This post is part of Investigating Companies: A Do-It-Yourself Handbook. Read, download or purchase the whole book here.
There are far too many UK-based campaigns, community groups and unions to list here so below are a few pointers for where to look to get the contacts you need. For groups outside the UK you could try media sources in the country or region you’re looking at, or ask a UK group that’s working on a similar issue to see if they have any links.
Some of the most practical, useful and in-depth research on what companies are up to is produced by the people resisting them, who will often dig far deeper into a company’s operations than journalists and researchers – and over a longer period of time.
The False Economy and EarthFirst websites currently have lists of anti-austerity and environmental campaigns respectively.
The Housmans World Peace Database contains contact details for more than 3,000 national and international peace and related organisations.
The Indymedia website contains information from and about campaigns and groups across the UK.
The Mines and Communities website contains information on anti-mining campaigns and the social movements involved in them.
Check the sources in the non-corporate research and mainstream media sections below for more leads.
COMMUNITY AND VOLUNTARY GROUPS
Even if they’re not involved in campaigns or resistance against the company you’re looking at, local community and voluntary groups can be good places to meet people who have been affected by its operations.
Local councils have lists of community and voluntary groups in their area (although they might not advertise details of groups they see as too radical).
Most areas will also have a Voluntary Action association and these will have information on local groups. You can get details of your nearest association from the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action.
As well as putting you in contact with a company’s workers, trade unions produce research and briefings into companies, industries and the privatisation of public services.
Wikipedia has a good list of UK trade unions, with links to their websites. Check the LabourStart and Labournet websites for union news and contact details. The Libcom website has details of workers’ struggles in the UK and around the world.