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June 24, 2005
Compiled by Delilah Boyd, A Scrivener's Lament

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 Blogs.

This Week In Blogger Activism

Signal 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 bumpers):

Post These Bills!

For protest poster design tips and calls for contest entries, Social 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 Cushing:

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 You!

Every 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.

(snip)

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 better."

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?


(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

ImprisonBush.com writes:

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 war.

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 reprehensible.

I never intended to write a book about the Lewinsky affair nor to (sic) I ever intend to.

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?

Crooks 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."

Just Blog!

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

3) Repeat

Got Something To Say? Slap It On A T-Shirt!

Cafepress.com 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 is fun!)

My personal favorite (in fact, I'm wearing it right now):


DEMOCRATICUNDERGROUND.COM
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!

Know a hot blog that needs some coverage? Send your recommendations to Delilah.


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