Activism has increasingly become an effective way of communicating with other like minded individuals to stand together for a cause. Over the past few months I have become more aware of the ways in which media such as film and the internet play in the development of socio-political change. A well researched blog post can also be a wealth of knowledge along with podcasts and other various media, but when it comes to organizing and protesting, the two are not mutually inclusive of each other.
The biggest hurdles faced today with protest is its ability to effectively organize a group of people in a mobile way that reaches beyond just protest alone and into the sphere of effective change. This past year I attended the protests at the Trump International Tower. It has been quite a few years since I have been to a protest, the first being to protest George Bush at ground zero in 2007, and then later accidentally stumbling into the Occupy Boston March. Attending a protest can be a powerful experience but after attending the most recent protest, I started to have doubts as to what my presence in a crowd of like-minded protestor was really doing, the solidarity was there, and so was the media.
After reading about the Women’s March and the issues of black and WoC being under represented, I took the time to read the blogs of organizers and activist to try and put a finger on what it is that was causing this backlash of support. I realized that the problem wasn’t about the showing up itself but more of the fact that ideas tend to be short lived when excluding the majority of the strongest voices. Yes, there were organizers for the Women’s March, yes some of them were black, but a lot of discussion revolved around the lack of preparation and organization for the march itself. What I believe the Women’s March, along with the many prompt-to marches was a lack of “pre-organization” phase in which a plan to induce solidarity could take place. I strongly believe if we take less time living in the moment of protest and think about the bigger picture, the conversation is more likely to benefit everyone rather than dismantle smaller pieces of the whole picture. As like any protest, since the election the outrage was not exactly planned for, because as Americans we have been privileged enough to actually think that a Trump Presidency could never happen,
The internet gives us the ability to speak to whomever we want, the boundless amount of information can be overwhelming if not sorted through and researched. Communication on social sites such as facebook, instagram and twitter, allow us to interact with other people’s lives in both a positive and negative way if taken out of context rather then fully examined.
Organizing is the key in the development of a social or political cause. The study and comprehensive mediation of a successful socio-political movement requires body’s and numbers which in reality, can also be duplicated with the help of technology thus enacting civic problems such as the election and issues faced against mass global communication. The more we practice dissecting fact from fiction, stepping out of our own boundaries, and doing the research, the more we chose to actively seek out truth and the people who are doing so, and thus the more successful the results.
Micah White, PhD
co-founder of Occupy Wall Street