Activism pathfinder


National Coalition on Housing and Homelessness

Advocates for the federal government to take action to deliver housing to low income Canadians.

Raising the Roof

Works towards building awareness of and practical solutions to homelessness. Raises funds for community groups, develops strategies to address and prevent homelessness nationally and in their own communities.

Toronto Disaster Relief Committee

Provides advocacy on housing and homelessness issues. Demands that Canada end homelessness by implementing a fully-funded National Housing Program through the One Percent Solution. Active regionally and nationally.

Ontario Tenants

Not a group – Information portal including listings of social justice and tenant right’s actions and groups, as well as useful documents like Ontario’s Landlord and Tenant Act, and the Tenant Protection Act.

Homes Not Bombs

Uses nonviolent direct action in an attempt to confront institutional violence against the homeless.

International Union of Tenants

NGO was founded in Switzerland in 1926 with the purpose of safeguarding the interests of tenants. IUT is a non-party political organization. As of 2006, 54 member associations in 44 countries.

Asian Coalition for Housing Choices (ACHR)

Network for NGOs and grassroots groups working in Asian cities to “exchange ideas, tackle the problem of forced evictions in the region’s cities, develop opportunities for organizations of the poor.”

National Alliance of HUD Tenants (NAHT)

Connects most of the organized HUD tenant groups across the USA. Provides a forum to share ideas and information about actions and strategies.


Beyond Factory Farming

Campaigns in Canada to promote food sovereignty, sustainable livestock production, certified organic, holistic management, pastured livestock, manure composting. Supports food sovereignty, ecological, human and animal health as well as local sustainability and community viability and informed citizen/consumer choice.

Animal Rights Canada

Online resource for Canadian animal rights activists – creates linkages between groups and posts tips and action alerts.

Global Action Network

Promotes environmental awareness and action against animal abuse and the destruction of the environment. Uses education, grassroots organizing, coalition building, and political networking.

Toronto Animal Rights Society

Promotes animal rights through consumer advocacy. Conducts Outdoor Video Education Displays (OVEDs) that show passers-by on busy Toronto streets video footage from slaughterhouses and factory farms.

Vancouver Humane Society

Registered charity dedicated to the humane treatment of animals. Also supports various actions against cruel practices and is a hub for animal rights activists in Vancouver.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

Largest animal rights organization in the world. Dedicated to establishing and protecting the rights of all animals. “Operates under the simple principle that animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment.”

International Fund for Animal Welfare

Works to improve animal welfare, prevent animal cruelty and abuse, protect wildlife and provide animal rescue around the world. Works to create solutions that benefit both animals and people.

Animal Liberation Front

Carries out nonviolent, direct action against animal abuse by rescuing animals, often causing damage and destruction of property. “Short-term aim is to save as many animals as possible and directly disrupt the practice of animal abuse. Long-term aim is to end all animal suffering by forcing animal abuse companies out of business.”


Canadian Association of Foodbanks

Umbrella organization that assists Canadian food banks in meeting immediate food needs of recipients while working towards long-term solutions to hunger and poverty. Provides network for anti-hunger activists.

National Anti-Poverty Organization

Works for the eradication of poverty by making concerns of low-income people known through direct action, petitioning government departments, and amplifies the voices of the poor in local and regional communities.

Anti Poverty Coalition

Direct-action group that highlights government inequality and biased treatment of the poor and the homeless in policy and in practice.

Halifax Coalition Against Poverty

Direct-action organization that launches campaigns against regressive government policy and the institutions that perpetuate poverty.

Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP)

Direct-action group that tries to raise public awareness of issues of poverty and unfair government practices and policy.

Toronto Robin Hood Collective

Group dedicated to “resurrecting the Class War of Robin Hood on the streets of Toronto. Not only is this struggle a class war, but also a primal war for the release of the human revolutionary spirit and the beginning of an awakening of our feral hearts.”

Food Not Bombs

Grassroots movement in USA active throughout the world. Works to end hunger while bringing awareness to issues of unequal distribution of food and resources; globalization; restrictions on the freedom of mobility; military occupations; and exploitation and the destruction of the earth.

