25 January, 2012

If You're Going To Be An Activist, Do It Right!

When it comes to activism (whether environmental or political) people might not fully understand what their objectives are when they're beginning their career as an activist. People must know and understand what they're fighting for.

It's common for beginners to rant out random facts or repeat their information, sometimes even forgetting to back up their statements with proof. I prefer to not yell facts or harass people on the street with the animal and environmental facts I know, hence why I have this blog. No one likes a rowdy activist, it just makes their cause look bad and all the other activists look unprofessional.

Two examples could be PETA and the "Occupy" protests around the United States. I was a member of PETA once, but I left because I disliked the way they do their rally activities, for example, protesting, marketing, and recruiting. PETA would constantly gather hundreds for their protests and invite me. I never chose to go because I understood that the way they protested was unreliable and obnoxious. Not only myself would say this, but those of us who knew how to protest civilly as well.

While corporate enemy would call them "obnoxious, loud, and unresonable", they'd call us, "Enviromentalist egomaniacs, not like PETA, not changing policy (yet) but smart."  One thing I have learned is that if people are making you look bad for a cause you're trying to support, then just break away and do spread the word in your own way. Remember, you don't have to put yourself in a specific group in order to be a successful activist.

The next example is the "Occupy" protests. The "Occupy" protests were created by people who believed that corporate America should step down to "return the power to the people". They also wanted congress to start finding jobs assigned by congress itself to secure the "liability" of the job itself. The issue is that congress already has programs like welfare, grants, medicare, free job training programs, job finding associations, financial aid for students, etc. Unfortunately, many don't want to look for the opportunities provided by congress and would rather have everything handed to them.

I had seen the Occupy L.A protesters around City Hall. When the time came for them to leave, some activists chose to leave, others accepted to be peacefully arrested, and of course, there were people who wanted to rebel and go against the police and all peaceful "Occupy" beliefs.

These people didn't understand the "Occupy" movement one bit. All they ever said when interviewed was, "We're the 99%; The cops are trying to break us down; The government is corrupt; This is our city!" All of those statements and many more are beyond unprofessional and just made the peaceful activists look bad, including the cause.

These activists only ramble about things and don't know how to back up their arguments; even worse, they give FALSE "facts". I've met activists like this before. I've corrected them, they get offended, and they run off to say I'm "hating on them". So, here are a couple of pointers for any beginning activist:

* DO YOUR RESEARCH.

* BE VERY OPEN-MINDED.

* BE PROFESSIONAL.

* NEVER GIVE FALSE STATEMENTS!!

* DO NOT FORCE PEOPLE TO LISTEN TO YOUR CAUSE IF THEY'D RATHER NOT KNOW.

* IF YOU'RE IN AN ACTIVIST GROUP THAT DOES THINGS IN A MANNER THAT YOU DO NOT LIKE, LEAVE!

* JUST BECAUSE YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO IS AN ACTIVIST DOESN'T MEAN YOU OR THAT PERSON ARE ALWAYS RIGHT.

* IF SOMEONE CORRECTS YOU, DO NOT BE IGNORANT/ ARROGANT. APPRECIATE THEIR HELP AND LEARN FROM IT.

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