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128,957. Whether you win or lose a battle in the long run doesn’t matter: the question is did you fight it hard. (Labour & Battle & Struggle & Activism & Biography) Tony Benn, Last Will & Testament ***** Youtube 1.31.36
128,974. Change from below, the formulation of demands from the populace to end unacceptable injustice, supported by direct action, has played a far larger part in shaping British democracy than most constitutional lawyers, political commentators, historians or statesmen have ever cared to admit. Direct action in a democratic society is fundamentally an educational exercise. Tony Benn, New Politics 1970
128,976. [The first principle of British democracy is] our prime duty to each other and to what our conscience tells us to be right. If this leads individuals into conflict with the law, those individuals must be ready to take the consequences non-violently. In our democracy no man should tell another man to break the law, nor should any man break the law to by-pass Parliament. But a person who is punished for breaking an unjust law may if he is sincere and his cause wins public sympathy, create a public demand to have that unjust law changed through Parliament. This is the first and most fundamental principle of British democracy. It has a deep moral significance. Our religious and political liberties rest upon it. (Activism & Protest & Dissent) Tony Benn, speech Bristol, cited The Times 5 August 1972
62,413. Yes, a lot of good people mobilised for Obama. But what did they demand of him? Working to elect a Democratic presidential candidate may seem like activism but it isn’t. Activism doesn’t give up. Activism doesn’t fall silent. Activism doesn’t rely on the opiate of hope. John Pilger, Obama and Empire
89,962. The struggle for freedom and independence never is completely over. (Struggle & Freedom & Industrial Action & Activism) Professor Noam Chomsky
107,097. Killing is just superficial; it’s just the icing on the cake. I mean there’s plenty of repression short of killing. And it’s tough. People lose their jobs, they get blacklisted … There’s all kinds of ways of getting rid of people who are troublemakers from kindergarten up. And organising succeeds when people are willing to face those pressures and overcome them. And it’s hard to know what the secret is; sometimes people do it … For us it’s a picnic; what we call repression, in most of the world would be called a gift. I mean, go to a place like El Salvador and try to organise there, there’s it’s not a matter of they don’t like you, you end up in a ditch cut to pieces after torture – that’s what it means to organise there: they still do it, they keep coming back. (Organise & Solidarity & Activism & Trade Union & Industrial Action & Protest) Noam Chomsky, lecture Deterring Democracy, 1992
109,061. There’s an enormous number of people who are involved in an informal disorganised activist dissident culture and they tend to make their own connections. Noam Chomsky, Conversation with Charlie Rose 2003, Youtube 54.54
62,414. Activism doesn’t give up. Activism doesn’t fall silent. Activism doesn’t rely on the opiate of hope. Woody Allen once said, ‘I felt a lot better when I gave up hope’. Real activism has little time for identity politics, which like exceptionalism can be fake. These are distractions that confuse and sucker good people. (Activism & Hope) John Pilger, Socialism Chicago 2009, Power Illusion and America’s Last Taboo; viz website
62,415. It is human agitation, with all the vulgarity of needs small and great, with its flagrant disgust for the police who repress it, it is the agitation of all men ... that alone determines revolutionary mental forms, in opposition to bourgeois mental forms. Georges Bataille
62,416. I’ve always had the impression that real militants are like cleaning women, doing a thankless, daily but necessary job. Francois Truffaut
62,417. Agitators are a set of interfering, meddling people, who come down to some perfectly contented class of the community and sow the seeds of discontent amongst them. That is the reason why agitators are so absolutely necessary. Without them, in our incomplete state, there would be no advance towards civilisation. Oscar Wilde
45,353. If I seem to take part in politics, it is only because politics encircles us today like the coil of a snake from which one cannot get out, no matter how much one tries. I wish therefore to wrestle with the snake. (Activism & Politics) Mahatma Gandhi
62,418. Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. Howard Thurman
4,179. Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. (World & Group & Change & Activism & Citizen) Margaret Mead
62,419. If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day. E B White
62,420. You do it for yourself. You don’t expect to change the world. You don’t even expect to influence your family or your friends. You do it because you can’t not do it and be who you are. Or who you’re meant to be. Martin Sheen
62,421. Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number!
