Peaceful Protests

Peaceful protests

Peaceful protests have a way of drawing the public's attention to an issue because the media is always interested in new ways for stories to be told. While few would have difficulties with legal marches and rallies, the question of civil resistance is more controversial. Certainly ARRCC does not condone the breaking of the law. At times, however, individual ARRCC members have chosen, in good conscience, to challenge environmental injustices.

Civil Resistance Workshops in Brisbane, Sydney & Melbourne

Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day and others saw that sometimes a situation calls for action rather than words. Many of us in the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) are feeling that now is such a time. We are planning some specific nonviolent direct actions (NvDA) soon. We note that all successful movements have incorporated NvDA, otherwise known as peaceful civil resistance, as a way of symbolically highlighting the importance of the issues at stake.

To prepare for the coming actions, ARRCC is hosting some one-day workshops with facilitators from Pace e Bene who specialise in NvDA skills development and the spirituality of non-violence. 

You may want to be involved, or you may simply want to learn more about what civil resistance involves and explore whether or not you want to participate in some way. This will be a safe environment, with plenty of opportunity to raise questions and concerns.

The content will include the symbolic and strategic role of civil resistance, different roles people can play, the process of ‘getting arrested’ so people understand what that involves. We will run a nonviolent direct action role-play to give people a chance to try it all out, and finish with informing participants of actions being planned. These workshops are not a place for debating climate science or for exploring the history and spirituality of civil resistance. The emphasis in this workshop is on ‘getting ready’ to take action.

Suggested donation: $50 or $15 concession (However, price is not a barrier – contact us.)


Sydney date: Saturday, 8 April 9.30 for a 10 am start, finishing at 4 pm

Co-facilitators: Justin Whelan and Gill Burrows, Pace e Bene

Venue: Community Room, level 2, Pilgrim House, 262 Pitt St, Sydney.

Enquiries: 02 9150 9713 or info@arrcc.org.au


Melbourne date: Saturday, 18 March, 9.30 for a 10 am start, finishing at 4 pm

Where: The Den, Urban Seed, 116 Little Bourke St, Melbourne.

Co-facilitators: Simon Reeves and Simon Moyle, Pace e Bene

Enquiries: 02 9150 9713 or info@arrcc.org.au

Apologies to our Jewish friends. A Sunday training will be considered if there are expressions of interest. 


Brisbane date: April 8th

Where: Multi-Faith Centre, Griffith University, Nathan campus.

Facilitator: Jason MacLeod and Penny Barrington, Pace e Bene

 Enquiries: 02 9150 9713 or info@arrcc.org.au


Nonviolence is at the heart of the Gospels and all the major faiths.

“To practice nonviolence, first of all we have to practice it within ourselves.” Thich Nhat Hanh

“You see that the world is going toward destruction and violence. And the specialty of violence is to create hatred among people and to create fear. I am a believer in nonviolence and I say that no peace or tranquillity will descend upon the people of the world until nonviolence is practiced, because nonviolence is love and it stirs courage in people." Abdul Ghaffar Khan

“Love, overflowing with small gestures of mutual care, is also civic and political, and it makes itself felt in every action that seeks to build a better world. Love for society and commitment to the common good are outstanding expressions of a charity.” Laudato Si’, para. 231, Pope Francis

“Unless we use the weapons of the spirit, denying ourselves and taking up our cross and following Jesus, dying with Him and rising with Him, men will go on fighting, and often from the highest motives, believing that they are fighting defensive wars for justice and in self-defence against present or future aggression.” Dorothy Day

“(There is) enormous power potential inherent in nonviolent action and in resistance to an opponent possessing vastly superior means of violence.” Hannah Arendt