June 24, 2005
Compiled by Delilah Boyd, A
Give A Damn This Summer! (Adventures In Activism)
You remember the song called "Give a Damn"
Some group sang last summer? About people livin' with rats and things
The paper wouldn't cover?
Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul & Mary wrote those words in 1971.
Tricky Dick Nixon had just sworn (cough) to uphold the constitution,
draft boards and Dow Chemical (your friendly napalm maker) were
the prime targets of activists, and the American people were reaching
the boiling point on domestic issues and the war in Vietnam. Ending
poverty, establishing world peace, and stamping out social injustice
were the business of those who gave a damn.
In 1971, the buzzwords were War, Poverty, Social Injustice, WOM
(Word-Of-Mouth), and Grassroots Organizing. Today's buzzwords include
War, Poverty, Social Injustice, WOM, Grassroots Organizing... and
This Week In Blogger Activism
To Noise, inspired by Bill Maher's season-ending
rant, writes, "It's your war... Go fight it." Signal To Noise also
posts this kickass graphic (suitable for slapping on random Freepermobile
Post These Bills!
For protest poster design tips and calls for contest entries,
Design Notes has it all. In a post called, "On The
Importance Of Protest Graphics," Social Design Notes cites the work
of protest art guru, Lincoln
Compare and contrast:
This is a crowd.
This is a movement.
There's just nothing like a bold design to let
them know what you want and when you want it.
Exploit The Media, Or The Media Will Exploit
Morning I Wake Up On The Wrong Side Of Capitalism
cites George Monbiot's "An
Activist's Guide To Exploiting The Media." From the introduction:
Every battle we fight is a battle for the hearts
and minds of other people. The only chance we
have of reaching people who haven't yet heard
what we've got to say is through the media.
Whether we use the media or not, our opponents
will. However just our cause and true our aims,
they will use it to demonise and demolish us,
unless we fight back.
Monbiot stresses that events, not issues, can capture the media's
attention. While lamenting that most (conservative) "broadcast journalists
appear to be terrified of telling their audience something it doesn't
know already," he notes, however, that integrity and articulating
public sentiment can be effective because "people are increasingly
prepared to listen to what we have to say: many know in their heart
of hearts that things are going badly wrong, and could be very much
Oh sure, we'd seen some articles
We knew some people needed help
But social workers take care of that
I mean, why give a damn yourself?
Stand Up To BushCo!
Did you sign the online petition Congressman Conyers tried to
give to George W. Coward?
To his credit, John Conyers decided to defy the
Republican order to remain quiet, and held his
hearings anyway. Because of his courageous stand,
over 100 members of Congress have joined in the
Conyers Hearings on the Iraq War memos, and have
signed a petition along with over half a million
other Americans, demanding that President Bush
answer five easy questions about the way in which
he took America into an unprovoked and illegal
President Bush has scoffed and said that he
will not answer the questions. Bush says, in justifying
his silence, that he does not have to answer to
the Congress. According to the United States Constitution,
of course, Congress has been given the power of
overseeing the activities of the White House,
including decisions about war. By refusing to
address the questions raised by the Conyers hearings,
the Bush Administration may well be setting the
foundation of impeachment hearings to come.
Sign those online petitions, and email the links to everyone you
know. And while you're at it, use the power of email to confront
BushCo. A few weeks ago, I linked to Gregory Pratt's Office
Of The Independent Blogger, who brazenly emailed
Lucianne Goldberg. Well, Gregory Pratt is now in the middle of a
full-blown email war with
the colossal bitch from hell
Jonah's Mommy Dearest. Here are excerpts from her email replies:
I had absolutely nothing to do with Klein's
book and I think that rape story is a lie and
I never intended to write a book about the
Lewinsky affair nor to (sic) I ever intend
I have never discussed Matt Drudge''s sexuality
with him or anyone else and I don''t care.
I do not care about Hillary''s sexuality either.
You have to read the
entire exchange to realize that you're not on Lucianne's home
planet of Ohrightsure, where commas and spelling must be optional.
Greg's new email target: Kenneth Starr.
Well, the reason that you didn't
And the reason that you won't
Is you think you got a lot to lose
And the other fella don't
Who Are You Gonna Believe: The Camera Operator
Or Your Lyin' Republicans?
And Liars is the site to click for the hottest videos
of BushCo shenanigans, as well as videos of the righteous opposition.
They'll even help you download (free) media players for viewing
their video collection.
This week the videos include Jon Stewart's excellent smackdown
of the "Last Throes" White House press briefing question, and Olbermann's
"Downing Street" revelations.
What's A Vlog And Why Do I Want One?
Got a computer? A camera with video capability? Freevlog.org
provides step-by-step guidance for those wishing to start their
own (absolutely free) vlogs. According to the guys at freevlog,
"A vlog is a videoblog and you want one because, let's face it,
they're not going to put you on TV. Besides, not playing that game
is what makes this so much fun. You can do whatever you want."
Anyone can start blogging today. It's free, and it's extremely
easy. Sign up at Blogger.com,
pick out a template, and post your first blog entry in less than
10 minutes. What are you waiting for? Then, when you're ready for
more bells and whistles, webmonkey.com
has HTML cheat sheets and tutorials, color charts, and special character
(foreign language and math symbols) lists. Try it! It's fun!
High Impact Blogging
Nothing says, "I Hate BushCo" like a big-assed banner (or two)
in plain sight.
Of course, the master of the big-assed banner is The
Freeway Blogger, whose simple instructions have resulted
in thousands of bold, in-your-face protest images across the USA:
Here's what you do:
1) Put paint on cardboard
2) Put cardboard on freeway
Got Something To Say? Slap It On A T-Shirt!
has taken the ink mess, the accompanying skill set, and the pricey
equipment out of printing. You can even set up your own store and
make a little cash (no one's getting rich from this, but it sure
My personal favorite (in fact, I'm wearing it right now):
Check it out before the Feds shut us down.
I found it in the DU
store. And speaking of Democratic Underground...
The Roots Of Democracy Always Start Underground
In a sense, every original DU post is a blog, and every reply
is a blog comment. Thousands of registered members (and many more
more lurkers) inform, enlighten, and encourage each other every
single day. By registering at DU, you'll be able to express your
opinions, call attention to your personal causes, and join other
DUers at protest events.
There are many DUers with blogs and many more excellent writers
posting regularly on DU. One of the best DU writers, cloudythescribbler,
is finally blogging at Josh Marshall's TPM Cafe. Click the link
and read his thoughtful posts on "The Politics Of Absolute Poverty."
You'll be glad you did.
So get clicking! Get posting! Get blogging! Get vlogging! No matter
which medium you choose, your message needs to get out there.
Address your questions, address your money
Address your telephone number
But above all else, please address yourself to
Give a damn this summer!
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