so show them what you’re worth!
This is our moment, apparently, academics, to change the world, rather than writing about those who do. Kidding of course, but I have found it both fascinating and ironic to be working away on a book about cultural activists who attempted to transform society at a time when activists are in the streets
Lessons I’d offer them from social movements of the past (Taken from the brilliant media strategy of Leslie Labowitz and Suzanne Lacy)
messages need to be simple It is time honored protest tradition to rewrite the Declaration of Independence, but the original had one message, giving the finger to Great Britain and explaining that the U.S. was now, in fact, independent. The current re-write is heavy on grievances, light on what should happen. Occupy Wall Street (or wherever) offers a vague action with no goal or outcome.
Back in the day (1967 and 1968) the Yippies and WITCH targeted Wall Street too. WITCH put a hex on it (5 point drop next day!), while the Yippies disrupted trading at the Stock Exchange by throwing dollar bills in the air 🙂 The goal was to at least temporarily disrupt capitalist activities.
Media coverage must be manipulated. Even in the era of massively available social media, the vast public will still get news from mainstream sources (like the WEATHER channel which covered protests today). Protests need to be set up with media coverage in mind. Imagery is as important, if not more so, than words. Banners and placards can’t be misinterpreted, so get the clear ones up now please. That way, no matter what the newscaster blathers on about, the intended message is on the screen.
The takeover of the Brooklyn Bridge has probably been the most visible event thus far. I did a google image search for “anti wall street Brooklyn Bridge” The Guardian, a lefty British paper did a whole photo essay, but to what effect?
|from the Guardian, what exactly does the world know of the protest from this image?|
This is better, but there is still WAY too much vagueness. Yes protesters have rights, but why should I get off my ass to defend them? Fortunately it comes from some minor Las Vegas news outlet!
YES this is FABULOUS banner with SPECIFIC goals and almost complete information contact info Excellent! And from CBSNews a major mainstream middle of America news source