Digital Archive brought to you
by JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Direct action is the strategic use of nonviolent tactics and methods to bring an opponent or oppressive party into dialogue to resolve an unjust situation. It is used as a moral force to illustrate, document and counter injustices. Gene Sharp originally wrote of 198 methods but the number keeps growing. The techniques and tactics for direct action include rallies, letter-writing campaigns, vigils, petitions, fasts, walks and marches, civil disobedience and boycotts. In Letter from Birmingham Jail, Dr. King mentions four steps of nonviolent campaigns: fact-finding, negotiation, self-purification and direct action. These can be seen, for example, in the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Freedom Rides.