Activism

David Brooks

Op-Ed Pundits Take on Young Activists: Is There No Common Ground?

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Few souls who labor in the media world — from the most app-friendly millennial to the newspaper-clutching boomer, from the most radical critic to the most equivocating pundit — can be unaware at this point of what sometimes happens on Twitter (call it “The Way We Tweet Now”): legitimate critique occasionally whips itself around at ever-increasing speeds until it creates a tornado of overblown outrage and shaming in the name of social justice principles.
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Nighttime GA

It’s “A Matter of Time” Until New Protests Explode: Author Michael Gould-Wartofsky on Occupy’s Past and Future

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On a freezing Friday afternoon last week, New York’s Zuccotti Park was empty of anything except piles of dirty and frozen snow, a nondescript thoroughfare for cold tourists and bargain shoppers on their way to Century 21. Yet those of us who were regular visitors to the Occupy Wall Street encampment here in 2011 don’t even have to close our eyes to conjure up tents, a kitchen, signs, and hundreds of simultaneous debates happening on every street corner of Liberty Plaza.
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David Oyelowo in "Selma"

What Activists Can Learn From ‘Selma’

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Selma‘s resonance with current events — its inherent commentary on the ingrained hatefulness of American racism, on our country’s tradition of protests for civil rights, and on aggression by law enforcement towards black Americans — will clearly be a hot topic of discussion for weeks to come. I watched the stunning Selma as a sometime-activist and a longtime reporter on activist movements. And one of the qualities that particularly made this depiction of a sliver of Civil Rights Movement history feel so real and urgent to me was its lens on the organizing process: its debates, its pitfalls, the internal questioning, the way the leaders were jockeying with the press and trying to reach sympathetic ears in places of power.
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laurie penny

“I Don’t See Anyone Asking Justin Bieber If He’s a Feminist”: Laurie Penny on Activism, Gender, and Her Book ‘Unspeakable Things’

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Laurie Penny is a wildly precocious 28-year-old journalist who knows how to shake up the system. As a prominent feminist, columnist for The New Statesman, blogger for her Orwell Prize-shortlisted site Penny Red, and contributor to august institutions like The Guardian, she’s a bright and sometimes controversial voice for the feminist left.

Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies, and Revolution, her new book on gender and power in the 21st century, comes off like a revolutionary call to arms. A witty, stylish writer, she starts with her own experiences — life online, her hospitalization for anorexia, dating today — and sharply relates how the mundane interactions of our lives are shaped by political forces: power, gender, and capitalism. Currently at Harvard as a Nieman Fellow, Penny discussed the issues and passions that spur her writing in an email interview.
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Leo

Is Trigger Warning Mania the Terrifying Future of Activism?

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Do you remember what your high-school English teacher said to your class before assigning The Great Gatsby? Did she call it the Great American Novel? Did he urge you to pay attention to the green light? However your teacher introduced the book, I’m guessing it wasn’t like this: “Trigger warning: suicide, domestic abuse, graphic violence.”
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Inspiring Photos of Occupy Sandy Relief in New York

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Since Hurricane Sandy devastated the East Coast and left a gigantic part of New York City flooded, without electricity, heat, and water, and, in places hit hardest like Staten Island and Far Rockaway, reduced to nothing but burning rubble, the Internet has been filled with “disaster porn” imagery. It hits close to home, literally — close enough for New Yorkers to be able to help. There have been numerous reports that efforts by the Red Cross, FEMA, and other large-scale rescue organizations have been failing, with centers closing early, getting shut down, or failing to exist altogether. While help has arrived to a few areas, some — notably, Far Rockaway — were left stranded on their own, until Occupy Sandy stepped in. The all-volunteer, DIY organization, an offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, has been providing assistance all over the city. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been crucial.
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Hear Peaches’ New Song in Support of Pussy Riot

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World-famous rock stars like Madonna and Sting may be getting all the credit, but feminist indie musicians have been supportive of imprisoned Russian activist band/collective Pussy Riot since the very beginning. Kathleen Hanna and her former band mates in both Le Tigre and Bikini Kill have been raising awareness of their plight for months, and now Peaches (who’s also been involved for quite a while) has released a song and video dedicated to the cause. The clip pairs a simple, thudding electronic track that praises the band as “anarchist, feminist, what we need” — and also, awesomely, nods to Icona Pop’s wonderful “I Love It” — with powerful visuals from pro-Pussy Riot demonstrations around the world. Enjoy the badass video below, download the song and sign Peaches’ petition, read the band’s powerful closing statements, find out about actions in your city planned to coincide with Friday’s verdict, and click here to help in any way you can.
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