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you:
Ye are many - they are few. (Activism & Industrial Action) Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Mask of Anarchy
66,054. Stop the SPP Rally Toronto, Canada 16th February 2008. (Canada & Protest & Activism) PSTV.tv – The Nation’s Deathbed
66,055. Social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and MeetUp have become a central tool for activists. (Canada & Protest & Activism) ibid.
66,066. This first line of riot cops they didn’t have any gas masks ... most of them had a white patch on their shoulder ... stood there I would say for about an hour and a half to two hours ... A shift change ... These guys had a red patch on the shoulder ... The third shift change of riot police ... The intimidate factor has been stepped up by police. (Canada & Protest & Activism) ibid.
66,341. The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just. (Cause & Activism & Failure & Probability) Abraham Lincoln
66,614. The way to change it was the exact opposite of waiting to see if a scientific experiment would work out. It was for human beings to involve themselves in the struggle on the side of the oppressed. Marx’s life was a model of that involvement. In his youth, in quick succession, he was thrown out of Germany, Belgium and France, because he threw himself into the struggles of workers in all three countries. In France he associated closely with the fighting elements in the working class, and never forgot his admiration for them. Finally in 1849, aged 31, he came to England (where there was no immigration control) and settled here for the rest of his life. (Change & Activism & Solidarity & Struggle) Paul Foot, Karl Marx: The Best Hated Man
80,558. Only through the conscious action of the working masses in city and country can it be brought to life, only through the people’s highest intellectual maturity and inexhaustible idealism can it be brought safely through all storms and find its way to port. (Masses & Action & Protest & Solidarity & Activism) Rosa Luxemburg
89,112. In South Africa, we could not have achieved our freedom and just peace without the help of people around the world, who through the use of non-violent means, such as boycotts and divestment, encouraged their governments and other corporate actors to reverse decades-long support for the Apartheid regime. (South Africa & Activism) Desmond Tutu
97,487. Blair and New Labour thrive on pessimism … The antidote to pessimism is the understanding that we do make a difference. Blair didn’t scrap the Poll Tax – we did. New Labour didn’t end apartheid – we did. What keeps campaigners going is not a naïve faith that one sugary day we can make the world a better place, but the knowledge that defying authority already makes the world a better place. (Activism & Campaign & Solidarity & Pessimism & Labour Party) Mark Steel, Reasons to be Cheerful
101,027. In Montebello back in 2007 there was three police officers who were dressed as aggressive protesters with rocks in their hands wearing masks in an attempt to incite violence … (Activism & Protest & False Flag Operations & Canada) Into the Fire, Press for Truth 2011
101,028. Toronto G20 summit: ‘this is a completely unprecedented level of police’ … (Activism & Protest & Canada) ibid.
101,029. ‘Why would certain rights be suspended just because the G20 is coming to town?’ (Activism & Protest & Canada) ibid. to rozzers
101,030. Toronto has been turned into a police state. (Activism & Protest & Canada) ibid.
101,031. Above each cage they had two CCTV cameras and a little toilet in the corner with cameras pointing at that as well … Dark and scary and really cold … a cold cage in a warehouse. (Activism & Protest & Canada) ibid.
101,032. And they said, We’re strip-searching you … kept beating me in the face … kicked me in the legs … I have one man sitting on me beating me … (Activism & Protest & Canada) ibid. protester
101,033. You won’t be making it to the protest today. (Activism & Protest & Canada) ibid rozzer
101,034. Thousands of riot police. (Activism & Protest & Canada) ibid. protester
101,035. If the bubble touches me, you’re going to be arrested for assault. (Activism & Protest & Canada) ibid. rozzer
102,915. They organised councils of the unemployed. And effectively pushed for social security and unemployment insurance. The party fought against the racial segregation and discrimination that were the accepted practices of the day. (Communism & Activism) Seeing Red: Stories of American Communists, 1983
102,978. You may have heard of the Earth Liberation Front: the Attorney General himself says it’s a domestic terrorist organisation; the FBI says it is one of the most dangerous groups in the country. The ELF has claimed responsibility for more than two-dozen acts of eco-terrorism. (Activism & Earth & Dissent & Protest & Terrorism & Environment) If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front, 2011, news
102,979. This thing is complex … no-one got hurt. (Activism & Earth & Dissent & Protest & Terrorism & Environment) ibid. Daniel