Today we were given a weekly task to research and explore the different kinds of activism. On the basis of our understanding we will then be selecting one particular kind of activism and continuing our research on the same.
Activism is quite simply ones need and ability to make a change. This can be done in a number of ways and forms. We hear of Activists who step out into the field in order to ‘change the world’ through social, political and environmental forms (Activists Rights n.d.). This is led either by individuals, or collectively as a social group.
In today’s world of social media, a new kind of Activist has been born i.e. Slacktivist. A slacktivist is a person who also has the desire to bring changes to the world however his means of doing so are rather subtle. For example, sharing a video on Facebook/ Twitter about a social cause. This same video may further be seen by another person willing to make a difference.
Understanding the types of Activism’s:
Human Rights Activism: Martin Luther King Jr fought long and hard for the civil rights of Americans and rightly so. He understood the need for liberation (Youth for Human Rights n.d.). The key values that lie at the core of the idea are equality and integrity. Human rights activists aim to ensure that all humans are treated equally without discrimination (Myers 2011). One should not be deprived of his basic civil rights and all individuals should be treated as equal regardless of gender, race, or caste.
Anti-Racist Activism: In October 1995 in Washington D.C., millions of people stood up for their rights in the Million Man March. Most of these individuals were in search of self-renewal and rededication to make a change in the face of Black America’s economic misery (Myers 2011). This is just a simple example of Anti Racist Activism. Even today in the ‘modern world’ of 2015 BAME men and women are relatively underpaid. Even with regards to health, there have been various research conducted about black men and their health. However, no research has been conduricted about black women and their health. It is their right, as much as the others to know where their health stands.
Women’s Rights Activism: From the early 19th century women across the world have started to protest for their right to vote. Women strongly objected to this discrimination based on their gender. Two centuries later women have received the civil rights they fought for, but it is still not easy. Even today there are women who work in the same professional positions as their male counterparts but get paid less, or are not promoted. Women’s Rights Activists help bring justice in situations like these (Beasley 1999).
LGBT Rights Activism: Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights advocate for the equalised acceptance of LGBT people in society; and numerous activists are fighting for their rights across the world. A common goal among these activists is social equality and acceptance.
Disability Rights Activism: Disability rights activism fights to secure equal opportunities for people with disabilities. Certain specific goals and demands are accessibility and safety in transportation, architecture and physical environment. Equal opportunities are also required in employment, education, housing; and freedom from abuse. A famous example of a successful campaign is Tuzla in Bosnia Herzegovina where a disability NGO decided to run a campaign for traffic awareness. Today Tuzla in considered the most accessible town for wheelchair users in the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Council of Europe n.d.).
Environment Activism: Also famously known as Environmentalism has its concerns in the core of environmental protection and improvement of the health of the environment. It aims to protect lawful preservation, restoration and improvement of the natural environment. A very successful act was by the Greenpeace in Switzerland between the years 1961 and 1976 (Council of Europe n.d.). They protected the town of Bonfol by protesting against a large amount of chemical toxic waste in a clay pit. The companies finally took responsibility and cleaned the toxic waste from the city. Today, it has become illegal for any company to dump toxic waste within refines of livelihood.
So, in order to see the world as a better place every individual needs to identify himself as a slacktivist at the least, if not an activist.
- Activists Rights (n.d.) What is an Activist [online] available from <http://www.activistrights.org.au/handbook/ch01s02.php > [21 October 2015]
- Beasley, C. (1999) What is Feminism? An Introduction to Feminist Theory. London: Sage
- Council of Europe (n.d.) Human Rights Activism and the Role of NGOs [online] available from <http://www.coe.int/en/web/compass/human-rights-activism-and-the-role-of-ngos > [22 October 2015]
- Myers, P. (2011) Frederick Doughlass’s America: Race Justice and the Promise of the Founding [online] available from <http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/01/frederick-douglass-s-america-race-justice-and-the-promise-of-the-founding > [21 October 2015]
- Raunch, J. (2014) Human Rights Day: Exercise Your Right to Education [online] available from <http://www.skilledup.com/articles/human-rights-day-exercise-right-education > [22 October 2015]
- Youth for Human Rights (n.d.) Champions of Human Rights [online] available from <http://www.youthforhumanrights.org/voices-for-human-rights/champions/martin-luther-king-jr.html > [21 October 2015]