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The Popular Education and Community Organizing Collection Annotated Bibliography

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Last Update: 09-Oct-2005 10:27:01 am


Action A Day Keeps Global Capitalism Away, An


Mike Hudema


Between the Lines







Between the Lines 720 Bathurst Street, Suite #404 Toronto, Ontario, M5S 2R4 Canada`





In this book, the author introduces readers to a variety of issues, including social action, organizing, theatrical action, civil disobedience, and using the media. The author states in the introduction: "A democratic society doesn't just condone political action. It demands it." This book is a collection of actions performed over a period of years in Alberta, Canada. Many, but not all, were carried out by the author himself. It is a compilation of "the most successful and doable actions taken over recent years.", and is meant to simply add another tool to the activists box. This book is aimed at people who are curious about taking steps, however small, towards a more positive and progressive future. There are 52 actions, ranging from the more obtuse "Radical Cheerleading" or "Fishing in the Sewers" to the more traditional "Boycotts" or "Lobbying." Each one, at its heading, rates on a four point scale its fun level, risk level, and resource requisites level. There is a brief description with perhaps a personal anecdote, followed by a "Why [This Action]?" subsection and a "What You Need" subsection. Each action is presented (occasionally with drawings) over no more than 3-4 small pages. The actions are heavy on drama, theatre, and media-friendly visuals. From an interview with Mike Hudema: "I think that marching can be very draining. Marching is a very repetitive activity, which often doesn't really help you feel like you're making a change. You march from one point to another and then it's over and you don't necessarily feel a part of it. If activists go away from that experience and don't feel reinvigorated, don't feel that they made a difference or that the action was useful, then the numbers for the marches start getting lower and lower. I have a friend, as an example, who is very committed to the freedom of Tibet but only reluctantly participates in marches here because he feels like it is the same thing every year; this sort of symbolic march up and down is good for visibility but not good for reinvigorating the communities that participate. So what my friends and I try to do is add a little more life to actions. Even in a march you can try to get people more active. There are songs in the book and there are Radical Cheerleading cheers, which I think are ways that you can still participate in a march in a more active way. It's great to have this critical mass of people in a march but something like Radical Cheerleading can invigorate people. People will participate in the cheers, especially if the cheers are callbacks, and it's a different feeling than just marching. I think it adds something new and gives everybody a sense of energy at the end of it, and I think that's what we really need, to invigorate people and give people energy, that's really what we're about."




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