Occupy This: The Activist Blues


New York Public Interest Research Group

New York Public Interest Research Group (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Hello all. As should be apparent by now as I have devoted at least three posts to it, I have taken a job canvassing for NYPIRG. It is a great bunch of people fighting for a bunch of great causes (not least of which is campaign finance reform) and being part of it makes me feel like I am really part of a solution. There are times, however, it can make you feel cynical.


Cynical because it is becoming more and more clear that I have to ask the big numbers out of prospective members so that I can get the one or two of those because it is obvious that I cannot get a dozen or so smaller supporters. I don’t understand, when so many tell me they are dead set against fracking, or limitless campaign spending, or any of the other societal and environmental ills we fight against what is so hard about giving up say, forty bucks? How much do you spend a year in cigarettes compared to that (we only come around once a year?) How much on alcohol, or WoW, or junkfood or any number of things that you would still be perfectly able to enjoy if you just ponied up a little to the fight you want us to fight for you.


It seems everyone wants to see change, but no one wants to sacrifice anything to see that change.  Don’t get me wrong, the protests of last Fall, and their smaller, quieter (although how much of that silence is due to lack of coverage) continuations since are heartening. How many of you who want change though, join, or really support them? I mean really support them? With that in mind, if you want to fight corruption, injustice and environmental ruin, here are a few really obvious suggestions:


  • Volunteer: Yeah, I know I had this one down for Creating Mosaics the other day too, but if you want to fix what you see is wrong with the world, fix it. Canvass for a candidate or cause you really believe in. Table for that Women’s Rights group you support. Work in a soup kitchen. If you can’t do that…
  • Support: Again, I mean really support. Materially. Those fighting the fights for you need resources to do so. Don’t want to see fracking come to NY, contribute to NYPIRG.  Want to do something about hunger, give to your local food shelf. You love what the Occupy movement is doing, donate to them, either money, food or clothes. Whatever it takes to keep us fighting on your behalf. We’ll keep doing it. We’ll be your David, standing in front of Goliath, Godzilla and the Grim Reaper, but we need you to put that stone in our sling.
  • Talk: Stop being polite. Those that have let themselves be duped by the power elite have no qualms about ranting about “those people,” “welfare queens,” and “women’s libbers,” why the hell should you be quiet about being passionate for a better, saner, kinder world? Don’t just talk to those people though. You want to hold your politicians accountable? Vote, and call them. Often. Take a half hour a week to e-mail your Assemblymen, State Senators, Congressional Representatives and even the President about the things you want to see change. You want them to work for you, tell them what work you want them to do.


The world isn’t going to end. In all likelihood humanity isn’t going to end anytime soon. Things, however, are not as just as they should be, and there are forces out there that would make them less just. Are you going to let them get away with it. I know I’m not.



6 thoughts on “Occupy This: The Activist Blues

  1. Christine, You have a way with words. My friend and I were discussing the event in Syria just yesterday. We wondered why no one seems to be doing much, then we noticed that no one is really talking about it. The news glosses over Syria to talk about the presidential race and yet people are dying. So we decided to talk about it. We can’t do much as individuals, at least for Syria, but we can talk about it. We can demand that our world notice.

    I know this is not exactly what you are talking about, but you post reminded me so much of how people gloss over important things themselves. They would rather busy themselves with Obama’s birth certificate ( still!) and other such nonsense.

  2. Of course I agree with what you say. Any reasonable person would.

    I do some of the giving and quiet supportive things. One has to work up to the more active things. It is not just that easy to jump in. Only now beginning to speak out. It is easier to enter into a discussion with those you don’t know than with family members.
    I am sure we can depend on you to keep poking at us. lol 🙂

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