Activism and Patience

In an article for CounterPunch, activist Mickey Z. writes about the need for activists to exercise some patience with revolutionary practices, while maintaining a sense of urgency about change. As he puts it, activism is both marathon and sprint.

quote

The revolutionary process involves the nuts and bolts of daily, even hourly resistance — hard work like reaching out to those who’ve been heavily conditioned by mainstream culture. This can be an agonizingly slow, inch-by-inch effort — but it’s crucial. The revolutionary process also involves broadening our scope and making wider and wider connections — aiming for holistic perspectives and thus, holistic justice across lines of privilege. This is abstract work but no less arduous.

end quote

Having recognised that patience is hard work, he then suggests five strategies to accelerate the pace of change:

1. Recognise the emergency

2. Create solidarity

3. Discover new tools

4. Smash hierarchy

5. Shift gears

Relevance to SFW: changing the way in which communities and individuals co-produce knowledge for uncertain times will be a marathon for some and sprints for others.

"Activism requires a collective blend of sprinters and marathoners" (Mickey Z)

Research can also be revolutionary and involve activism and patience, marathons and sprints - as we are reminded by Siobhan O'Dwyer in her lovely post Artisanal Academia blog

"Politics is the slow boring of hard boards." - Max Weber, a marathoner.