fun, as were the legendary Reclaim the Streets parties across Britain, and eventually the world. Today, over a decade later, legislation has been passed that greatly restricts the freedom of people to group together, even in small gatherings, to voice their minds. The same people passing this legislation increasingly invite us to “Have your say” on neat little surveys designed by their customer satisfaction experts. Is this what freedom and democracy have been reduced to?