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An activist is a person who takes action in response to an issue. Activist can work on any number of issues, some of which are interrelated or are in direct conflict with each other. The concept of activist usually denotes going against the mainstream or popular concept. When used in this way it can have a negative connotation. Activism, however is often used by people on many sides of an issue; for example there are activists supporting both pro-life and pro-choice. Activism can be connected with both the non-violence movement or a more revolutionary, military attitude.

Activist strategies

Activists often uses a number of strategies to attract attention to their cause and ultimately influence the larger social agenda.

  • boycotts
  • fundraisers (cookie bake)
  • manifestos
  • pamphlets or zines
  • press releases
  • protests
  • sit-Ins, (Sleep-Ins, Bed-Ins)
  • voluntary starvation

Activist issues

  • abortion
  • environmentalism / ecology
  • drugs
  • drunk driving
  • gangs
  • gender
  • globalization
  • literary activism (Underground Literary Alliance)
  • nuclear proliferation (origin of the peace symbol, hippies)
  • sexism
  • support for individuals with disabilities
  • sweatshop produced products
  • racism
  • religious issues (promoting or decrying religious beliefs or practices)
  • unionized labor