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So like, STOP the fucking Seal Hunt NOW!?

January 18, 2018

STEPS to SUCCESSFUL ACTIVISM

Being an activist, participant & supporter of many grassroots campaigns (successful & not), the blow of losing the #StopSiteCDam fight despite strong campaign & overwhelming support has weighed heavily. Time to step up my game --& that of fellow activists-- & prioritize WINNING causes/fights we believe in! Borrowing heavily from the huge volume of advice on the timely topic, i've started this Work In Progress - a 'must-do' list:

●(Feb.14) To offset Site C disappointment & celebrate a long-awaited victory re. Prosperity Mine's rejection (Article: Taseko Loses Court Battle Over New Prosperity Mine), I'm adding this one at the top of list:  PERSEVERANCE.. along with a link to my original letter to CEAA (ya it's good.. & long!) with strong arguments opposing Taseko's first bid for Prosperity Mine: Letter to CEAA: Prosperity Mine

●Face-to-face
You can write all the scathing tweets & heartfelt FB posts you want, but the truth is rhetoric rarely persuades. The way to change minds is through face-to-face engagement. This is what President Obama meant when he said he won Iowa in 2008 because he “spent 87 days going to every small town, fair, fish fry & VFW hall.” Similarly, progress on LGBT rights has not been made just because of eloquent arguments, but because of all the many personal interactions between straight people & their gay friends, neighbors & colleagues.

●Listen & Learn
Talk to those around you; actively hear their stories & learn how the issue affects their lives. By listening, you show the fight isn't just about you --  & you build relationships & trust.  History has shown lasting change is made collectively not individually, by groups/communities with a common belief at their core & a bond of trust among participants.

●Simplify
The more complicated a strategy or tactic, the harder it is to carry out, and the less likely it'll be successful. You can ask a few people to do a lot of things, particularly if they’re committed activists. If you want hundreds or thousands to participate in a campaign, you need to ask the majority of them to do just one thing @ a time, together.

●Common interest
Most people are motivated primarily by self-interest. As a creative community organizer, you must try to figure out people’s common self-interest, the glue that binds political organizations & movements. (Eg. Huge wave of support against our City Council's plan to shut down Insite is what kept Insite open in the end.)

●Create a clear goal
One of the greatest reasons for the DAP protesters’ success was the adherence to a clearly outlined goal & reasons for it:  ie. do not construct this pipeline, as it will infringe upon sacred sites & jeopardize Native Americans’ necessary water supplies

●Social media
Social media has expanded membership bases & enlarged participant pools by proving itself to be a constant means of spreading news & gaining supporters.

●Diversity
The key to any movement’s success is variety in its participants. Because DAP hosted everyone from Vietnam vets to Lissa Yellowbird-Chase (Murdoch-Crane’s guide through the encampment) to multiple sectors, it boasted the multiplicity in its membership that ensured success.

●Connect with other groups
While we usually notice successful movements after they have begun to attract large crowds & hold massive demonstrations, those are effects, not causes, of successful mobilization. It is when small groups connect --which has become exponentially easier in the digital age-- that they gain their power.