Article of the day: “slacktivism” can make a difference

At The Conversation, Jennifer Earl makes a good argument for online “slacktivism” as a complement — not a substitute — to traditional forms of activism.  As she writes,

Decades of research show that people will be more willing to engage in activism that is easy, and less costly – emotionally, physically, or financially. For example, more than a million people used social media to “check in” at the Standing Rock Reservation, center of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. Far fewer people – just a few thousand – have traveled to the North Dakota camps to brave the arriving winter weather and risk arrest.

Once people are primed to act, it’s important not to discourage them from taking that step, however small. Preliminary findings from my team’s current research suggest that people just beginning to explore activism can be disheartened by bring criticized for doing something wrong. Part of the reason people volunteer is to feel good about themselves and effective about changing the world. Shaming them for making “small change” is a way to reduce numbers of protesters, not to increase them. Shaming can also create a legacy of political inactivity: Turning kids off from involvement now could encourage decades of disengagement.

Article of the day: the Standing Rock Sioux may have just stopped DAPL

The Army Corps of Engineers, which regulates the process of drilling the Dakota Access Pipeline under bodies of water, has said that it will search for an alternate route farther from the Standing Rock reservation.  However, as the New York Times notes, the incoming Trump administration could push for adherence to the original pipeline route.  It’s a really positive step, but the fight isn’t over yet.

Action of the day: stand with Standing Rock

As we’re celebrating one of our country’s earliest acts of solidarity between Native Americans and immigrants, we should continue supporting the Standing Rock Sioux and their right to access clean water.  Learn more about the Dakota Access Pipeline and make a donation to support the resistance camps at #NoDAPL Solidarity.