Radical Cheerleaders

Direct-action group in the U.S. that engages in street performance to promote wide range of issues including anti-capitalism and women’s rights. Website says “Radical Cheerleading is Protest + Performance, Activism with pom poms and middle fingers extended.”


Promotes human, environmental and worker rights at the local, national and global levels by making corporate practices more transparent and holding corporations accountable for their actions.


Canadian Peace Alliance

Canada‘s largest umbrella peace organization. Provides network for member groups to create a strong, coordinated voice for peace issues at the national level. Goals include redirecting funds from military spending to human needs; working toward global nuclear disarmament; making Canada a consistent leader for world peace; strengthening world institutions for the peaceful resolution of conflict; and protecting the rights of all people to work for peace, social & economic justice.

Project Ploughshares

Ecumenical agency of the Canadian Council of Churches to implement church’s role of being peacemakers. Works with churches and related organizations, as well as governments and non-governmental organizations to identify, develop, and advance approaches that build peace and prevent war, and promote the peaceful resolution of political conflict.

War Resisters Support Campaign

Broad-based coalition of community, faith, labour and other organizations and individuals that support U.S. soldiers seeking asylum in Canada “because they refuse to fight in the illegal war in Iraq.”

Toronto Coalition to Stop the War

Direct-action group that organizes days of action and supports international calls for action, through protests, marches, mass mobilization.

Stop War

Direct-action group that responds to international calls for days of action against various aggressive wars. Work includes education, mass mobilization and lobbying.

Global Action to Prevent War and Armed Conflict

Transnational network dedicated to practical measures for reducing global levels of conflict and to removing the institutional and ideological impediments to ending armed conflict and severe human rights violations.


Council of Canadians

Focused on fighting deeper economic integration with the US. Includes building popular opposition to agreements that allow for Canada to integrate its security measures with those of the United States, amongst other loss-of-sovereignty agreements.

Canadian Environmental Network

Mandate is to “Protect The Earth And Promote Ecologically Sound Ways Of Life” – also facilitates networking between environmental organizations and others who share its mandate.

Toronto Public Space Committee

Accessible and pragmatic grassroots group that engages in direct and creative action as well as lobbying. Also runs magazine (Spacing) dedicated to creatively taking on public space issues.

Toronto Environmental Alliance

“A critical centre for environmental change in Canada” — Focuses on five major campaign areas: Smog and Climate Change, Public Transit, Toxics and Urban Pesticides, Waste Reduction and Clean Water.

Saskatchewan Eco Network

Connects environmentalists within the province and across Canada and promotes active networking among member groups.

Friends of the Earth International

World’s largest grassroots environmental network, located in the Netherlands, “uniting 71 diverse national member groups and some 5,000 local activist groups n every continent”. Shares and promotes solutions amongst member groups that aim to create environmentally sustainable and socially just societies.

Rainforest Action Network

Non-violent direct action group that campaigns for “the forests, their inhabitants and the natural systems that sustain life” through education and grassroots organizing.


Direct-action group that commits grandiose spectacles to “expose environmental criminals, and to challenge government and corporations when they fail to live up to their mandate to safeguard our environment and our future.”


Indigenous People’s Solidarity Network

Multi-approach collective whose primary goal is to ally with indigenous peoples in the active fight for mutual self-determination. Tactics range from popular education to mobilization to direct action.

Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Working Group

Multi-approach group that aims to create opportunities for Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members to work together to educate, mobilize and act against colonization and in support of Indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination and self-governance.

Arctic Indigenous Youth Alliance

Group in Yellowknife, whose goal is to “provide education and leadership development to Northern Indigenous youth and to empower youth to engage decision makers (industry and government), and equip them to make decisions for a sustainable development framework based on the traditional knowledge and customary practices of the Dene and Inuvialuit Indigenous peoples.”New sections added in 2006 regarding Six Nations issue and actions. Still a lot of good articles, legal information, statements remain.


Group that promotes the learning and respect of every aspect of indigenous heritage, as well as self-government, and unity in fighting land claim battles – through education and action.

Cultural Survival

Advocacy and action group whose goals are to increase global understanding of indigenous peoples’ rights, cultures, and concerns. Also to empower indigenous peoples to be better self-advocates, and to also create partnerships with them.

