Living in an age of Activism

Activism. “The policy or action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about politial or social change”. In a world consumed by the media we are exposed to worldwide issues every hour of every day, with the abundance of global events at our finger-tips it is no surprise the rise of activism has rocketed in the past 10 years.

Activism inspires and saves people of all ages, fighting for equality and respect. Having campaigned back in 2015 to end the tampon tax I would like to say activism is one of the most important methods of expression and passion, to make real change to your own and strangers lives gives great feeling of power, which as a woman i’m told is a rarity. Living in an age of digital media has meant that activists can gain momentum and support but at the same time be fought with trolls and abuse, in some cases, specifically in the US protests can often turn violent with gunfire being shot as Black Lives Matter protests. Protesting for change can surely not be a bad thing, you would think people were scared of the word “change”. Activism is basic human nature, to help those in need of help.

I do often think though, does anyone regret protesting? I personally do not, but what happens when there are negative consequences. Danni Paffard who protested back in 2015 against the third runway at Heathrow Airport by being “unlawfully airside” said, “While I’m terrified at the thought of prison, I stand by the actions that we took. A third runway at Heathrow would produce as much emissions as the whole of Kenya, make a mockery of any pledges made at the UN climate talks in Paris last December, and David Cameron’s own election promise of “no ifs, no buts … no third runway” ”.

I found this reassuring. “To change the world, you must change yourself”.

Politics in the past 12 months, both UK and US have been a rollercoaster, and with politics comes activism. The line between activism and conventional politics is unclear when looked at from above, and would often depend on the circumstance. It must be said that a large majority of movements and protests have non-activist and activist roles, this can be brought back to 1960’s when women began sharing their experiences in small groups which were a key trigger in the western feminist movement, even though public action may not have been taken by those who discussed behind closed doors.

Activism is very much in the present and will no doubt continue to be. As issues become resolved and new ones arrise. New takes on previous issues may also be brought to light, if we look back to the 1800’s when slavery was thought to be have been abolished we can see it happening across the world in our modern day society, and we are still fighting to change this. With people becoming more educated and having much more information at our command (thanks internet) activism will continue to grow and provide reputable protests directly to figures we may have not been able to do 50 years previous.