activism

Fri
10
Mar

Necessary Trouble: A Field Guide for the Resistance

by Ben Dangl
March 10, 2017
CounterPunch

The resistance is everywhere. It’s in the streets and at the airports. It’s in public office and on Twitter. It’s with the Nazi-punchers and the general strikers. Resistance to Trump is everywhere, and it’s growing.

Much of the current organizing against Trump and Trumpism is building off of the last decade of social movement activity in America. From Occupy Wall Street to Black Lives Matter, the US has given rise to countless activist movements and initiatives that provide useful strategies and political visions for the resistance today.

Sun
18
Dec

How the AIDS movement has given birth to the Trump resistance

Lessons for Fighting a Demagogue, From the People Who Survived a Plague

By Michelle Goldberg
Slate

When Annette Gaudino, a longtime activist with the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, or ACT UP, realized that Donald Trump was going to win the election, she felt a sick sense of déjà vu. Now a middle-aged woman with an established career in health care advocacy, living in a world where the vice president of the United States presides over gay marriages, she suddenly remembered what it was like to be a young person consigned to marginality and surrounded by death. “It’s new and unprecedented, but also so familiar,” Gaudino says of our reactionary moment. “That’s what makes it feel like you’re in a dream. I could swear this happened when I was 25. How is it happening now that I’m 50? We had this little window where we all fell a little bit for the illusion of progress, but it’s like, oh, just kidding.”

Sun
02
Oct

What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic

by Asam Ahmad
Briarpatch Magazine
March 2, 2015

Call-out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists, and community organizers to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behaviour and language use by others. People can be called out for statements and actions that are sexist, racist, ableist, and the list goes on. Because call-outs tend to be public, they can enable a particularly armchair and academic brand of activism: one in which the act of calling out is seen as an end in itself.

Fri
05
Aug

Why We Don’t Make Demands

by CrimethInc

From Occupy to Ferguson, whenever a new grassroots movement arises, pundits charge that it lacks clear demands. Why won’t protesters summarize their goals as a coherent program? Why aren’t there representatives who can negotiate with the authorities to advance a concrete agenda through institutional channels? Why can’t these movements express themselves in familiar language, with proper etiquette?

Sat
30
Jul

Never mind the ballots – towards large scale horizontal decision making

by Poll Cat
Slingshot, Issue #121: Summer 2016

Over the last half century, an incredible decision-making process has emerged known as consensus, a process based on the radical idea that the group will not move forward on a decision unless every member is on board. Blossoming out of the Free Speech Movement, consensus process has been adopted in homes, workplaces, collectives, and community organizations as a way to make decisions with less interference from pre-existing hierarchies such as race, class, age, and gender. Consensus isn’t perfect, but it creates a framework for problem solving that offers a model of greater equality than the “rule of the privileged” that tends to happen in small groups by default.

Sat
25
Jun

PLAY: A Call for Submissions for the Next Issue of Perspectives

Are you an organizer or activist currently engaged in movement work? Are you interested in taking time to reflect on the lessons and ideals of this work in order to help advance anarchist praxis? Are you a self-taught thinker with a particular interest or expertise in some aspect of radical history or practice? Are you willing to share your insights to contribute to our collective memory? Do you have ideas, experiences, or questions that you would like to develop and share with a wider audience?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, the Perspectives on Anarchist Theory editorial collective would like to hear from you. We believe it is crucial that those of us with visions of a free society share our work and ideas so that we can create a solid, common foundation on which to build a better world. We value underrepresented voices, accessibility, complexity, and the rigorous investigation of ideas.

Thu
18
Feb

To My Friend the Climate Defeatist: Here's Why I'm Still In the Fight

Jim Shultz
Yes! magazine
Apr 29, 2014

My English friend Paul Kingsnorth was the subject of a long article two weeks ago in The New York Times magazine, “It’s the End of the World as We Know It ... and He Feels Fine.”

A former editor of The Ecologist, Paul has gained new attention of late for his passionate and public despair over “an age of ecocide” and his proclamations that we are now powerless to do anything about it. That expression of despair coincides with an equally public withdrawal from the battlefield of big-scale climate and environmental activism. He warns, “What all these movements are doing is selling a false premise. They’re saying, ‘If we take these actions, we will be able to achieve this goal.’ And if you can’t and you know that you are lying to people.”

Sat
02
Jan

'Slacktivism' works

Study shows people who like and retweet political slogans help protesters spread their message

A US study has found that online activists can double the reach of a real life protest

Caroline Mortimer The Independent
8 December 2015

People who protest by casually “liking” or retweeting political content online do have an impact, a new study has suggested.

Dubbed "slacktivists", people who express support for causes online but rarely mobilise in real-life are often dismissed as superficial and ineffectual.

But analysis of more than a million tweets by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and New York University (NYU) has found these people on the periphery do play a critical role in spreading the reach of protest movements.

The study, published in the journal PLOS One, focused on a few specific protests: the 2013 Gezi Park protests in Turkey, the Indignados movement against austerity in Spain and the Occupy movements.

Thu
29
Oct

Masking Oppression as “Free Speech”: An Anarchist Take

By Tariq Khan
Agency
October 28, 2015

Tue
25
Aug

It is Time We Discussed Abolishing the Police

by Brian Platt
CounterPunch
August 25, 2015

“If I was an anarchist or even a regular protester,” explained the president of the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild Ron Smith, “I would probably not want to be infiltrated by the police… Just like the dope dealer on Third and Pike doesn’t want to get busted. That’s the price of doing business. It’s the whole package.” This startling bit of honesty from the Seattle police regarding their imperative to infiltrate and spy on social justice protests came as Ansel Herz, a reporter for the local newspaper The Stranger, questioned Smith regarding undercover cops at a Black Lives Matter protest last December.

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