The Commons Social Change Library is an online resource freely available to anyone with an internet connection. We gather resources from Australia and around the world on a broad range of topics including campaign strategy, organising, digital campaigning, communications and media, working effectively in groups, diversity and inclusion and much more.
When you're busy working towards social or ecological justice goals it's hard to find the time to track down information or develop all the skills required. The Commons is here to help by making all that information accessible. We also aim to make sharing and collaboration across movements and struggles easier.
The library is staffed by Holly Hammond (activist educator), Antje Dun (librarian and graphic designer) and Iain McIntyre (social movement historian).
The library has recently prioritised building a new topic area on Arts and Creativity, gathering tips on effective Activist Archiving, and providing a clear summary of our 55 resources on Nonviolent Direct Action.
The Arts and Creativity topic includes articles, podcasts, songs, templates, interviews, case studies and practical guides. The emphasis is on inspiring ways to use art and other creative approaches to get people's attention and change public debate.
Archiving your campaign might not feel like a big priority when you're busy fighting the good fight ‒ but it can ensure your side of the story of that fight gets told. In order to learn the lessons of social movement history we need people to keep records of what actually happened. The Commons has gathered a range of resources to help make it easier to get archiving. We're also looking for groups who would like to trial some different tools in this area.
Nonviolent direct action is currently at the forefront of the national conversation. On the Commons you can find resources on the theory and philosophy of NVDA; practical guides to setting up action groups and blockades; training materials; many inspiring and informative case studies, and specialist resources on legal rights, safety and resilience.
Stay tuned for new additions to the library in the areas of Organising and Digital Campaigning, as our librarians gather materials from the Australian Progress FWD+Organise conference.
There's much more to be found in the library and the collection is growing all the time. The Commons Social Change Library welcomes queries and contributions to the collection.
Published in Chain Reaction #137, December 2019. National magazine of Friends of the Earth Australia. www.foe.org.au/chain_reaction