Introduction to Activism
The idea of activism might seem intimidating at first. I am here to tell you it really isn’t that hard. There are so many different types of activism you can do to help create changes in the world. Whatever your personality is; you can find something to do to help your cause.
Consumer Purchasing – Everyday when you shop you have the opportunity to buy from companies that support your morals and values. The important part is knowing which companies support what. One of my good friends helped me with this. They recommend using “Boycott“. This website & app. lets you pick and choose campaigns from 17 categories such as: animal welfare, environment, and human trafficking. From there you can browse the many ongoing campaigns such as: Don’t Buy Deforestation Paper, Boycott Chocolate Produced by Child Slaves, and Boycott Trump Products. Once you have joined the campaigns that you wanted, you can then scan barcodes or look up products and it will give you a list of anything that company supports that you don’t. The best part is it stays up-to-date with the help of community moderators. If you can, I would highly suggest using this method to research into the companies and get to know them better.
Volunteering – Alone or with a group, this is a great way to spend your time. It lets you interact with others who share the same interests or goals. This in it’s self is uplifting and motivating to be around.
Protests & Demonstrations – Civil Disobedience & Direct Actions – Activists interfere in attempt to stop actions on the spot or create immediate awareness. Check out one of my favourite action groups called Direct Action Everywhere. These are events that are usually planned well in advance, organized, and typically lead by experienced activists.
Examples: Blockading roads or traffic to prevent something from occurring (construction or unethical shipments). Disrupting civilization (restaurants, malls, events etc.) Sitting in trees, to prevent them from being cut down. Hanging banners from institutional facilities. Redesigning advertisements to present a more accurate, educational, and unbiased message to the public. This is called subvertising. Tearing up fields of genetically engineered crops. Hacking unethical websites. Cutting fishing long-lines or driftnets in the sea. Taking an animal away from torture and/or slaughter. Typically the animals would then be given to a sanctuary (which are awesome to volunteer at).
Litigation – With the assistance of attorneys and legal-aid groups – lawsuits are filed against institutions and their executives.
Social Media – This lets you share with others what you are doing and why. You can share pictures, videos, publications, and anything you would like that is relevant to your cause.
Everyday Tasks – Bring along leaflets, brochures or even stickers that can be offered to others. Pins or stickers on your bag, purse, or coat. Wearing clothing that promotes your cause. Bring side walk chalk with you, especially if you have kids, to draw or write about it.
You can do activism basically anytime you want. Typically the police/law enforcement are notified in advance of certain activism events (for security purposes and out of respect). I would always recommend peaceful and legal forms of activism; however it is your choice and I support you.