A Guide to Activism With No Pink Hat
With the “Age Of Trump” upon us, it feels as if the world could fall apart at any moment.
That part is not great.
BUT. What is great is that many people are finally mobilized to take action on the issues that matter to them. Whether it’s protesting at the gates at JFK or marching on the National Mall, you should do you because you’ll do some good while you’re at it. But activism is more than just wearing a pink hat with cat ears. If you’re looking to make a positive – dare I say, radical change through activism, here are some legitimate ways you can make a difference.
On January 21st, 2017 an estimated 5 million women marched worldwide. The was monumental and has created a huge wave of motivation for women to continue to affect change. Possibly inspired by the 1975 Icelandic Women’s Strike, where: “women did not go to their paid jobs nor did they do any housework or child-rearing at home…Many industries shut down for the day as a result.”
As the Icelandic women in 1975 proved, a Women’s strike can put a country at a stand still. The aftermath also gave way to positive results: “The 1975 women’s strike in Iceland, for one, was dubbed “the Long Friday” by men who were forced to step into women’s shoes for a day. In turn, now Iceland has one of the most generous and gender-equal parental policies of the world.” Well, America this March 8th is the Official American Women’s Strike. Stay tuned to the official Women’s march Twitter account for all the current developments.
I did not make this up. Founded in New York City in the early 2010s, radical cheerleading applies to cheerleading that is performed at activism-focused events. Sometimes ironically, members wear cheerleading garb and use chants and dance moves to promote various causes. Radical cheerleaders do significantly less stunts than competitive cheerleaders, but it does play an important (and fun!) role in bringing awareness to left-wing causes.
*Warning: These activities are highly illegal and Broke Ass Stuart.com does not encourage you to do anything that would risk your freedom or safety. In other words: Don’t try this at home.
A form of radical environmentalism, monkeywrenching is also referred to as “ecotage” or “Ecodefense.” The word itself came from Edward Abbey‘s 1975 novel “The Monkey Wrench Gang” about a misfit gang of friends who take it upon themselves to save the Earth, using inventive and fun, but not very legal ways of accomplishing their goals.
The word is a clear combination of “ecosystem” and “sabotage,” but actions of Eco-sabotage” are directed at companies that exploit and damage the earth. For example, members of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) have attacked car dealerships, set off firebombs, and uprooted plants at food research centers in order to impact a company’s bottom line. Monkeywrenching is so effective that in 2005, after having caused tens of millions in damage, the FBI named ELF as one of America’s greatest domestic terrorist threat.
In 2016, Indian activist Irom Sharmila ended her 16-year-long hunger strike, marking the end of the longest hunger strike in history. Though hunger strikes are a non-violent form of protest, they can be incredibly powerful – especially in areas in which suicide is illegal. It’s an emotional attack on one’s oppressors, as the goal is to provoke feelings of guilt and empathy. Activist icons, like Gandhi and Bobby Sands, have effectively garnered these reactions using this method.
Another form of ecological protesting is partaking in the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement. They have a very specific (and clear) goal. Members of this movement actively choose not to reproduce as to promote the gradual extinction of humankind. The group was founded in 1991, so there’s no real way to prove its success yet, but based on population data from the years since – it looks like this method isn’t very effective. On the bright side, it is a nonviolent form of protesting that anyone can partake in.
I suppose another way to aid this cause would be to donate to Planned Parenthood whenever you can.
In conclusion – everyday radical activism means taking actual steps to achieve justice. It’s difficult and complex, but if you persevere regardless you will succeed. And also you can wear a pink hat if you really, really want to.