On November 22-28, Adbusters and its network of activists and culture jammers (now nearly 87,000 strong) are organizing a “Carnivalesque Rebellion,” with the goal of “shutting down consumer capitalism for a week.”
Think of it as an adventure, as therapy, as Buy Nothing Day times a hundred … think of it as the World Cup of global activism – a week of postering and pranks, of talking back at your profs and speaking truth to power. Some of us will poster our schools and neighborhoods and just break our daily routines for a week. Others will chant, spark mayhem in big box stores and provoke mass cognitive dissonance. Others still will engage in the most visceral kind of civil disobedience.
One creative action that Adbusters cites as an inspiration is this video (above) of The Love Police stirring things up in the UK.
The first action that the magazine has launched is a worldwide boycott of Starbucks, which should be accompanied by a shift to local indie coffee shops. In their most recent tactical briefing, they announced a similar boycott of Nike.
The next issue of the print magazine will be a “theoretical and practice handbook for the November rebellion,” and they are currently asking that you send along your best ideas for coordinated acts of civil disobedience to firstname.lastname@example.org, which they’ll share in future briefings.
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Don’t waste time speaking truth to power–power is not listening. Speak truth to your neighbors, your community.
While speaking truth to your neighbor is one way to go, you are dead wrong. The power is listening, you just know nothing about power. As a marketing consultant I can tell you from experience that the higher ups in business are listening. To many people, like yourself, are too intimidated to share your voice with them. This is why people like you will never see a change. Talk to the neighbors, that’s great, but don’t forget that you write the ceo’s paychecks, its up to you to tell them what to do.
Is this a joke? “Boycott Starbucks in favor of indie coffee shops” is the best “rebellion” they could come up with?
Yuppies started doing this on their own about 10 years ago, only they call them “boutique”, not “indie”.
I was just wondering about that. Local indie coffee shops like Starbucks used to be? Consuming elsewhere is a great way to fight consumerism…?
Since consumer capitalism is the dominant economic paradigm, the best way to effect change is to shift consumption from irresponsible mega corporations to sustainable, local businesses. Just like since marketing is the dominant paradigm of communication, Adbusters subverts it by making anti-ads and “culture-jamming”.
And yes, boycotting Starbucks is fairly suburban and safe, but if the middle class suburbanites start there and eventually abandon Starbucks, Nike, and television they could greatly contribute to the larger change/rebellion.
I have read the campaign action, and “Tactical Briefing # 1,” on the Adbusters site – where incidentally, although I have registered, there appears to be no way to leave a comment along with all of the other comments pro and con regarding the Starbucks boycott.
Regardless of the reasons for making this the opening intiative, I would fist of all remark that employing – or appropriating – the use of the term ‘memes’ with its strongly social-darwinian foundations, is subject for further thought. The creator of the term memes, Richard Dawkins is a sociobioligist of the first order, and as such there is similarity to the eugenics movement that pre-dated the 1933 German regime.
As to taking a significant intiative that might be both creative and hit high in the corporate food chain, so to speak, here is a thought:
Boycot the buying and eating of all meat, dairy, and seafood products for one week. I am neither a vegan, vegitarian, or combination of the two; however, I have educated myself with the help of a friend on the horrifc treatment of animals, the addition of hormones, antibiotics, and non-grain diets (the circulation of dead animals of one industry to feed thos of another as well as the “former” prctice of outright forced cannibalism), factory farms, and one of the most environmentally dangerous byproducts of the industry: the huge dumping and contamination of natural water sources as well as seepage of methane-based fecal matter into the local water tables.
As a combined industry, meat is one of the most powerful national and international lobbies with vast resources for public relations, the continued mistreatment of animals and humans, and the deforestation of a majority of what remains of tropical rain forests.
Herein provides a multi-pronged attack on corporate greed and the same behavioral pattern changing that is rightly stressed on the Adbusters site and elsewhere.
The creativity to eat grain, legume, and vegetable foodstuffs and meals can be wonderful, and I say this as someone who remains at the halfway point, admittedly not quite ready to make the radical transition to a vegan/vegetarian diet.
Please read this carefully and consider how many multinational corporate combines would be affected by a week-long boycott; equally, the loss of revenue engendered by spoilt meat would be enormous.