According to Wikipedia, direct action is “a form of political activism which seeks immediate remedy for perceived ills, as opposed to indirect actions such as electing representatives who promise to provide remedy at some later date.”
Although support for electoralism often is a form of indirect action, it can also be direct. Direct action can include such activities as strikes, workplace occupations, sabotage and civil disobedience. And so, it is sometimes illegal. Legal forms of direct action include strikes, establishing social centers, performing street theatre, demonstrating and... participation in municipal elections by communalists.
This does not mean that communalists and other radicals should be against illegal things like civil disobedience or social revolutions. On the contrary, Henry David Thoreau, the early advocate of civil disobedience should inspire us. Just like Errico Malatesta, one of the advocates of a left-libertarian revolution, should inspire us.
The naturalist American author Thoreau, who pioneered the modern theory behind civil disobedience in his 1849 essay "Resistance to Civil Government", can be seen as one of the ablest thinkers of the 19th century. He inspired people like Leo Tolstoi, Emma Goldman and Martin Luther King. Malatesta was a principled revolutionary who defended the refusal of military service, and was also right in being in support of the economical work and pleasure principle “from each according to abilities, to each according to needs”.
Civil disobedience encompasses the active refusal to obey certain laws, demands and commands of hierarchical institutions without easily resorting to physical violence. People should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their conscience, or deny their principles and become agents of injustice.
Revolutions are interesting when they are about establishing a lot of power from below, a dual power against the nation-state within cooperating communes. True revolutions are not about trying to gain state power, like so many marxists have advocated, they are about empowerment of all the people, not about empowering vanguard elites.
To participate in municipal elections can be seen as an educational form of direct action when the final goal is to abolish municipal hierarchies and the institutions that support them. The Left should get rid of the statification of municipalities, by forming a dual power against the State. Therefore radicals who are in favor of direct democracy should try to gain majorities for their cause at the local level, by this they can delegitimize the power of dominating municipal governments that support the immoral market economies and state power.