Pagan Culture - Activism

How to Survive Your First Protest

©2001 Thinkstock LLC

How to Survive
Your First Protest

by Barbara Fisher 

On the whole, most recent protests have been reasonably peaceful; in fact, many of the organizers of the larger protests are moving away from civil disobedience into less confrontational actions. However, I was a Girl Scout and I believe in being prepared, so here are hints on how to survive your first protest.

1. Get non-violence training. This is vital if you intend to engage in civil disobedience. The Reclaiming Community does free non-violence workshops before many major protests, and they know their stuff.

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Pentacle of Activism - 5 Steps to Unifying Politics & Spirituality

Pentacle of Activism - 5 steps to unifying politics and spirituality.

Article and pentacle by Sierra Black,
photos by D. Patrick Miller and Beth Thompson.

Begin where you are.

With a kink in your back from sitting too long at the computer. With a crying infant’s voice in your ear. With a late homework assignment whispering for a bigger piece of your mind. Begin with the fear that it isn’t good enough, that your body is too fragile for this work, that your will is too soft or your heart too frail. Begin with the desperate desire to do something, anything, to turn your outrage into action.

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Making It Real: Initiation, Seattle, WTO protests

© 2003 Beth Thompson

Making It Real:
Initiation, Seattle, WTO protests

It begins before you leave home in the predawn dark. Remove all jewelry, everything you truly are unwilling to lose. Leave behind your ID, forget your name. Take only what will sustain you or serve you: apples, sandwiches, chocolate, nail clippers for the plastic handcuffs, a bandanna soaked in vinegar against tear gas.

Make your way through dark streets to the meeting place. Waving the banners that have not yet been confiscated, begin the procession. Beat the drums. They have forbidden you to gather - your challenge is to disobey.

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