Buy Nothing Day
What's in store for 2002
"United We Spend?" United Let's Don't.
If enough jammers turn their disaffection into resistance for just one day, November 29 could mark the delivery of a landmark social message. More than a million people will celebrate 11 years of opposition on the unofficial "opening day" of the Christmas frenzy. Play this one right and we will make Buy Nothing Day 2002 a global event on par with Earth Day. Previous participants have come up with the traditions: swap meets, teach-ins, concerts, street theatre, credit-card cut-ups, postering, potlucks. But hey, it's a culture jam - no one's drawing up any rules.
Here's what to expect from Adbusters: more and better info, campaign materials and TV and radio spots that press the point. We're doing a little outreach as well. Last year's alignment with the peace movement gave the day a wider resonance, and the bigger the BND tent, the better. This year, we're asking religious groups to add their voices, and we've made a pitch to environmental groups worldwide. After all, we told them, "Over consumption is mother of all our environmental problems." With vocal support from the greens, BND really could become an eco-holiday sans frontières.
We can already expect a boost from the spiritual side. This year, Christians were a visible Buy Nothing force for the first time, and other faith groups are sure to follow. Sites like buynothingchristmas.org and books like Bill McKibben's ecumenical Hundred Dollar Holiday argue that we need space for values outside the commercial imperative. (The Pope's argument that markets can't answer all needs doesn't hurt, either.) In 2002, watch for a deeper, interfaith challenge - the first stirrings of a prophetic "no."