Indigenous Environmental Network

Public awareness and direct action group in the United States, made up of a network of Indigenous Peoples. Goals are to “empower Indigenous Nations and communities towards sustainable livelihoods, demanding environmental justice and maintaining the Sacred Fire” of their traditions.


Egale Canada

Advocacy group committed to advancing equality and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-identified people, and their families, across Canada. Often involved in legal aspects of gay rights cause as well as public education initiatives.

Trans Action Canada

Lobbying and action group that works with many similar organizations and the government. Challenges the current laws and perceptions regarding trans equality rights, healthcare and social services access.

Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)

Support and action group that “actively assists in the recognition and growth of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, two-spirit, intersex, queer and questioning persons and their families and friends, within their diverse cultures and societies.”

Out North

Direct action group and social network whose goals are to advocate equality for the LGBT community and to educate members and the community of Yellowknife.

Supporting Our Youth

Toronto based community development project designed to improve the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and transgender youth. Works to provide positive spaces, supportive housing and employment opportunities; and to increase youth access to adult mentoring and support.

Pink Triangle Services

Advocacy and action network in Ottawa, that provides leadership and resources to identify, address and promote community development, respectful and inclusive services and programs.

International Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Youth and Student Organization

Advocacy network in the Netherlands, created “as a reaction to the need for better co-operation among local, regional and national LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) youth and student organizations.” Main objectives include “combating discrimination and persecution as well as promoting and supporting emancipation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.”

The International Lesbian and Gay Association

Advocacy and action network of national and local groups that “focuses public and government attention on cases of discrimination against LGBT people by supporting programs and protest actions, asserting diplomatic pressure, providing information and working with international organizations and the international media.”

Queer Peace International

Advocacy and action group that seeks to “empower grassroots lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organizations in developing countries to educate their communities on LGBT issues and concerns, as well as learn the necessary skills to advocate for their rights.”

Prison Justice

Network that connects regional, national and international campaigns and groups. Supports direct action against the prison industrial complex as well as public awareness campaigns on prisoner justice issues.

Justice Behind the Walls

Pragmatic discussion and portrayal of the prison world in an effort to create understanding between those on the inside and the outside of prisons. Advocates against prison injustice.

Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies

Association of self-governing, community-based societies that “work with and for women and girls in the justice system, particularly those who are, or may be, criminalized.” Monitors delivery and development of services and programs in correctional facilities.


Direct-action solidarity group in Toronto that campaigns primarily around Palestinian political prisoners being held by Israel. Also acts against the “imprisonment of indigenous, immigrant and racialized people in North America, as well as the role of the prison industrial complex in criminalizing poverty and political resistance.” Believes in prison abolition.

Prisoners Justice Action Committee

Direct-action group in Toronto, dedicated to calling attention to issues of police brutality and injustice in the prison system, and organizing around the idea of prison abolition.

Joint Effort

All-female prison abolitionist group in Vancouver, involved in solidarity work with women prisoners at facilities in BC. Group consists of women who work to create contacts between women in prison and various community organizations outside the prison.

Black Cross Solidarity Network

Network for communication and working base for “autonomous groups who engage in activities that generally fall in one of two categories: Defensive and Offensive.” Based in the United States. Defensive work involves meeting the needs of the prisoners, Offensive work means directly challenging the existence of prisons through direct action and public education campaigns about prison conditions.

Prison Activist Resource Centre

Direct-action group based in the United States, committed to building action networks and creating public awareness to expose and challenge “the institutionalized racism of the prison industrial complex” as well as human rights violations in prison. Provides support for prisoners and their families, as well as for educators and activists.

Critical Resistance

Direct-action group that seeks to build an international movement to end the prison industrial complex by challenging the belief that “caging and controlling people makes us safe.”


Women’s Legal and Education Action Fund

Advocacy group committed to using legal and constitutional arguments to promote equality for women. Mandate includes ensuring that the right of women and girls are upheld, as well as providing publi education on the issues of gender equality.

National Action Committee on the Status of Women

Largest feminist organization in Canada with a coalition of more than 700 member groups. Creates networks and engages in direct-action, public awareness campaigns and advocacy to promote and protect the right of all women within Canada.

