What is Activism?

Are you an activist?

What is Activism?

By definition, activism is:

The policy of active participation or engagement in a particular sphere of activity; spec. the use of vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change. (OED)

But being an activist doesn't fall into a rigid structure. There are many ways you can be an activist, to show your support for a cause or belief, without having to put yourself at risk. 

Especially in the current climate, and with new bills being introduced in the Commons, the thought of being an activist can be overwhelming. What is the right thing to do? What can you do to show your support? How can you be an activist and an ally?

Many of us would not call ourselves activists. But that doesn't mean you aren't one. You may feel like you don't want to risk getting arrested or attending protests. You don't have to do these things to be an activist. 

Activism comes in many forms: writing letters to political leaders, organizing a sit-in, boycotting certain products and businesses. All types of activism, however small, can make a difference. Micro-activism can, and does, lead to macro-activism. 

But we must also remember, social change and movements don't happen over night. They take time. They take energy. They go from strength to strength, gaining the support of others and building a strong foundations. 

There are no perfect activists. 

People make mistakes, but it is those who choose to learn and grow from their errors that make them even stronger as a supporter and activist. 

Being an activist, an ally, and supporter can and does take an emotional toll on your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. You must remember to put yourself first, to make sure you can help others.

Here are our top tips for being a top activist:

  • Be patient and persistent
  • Be proactive rather than reactive
  • Know why you are being an activist
  • Be passionate about your cause
  • Know and utilise your resources
  • Be bold and creative, but also be safe

and remember: Don't give up.

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