Industrial action (or a ‘strike’) is where a group of workers do not attend work as a means of protest. A trade union can only call for a strike if a majority of its members involved support it in an organised vote called a ‘ballot’. There are legal restrictions around how long such strikes can last and in certain critical sectors (such as policing and for prison officers) striking is unlawful.
Peaceful protests can quickly develop into public disorder if small numbers of individuals are intent on provoking violence. Public disorder may be caused by long-standing grievances or as a spontaneous response to a single incident. Peaceful protests, that remain peaceful, are not considered a form of public disorder.