Justice for Girls

Advocacy group that works to promote social justice and an end to violence, poverty and racism in the lives of teenage girls who have low income or are homeless. Through using and teaching knowledge of institutions, such as criminal justice and child welfare systems, the group empowers young women in their struggles with violence, poverty and racism.

Women’s Community House (London, ON)

Organization that aims to provide emergency housing and support for women transitioning from violent homes. Provides safe spaces and programs for women (and children) who are victims of sexual and domestic violence, and provides a strong voice for abused women with the goal of ending abuse.

Toronto Women’s Bookstore

Business and community advocates dedicated to promote anti-oppression politics and feminist politic through providing access to books and writers who have been marginalized. Mandate is to “be an information provider and community resource for events, political actions, women’s health care, self care, different community groups.”

International network that unites direct action, advocacy and public awareness campaigns. Works toward unifying issues of women’s rights and human rights – calls itself “world’s largest pro-choice student network.”

Female Genital Cutting Education and Networking Project

International advocacy project that seeks to promote education on female genital mutilation, otherwise known as female circumcision. Goal is to create “online clearinghouse and a community for researchers, activists, attorneys, and health care practitioners to obtain information and network with others involved in similar projects.”

National Organization for Women (USA)

Direct action and advocacy group that works to “eliminate discrimination and harassment in the workplace, schools, the justice system, and all other sectors of society; secure abortion, birth control and reproductive rights for all women; end all forms of violence against women; eradicate racism, sexism and homophobia; and promote equality and justice in society.”


Justice for Migrant Workers

Canadian direct-action and advocacy group that promotes rights of seasonal Caribbean and Mexican migrant workers that annually participate in the federal government’s Caribbean & Mexican Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (known as SAWP).

Maquila Solidarity Network

Canadian advocacy group that focuses on labour and women’s rights, promotes solidarity with grassroots gropus in Mexico, Central America and Asia, working to improve conditions in maquiladora factories and export processing zones.

No One is Illegal

Based in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Direct-action sister groups who fight for the rights of all migrants to live with dignity and respect through mass mobilization and public eduaction campaigns. Works to oppose discriminatory immigration policies , “along with international ecnomic policies that create the conditions of poverty and war that force migration.” also works to support and build alliances with indigenious Canadians and the displacement and theft of their land.

Campain for Labor Rights (USA)

Direct-action group that works on campaigns “which have the goal of worker empowerment through union recognition and collectively bargained contracts. Our goal is to be a resource to local activists who are organizing in their communities in support of workers worldwide.”

Transnational Information Exchange – Asia (TIE-Asia)

Direct-action, network-based advocacy and unionizing force whose mandate includes encouraging and supporting the development of unions and democratic workers’ organizations; promoting and implementing the rights of mainly women workers and to bring about improvements to their livelihoods, their families, communities and society.

National Mobilization Against Sweatshops

Direct-action and advocacy group whose goals include: “promoting fundamental human rights, creating a new kind of labor movement led by working-class communities, developing a positive identity of youth and students as future workers and agents of change, and recognizing and supporting the work of women, including that of mothering.”

Activists utilize many communication methods, and often they create their own publications and communication networks in order to provide an alternative to mainstream media, and also to publicize the work that is being done by specific groups. The activist community also creates physical spaces for activists of all organizations to share information about the government and other groups, as well as methods of organizing. In order to be considered activist media, the source must be nonprofit, it must be run under a spirit of collectivist principles,it must be accessible to all – especially individuals and groups who have been traditionally misrepresented, underrespresented or ignored by the mainstream media, and it must serve the goal of connecting those who work towards expanding the rights of both individuals and groups.


This Magazine

Grassroot publication that focuses on Canadian politics, pop culture and the arts, “but in keeping with its radical roots never pulls punches.”

Shameless Magazine

Grassroots publication rooted in feminism and DIY culture, calling itself a fresh alternative to typical teen girl magazines. Actively involved in the independent media and arts communities.

The Activist

Publication that grew out of Act for the Earth – an organization founded originally to protest space-based missile defense.


