December 1, 2007

As an activist, I have always questioned how to be the most effective protester, and I have found that the answer is fairly simple: boycott. If we want people to listen to our argument, we must make that argument economical.

Any issue we fight for usually exists because someone profits from it. Therefore, if we rid them of this profit, we usually can get rid of the issue as well.

For example, if we want a greener world, we should boycott airplanes, gas-guzzlers, and food shipped from halfway around the world. If we want to create better working conditions for children and stop them from working at all, we should boycott companies that buy products from a sweatshop.

Boycott magazines portraying skinny models to further acceptance of body image. Boycott the Olympics in China to pressure their government to stop aiding the genocide in Darfur. Boycott meat to create better conditions for animals.

Secondly, tell them that you are doing so. Boycotting will not be as effective if the source of the problem does not know they are losing profit from your protest.

I just do not think it is reasonable to ask other people to sacrifice in order to do what is just if we are not willing to sacrifice as well.

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