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Why are you an activist?

As I choose the progressive path more often than not these days, I wonder why I do it...
Why do we become activists?

Is it because we have strong ideals and want to further them with action?

Is it because we appreciate belonging to a community of caring, like-minded people?

Is it rage against what we see as a corrupt, uncaring establishment of government, corporate, and media profiteers?

Tell your story...

homepage: homepage: http://web.pdx.edu/~ashaver/

because 05.Jul.2003 15:18


i couldn't live with myself otherwise, knowing how much misery there is in the world and the ways i can try to help.

becoming an activist....consider the alternative. 05.Jul.2003 17:13

pink activist intern

After the election was stolen, I was pissed. Then came attempted vouchers, the environment, the media, Asscroft.....it's been endless. The we invade Iraq to find wmd's, topple Saddam, liberate....the endless bullshit!!!!

I never took part in a protest march, rally, or anti-government activity before our invasion of iraq. I just couldn't do nothing...this craziness drove me to express my dissatisfaction in public. I just have to keep telling myself that we are water wearing down this rock of tyrrany and mania..

Why I do it 05.Jul.2003 22:48


I started being an activist after listening to Ralph Nader at Benson High School for three hours back in 1996. I listened to him make the call for people to be responsable and knowledgable public citizens, as well as private citizens. It took me a while to do it, but I did make the change and feel better for doing it. Sometimes I actually have managed to make a difference for the better of total strangers, some of who are less fortunate than myself. I enjoy the feeling of satisfaction I get from those accomplishments when I reflect back on them. It can be very personally rewarding at times.

Comments on the comments 05.Jul.2003 23:52

Aaron John Shaver ashaver@pdx.edu

Thanks, everyone, for the discussion.

yanqui: Definitely. I feel the same way. It's too bad that more people aren't empathetic. But we've gotta work with what we've got.

pink activist intern: Seems there's some balance to the evil of the Bush regime--more people joining the progressive cause.

activist: Not sure if you're trolling or what. But the "free pussy" comment could be construed as offensive to our female comrades.

Eli: Indeed, it's taken me awhile to change too, and I've still got a long way to go. It is an incremental processs of ditching harmful behaviors and adopting new, healthier ones (both for our own benefit and for those people, animals, and plants around us).

Because George..... 06.Jul.2003 00:48


cheated to get into power.
encouraged Sharon to crack down on Hamas.
used the loss of life in 911 to justify war and self glorification.
conned the people of the U. S.
I could go on but why bother.
He is going to use Millions of dollars to sell himself into office
because he can't stay in otherwise.
If the people of the U.S. re-elect that monster
they do not deserve my respect

that is why

It makes me appealing to others 06.Jul.2003 15:31

fash'n mactavist

I'm scared- too scared to stand up to the bullys with guns- so I found a bunch of folks that are scared to like me- we get together and party- this makes us feel so good we decided to support national parties- YEAH! When stupid people challenge my pacafism I tell them they're "Enemies of fun!"
You know it's true. I mean resistance is a privledge anyway. Right? I'm n actactavist cause I need a family, a large family of people that'll support me whatever I do. I mean I even joined this group called ospirg and we campaign for this campaign that we've been campaigning for like more than ten years- and it sounds like job stability to me- and they've got flexible schedules so I can do it in my free time- like when I'm not at school for political science- and partying- oh! and thier orgies are nice!

To: fash'n mactavist 06.Jul.2003 19:44

Aaron John Shaver ashaver@pdx.edu

Get real. Bullies with guns? Like Bush? The US government has been bullying the world for centuries.

Not all activists/progressives are pacificists. However, most of us, I think it's safe to say, do see war as an option of last resort. Thinking people--that excludes Bush and his ilk--can find solutions without playing "my stick is bigger than yours" games that should have been abandoned in youth. Let's not stick our heads in the sand and pretend the latest war in Iraq was altruism. Examine the agendas, look at the thousands of Iraqi civilians killed, and face reality.

Resistance is privileged? I don't even know what to make of this. People "resist"--become political and active in supporting or opposing ideas and policies--at all levels of the economic spectrum. Perhaps people in "lower" classes resist more, but that's simply because they have more shit to deal with.

The fact that comfortable, middle-class people are trying to make a change, even if they aren't always clued-in or effective (I'm no fan of OSPIRG), is better than those who don't even bother. Complacency is so... spineless.

My motives 07.Jul.2003 11:36


First, I always believed in a living income for all workers. Second, consumers should have real choice in the market and not simply a choice between Coke and Pepsi, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. Third, I feel all groups of society regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality or culture have a RIGHT, not a PRIVILEGE, to BE RESPECTED by the rest of society. Fourth, we can't be getting ourselves into wars every other weekend because that just breeds more terrorism, so save a little anger for your own country's mistakes. Fifth, what the FUCK is up with cannabis prohibition? Sixth, I don't think people should have to abstain from facial piercings or mohawk hairdos just to get a job, that's a form of cultural repression. Seventh, our youth are becoming ever more regimented and are losing any sense of real social life. Teenagers had it better in the 1970s and early 80s because there were fewer restrictions on what movies they could watch, what music they could listen to or what concerts or dance clubs they could go to. Eighth, the US economy is not free enterprise and has more to do with Benito Mussolini than Adam Smith. Ninth, our political system has become totally corrupt with corporate finances.

Finally, number 10. We must stop propagating the lie that the US will always be the best country to live in. There was a time, perhaps in the late 1960s, when we were very close to the top, but the political right has dragged us in the dust for 25 years and let the countries of Canada, Australia, East Asia and Western Europe surpass us in cultural progressiveness. It's time to get on the ball, folks!

After all, if progressives "hate America" so much, as the right-wingers claim, why are we constantly trying to make it better?

The real reason. 11.Jul.2003 14:51

B. Weiser

I won't lie. I'm in it for the money and the chicks.