Ontario-based grassroots publication covering the policies and current events in Ontario. Hopes to fill the “large gap in the mainstream media which frequently fails to cover the issues that concern the average resident of Ontario.” Also making effort to focus on rural, aboriginal and social issues.


Grassroots publication in Regina, SK, that provides news, analysis and opinions on many issues. Provides a “thoughful, principled and irreverent alternative to a false consensus of the corporate media.” Maude Barlowe called it “one of the few voices that will still challenge the corporate agenda and present workable alternatives.”

Off our Backs

Grassroots publication in Washington, C.C., USA. Some of their goals are to “provide news and information about women’s lives and feminist activism; educate the public about the status of women around the world; serve as a forum for feminist ideas and theory.”


Indy Press Newsstand

Publishing business in San Francisco, USA, that “amplifies the power of independent publications so as to foster a more just, open and democratic society.” Promotes and supports independent publications committed to social justice and a free press.

Local Income families Together (LIFT)

Community centre in Toronto that commits to strengthen the foundation of the community by enabling members to develop, share and increase resources, embrace diversity and create enduring, people-centered initiatives.


Democracy Now!

Radio news program in New York City, USA, that airs daily over 450 stations in North America. “Pioneers the largest public media collaboration in the U.S., broadcasted on Pacifica, NPR, community and college radio stations; on public access, PBS, satellite television; as “podcast,” and on the internet. Provides access to people and perspectives rarely heard in the U.S. corporate-sponsored media.”

Alternative Radio

Radio public affairs program from Boulder, Colorado, USA. Airs weekly, offered free to all public radio stations in the U.S, Canada, Europe, South Africa, Australia, and on Radio for Peace International. “Provides information, analyses and views that are frequently ignored or distorted in other media.”


PIRG; Public Interest Research Groups

Public Interest Research Groups across Canada are listed on this site, their activtities range widely but all are committed to social justice and grassroots and grassroots empowerment and education. Active Canadian PIRGs are based in ON, PQ, AB, BC and NS provinces.

Edmonton Activist Literature

Ephemera – collective of activist flyers, pamphlest, etc., offered for reuse and study.

The Ruckus Society

Training organization that provides environmental organizations, human rights organizations and social justice organizations with the tools, training and support to achieve direct action as well as other goals.



Collective of independent media organizations and hundreds of journalists offering grassroots, non-corporate coverage. Operates as a democratic media outlet for for the creation of “radical, accurate and passionate tellings of truth.”

Autonomy and Solidarity Network

Network and forum that organizes discussion groups, public forums and skills workshops, and produces materials and resources to develop and share radical anti-capitalist politics. Goal is to develop theory and practice collectively to make better contributions to movements.

Video Activist Collective

Video collective in San Francisco, USA, — informal association of activists and politically conscious artists using video to support social, economic and environmental justice campaigns. International links also provided on page.

Toronto Video Activist Collective

Video collective — “a new movement designed to harness the treacherous tube to our struggles for justice.”

Campus Activism

Online network that shares goals and strategies with activists at other schools to increase success and enable progressive change for people living in other communities.

Straight Goods

Grassroots news service/”watchdog” working for Canadian consumers and citizens. From the website: “The purpose of Straight Goods is to untangle spin with investigate reports, features, forums, archives and links.”


Grassroots online magazine and community that aims to inspire citizen action and advocacy on the environment, human rights and civil liberties, social justice, media and health care issues. Aim is to “stimulate, motivate and engage.”

Common Dreams

National non-profit citizen’s organization in the USA, working to bring Americans together to promote progressive visions for America’s future. Uses the internet as a political organizing tool and creates new models for internet activism.


Online news repository and community in the USA that is an addition to Z Magazine’s online presence. According to the website “it is a continuous town meeting and intellectual and activist service center for large sectors of the progressive community.” Among other things, its goals are to provide an interface for the exchange ideas and the development of new political programs, unity and online activism.

Guerilla News Network

Participatory news network in the USA whose mission is to increase exposure to global issues through “cross-platform guerrilla programming, with the goal of providing a platform for the next wave of digital media guerrillas.”


Canadian grassroots online publication that contains “efforts of progressive journalists, writers, artists and activists across the country to cover issues in conventional and unconventional ways.”