Activism – what will you leave as your mark? Citizens act, corporations do business, and governments serve the people in active and dynamic ways. They leave their marks in our increasingly small world. Individuals and entities leave marks on the landscape either responsibly or irresponsibly.
Citizen activism comes in many forms. We try to stay informed and to inform others. We talk about our concerns. We blog, write letters to newspapers, elected officials, companies, etc. We boycot products or corporations, and urge others to join us. We work for candidates and vote in elections. We join organizations. We contribute money and time to causes we think can effect change. We have passion, ideas, complaints, thoughts and comittment. We march and we even go to jail.
Citizen activists have a protective attitude towards home turf. Each of us has a unique sense of what constitutes “home.” My home turf is my county. Another citizen’s boundaries may encompass his or her yard, block, neighborhood, city, state, nation, region or the entire world. This is the turf towards which we feel protective and committed. In the following case it is the air for lungs and my adopted state.
My home states, from Wyoming to Texas – What’s the hurry with coal? The company that gets my check for the electricity bill has plans to import large quantities of coal from mines in the state of my birth, Wyoming, to several new generating plants in the state where I live. Texas Governor Perry has fast-tracked the company’s permit applications from one year to six months. The headline and summary in CNN Money reads: “TXU faces a Texas coal rush. Energy company TXU plans to build 11 new plants powered by coal. They will generate electricity and greenhouse gases. They are already generating political heat, says Fortune’s Marc Gunther.” This same author wrote a similar story in November of last year. From his story, I found three resources, Outside Groups involved in the fight:
Jailing blogger has chilling effect – Journalists and bloggers are very disturbed by the news of another assault on free speech. This is the story about which you might like to speak out: The Revolution will be Televised – CNet News carried a story about imprisoned blogger Josh Wolf, who was jailed for refusing to turn over his materials to the government, posted this on his website: “Statement from Josh Wolf 2/6/07.” I quote a small portion of it:
Many have asked me why I’ve chosen to sacrifice my personal freedom, and there are a multitude of reasons why I have taken the stance that I have. Most pressing is the fact that a free press in a democracy cannot act as an extension of the justice department. This can be summed up nicely with the words of Amy Goodman who recently stated “we’re supposed to be the fourth estate not for the State.”
If the U.S. Attorney can compel journalists to testify about what they’ve learned through their work and to force then to turn over their unpublished materials then not only will the public be unable to trust reporters but journalists themselves will become defacto deputies and investigators–a role few of us want and one I have refused to accept. This is not a new construct, it is one that dates back to the founding of our country and is one that is guaranteed under the First Amendment of our Constitution.
Do not expect government spam regulation under Republicans to help you out with the current epidemic of e-mail spam. Here is an opportunity to let your voices be heard. I include these links to the sad chapters:
Dec. 16, 2003 – “Can-Spam” bill signed by our current president (OCP)
Oct. 10, 2005 – “Son of Can-Spam” overrides tougher state anti-spam laws.
Nov. 28, 2006 – “Court sides with spammer” against Oklahoma man.
References for activists:
- Citizen Activist Toolkit – Building a community group
- The Gleitsman Foundation – Citizen Activist Awards