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Mon Feb 8, 2016, 02:24 AM

Five ways of being an activist.


The advocate role
The advocate focuses on communication with what Moyer called “the powerholders,” who can change a policy or practice. Think of the civil liberties lawyer suing the city for stop-and-frisk that profiles people of color, or the lobby group urging city council to change that policy. Moyer calls this role the “reformer,” while acknowledging that an advocate might urge changes that are radical in content.

The helper role
The helper is drawn to direct service, personally doing what they can to remedy the situation. They address gender and racial discrimination in jobs by teaching how to write resumes or initiating job training. They attack carbon pollution by weatherizing houses or starting solar installation co-ops. Because much of mainstream community life is marked by service, Moyer’s name for this role is “citizen.”

The organizer role
While the advocate and helper who want to make a bigger difference may themselves need to organize — by starting a nonprofit, for example — the organizing part is not the most satisfying for them. The advocate is happiest when convincing the judge that equal marriage is constitutional. The helper loves to witness the graduating class that includes more people of color.

The rebel role
The rebel who sees a problem or injustice prefers to make a commotion of some kind to force powerholders to make a change. Martin Luther King Jr. explained that a campaign must create a crisis. Gandhi made so much trouble that he made India ungovernable by the British. True, some famous rebels needed organizing skills to scale up their commotion to the crisis point. But rebels look at numbers not for their own sake but to determine “how many people will it take to create what degree of crisis?” Alice Paul left the mass movement for woman suffrage in order to lead a smaller band of rebels willing to make the nonviolent trouble that forced U.S. President Woodrow Wilson to give in to justice.

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Reply Five ways of being an activist. (Original post)
eridani Feb 2016 OP
RobertEarl Feb 2016 #1

Response to eridani (Original post)

Mon Feb 8, 2016, 03:09 AM

1. I've done them all


Am doing two now.

It's been fun and the changes I have helped create have been numerous, and one or two: pretty big deals.

The first thing one has to do is get educated about a situation. In so doing, it becomes obvious who can make the needed changes and then you go after that entity.

The Bernie campaign, I pray, will grow many new activists.

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