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The Changing Face Of Social Movements In Australia: Activism

            Social movements are brought on by various forms of civil disobedience which Thoreau (cited in Goodman, 2002) describes as a "responsibility, not a right in the face of injustice". Thoreau, publisher of Civil Disobedience 1849, was one of the first advocates for civil disobedience, not just in writing but also through practice, by refusing to pay taxes "to a US government that supported slavery and war" for which he was imprisoned. .
             Rawls later played a major role in reviving an interest in political philosophy by describing civil disobedience as " public non-violent conscientious act contrary to law done with the intent to bring about change- (Cited in Goodman, 2002). Rawls saw those who participated in forms of civil disobedience as acting from moral principle and political conscience for the public good (Goodman, 2002; Nussabaum, 2002).
             Throughout the history of Australia there have been a number of social movements and civil uprisings which have included: the McCarthy movement (1950s), Trade unionism (1950s), the movement against 54B and the Vietnam War (1960s), anti-war protests, anti-corporate globalisation, and ecological and green movements (Burgmann, 1993). .
             For the purpose of this essay I will be examining one global movement that had a direct impact on Australia; the Indigenous rights movement. I will be exploring the stages of the movement, the principles that lay behind this movement and some of the methods used to convey these. In the last part of the essay I will be examining one of more recent global social movements, the anti-war protests, I will also explore the new methods that are being used to create and promote worldwide civil disobedience and social action.
             The consequence of "racialisation" in Australia is the continual oppression of indigenous people and repudiation by the wider community to that oppression (Burgmann, 1993). Since settlement in 1788 Australia has tried various ways to deal with what we have defined as the "Aboriginal problem".

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