‘Political Activation’ as I call it, is about knowing the power in every time you say something, when said in the right place (sometimes the right website), the right time, and the right way. Everyone has that power; The power to move people. Activism itself has become a dirty word in some circles: Picture an activist, you’re probably picturing someone with longish hair, buttons pinned to their jacket, holding a sign, and/or chanting a slogan. It doesn’t have to be this way. This depiction is of merely one expression of what it means to affect social and political change. In particular, these ‘rallies’ have impressive effects:
The opportunity to speak with people all together or in small groups takes advantage of a natural phenomenon. Namely, if one brain is a network of nodes connecting to solve puzzles, think of what many can do when they can properly connect. The problems here are always connectivity problems, not that people cannot connect, but that people have a hard time hearing things they do not want to hear, when it endangers another opinion or ‘fact’ they hold dear.
Education, and Opinion! These are often hard to tell apart but with the proper application of logic, patience, and properly using the informational resources provided by the age we find ourselves in to check sources, we can grow as a cloud of minds, at first in ripples, then in waves.
Although a rally has never directly legislated change, it is a marker of that change. The rally itself is not meant to provide a comprehensive solution, this is a common misconception. If this were the case, then the previous two points would be invalid. A rally is not a group of people with a solution, it’s quite the opposite. The solution is often the responsibility of the person or group or country being rallied against! If you mind these three things, then you will understand when I say that a rally is meant to simply draw attention to an issue. Social progress and Political Activation go way beyond the rally.
The most important thing you can do to get started is to keep your ear to a wire: Follow the news, one way or another. Almost all of what info you can get will inherently be opinionated, but that’s O.K. if you can filter it. Just don’t fool yourself, the news is a clever beast; Often multiple conflicting sources are the best way to ensure you’re allowing yourself the tools to decipher the information that most assume is true. When all the stories line up and no one is opposing it, you’re probably alright (situations excepting). Bottom line is, knowing is always better than not knowing. Just look into who owns the paper or news source you prefer, and look into what else they create, approve and disapprove of over time. Most people should agree that the news is a political force to acknowledge.
Engaging in political processes from the ground level can be very effective when done right, but because of aforementioned preconceptual public notion of ‘the Activist’, people throw the baby out with the bathwater, and forgo political involvement! This seems to me a lucky mistake from the perspective of the political system, and if we could only harness the power of the Internet we could rally intellectually, and find out how to wedge ourselves so deep within the given processes of the current governments, and literally pervade the system with these hearings, appeals, petitions and aggressive lobbying. Doesn’t require vast amounts of time, just asks a few hours of your evening every night, to educate yourself about something you care about outside of your own inner circle- everyone cares about something, I bet. The very reason we have so many problems in the world is that most people aren’t trying to apply a solution.
Finally! We can congregate in any number, our voices echo through the Internet, and if the pressure is applied expertly then tangible solutions will emerge naturally.
Emmy Lingscheit’s art can be found at: http://www.mnartists.org/work.do?rid=263728&pageIndex=1
Tags: actism, activism, activsim, cdnpoli, civil disobedience, connect, democracy, everyone, history of protest, knowledge, lobbying, media, mediawrench, news, political activation, politics, power, protest, revolt, revolution, social media, student, students, topoli
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