Schweik Action Wollongong

SAW is a small voluntary group in Wollongong, Australia, fostering awareness of nonviolent responses to aggression and repression, most active from 1986 to 2010.

Nonviolent action

includes leafletting, rallies, strikes, boycotts, sit-ins, fasts and many other methods of social action. Nonviolent action allows widespread participation, maximises the potential for dialogue and tends to discourage violence by opponents. At the same time, nonviolent action has immense potential power to transform society. It was a key factor in the Indian independence movement, the US civil rights movement, the toppling of Philippines dictator Marcos in 1986, the collapse of Eastern European communist regimes in 1989, and many other historical struggles.

Social defence

is nonviolent community resistance to aggression as an alternative to military defence. It is based on widespread protest, persuasion, noncooperation and intervention in order to oppose military aggression or repression. It uses methods such as boycotts, acts of disobedience, strikes, demonstrations and setting up alternative institutions. No society has yet made systematic efforts to develop the capacity for social defence. Schweik Action Wollongong seeks to learn how to best promote this alternative.

Schweik Action's projects have included

Along the way, we

See "Schweik in Wollongong", an account of the group published in 2006.

The group is named after the fictional character Schweik (or Svejk), a soldier who created havoc in the Austrian army during World War I by pretending to be extremely stupid. See Jaroslav Hasek, The Good Soldier Svejk and His Fortunes in the World War (Penguin, 1974).

Schweik Action Wollongong, PO Box U129, Wollongong NSW 2500, Australia.
Phone +61-2-4228 7860
Email: Brian Martin at

To contact other groups concerned with related issues, see the World Peace Database at