|How to be a backyard activist
Anyone can be an activist its simple. In fact, simplicity is what its all about.
Sarah Kerr of the Arusha Centre believes that activism is about understanding that individual actions make a difference, whether its pulling down Budweiser calendars at your office or phoning your MP once a week to voice your opinion.
She says the first and most important thing people can do is simplify their lives if something is better for your heath and your pocketbook, such as biking to work or hanging clothes on a line instead of throwing them in the dryer, its usually better for the environment.
Gerald Wheatley adds that activism isnt work, its fun.
"Its richer life," he explains. "You get a momentum where youre doing things, youre part of the world its addictive."
For those who want to become more involved in bettering the community, Wheatly and Kerr offer a few suggestions for getting started and a list of people to be inspired by.
10 things you can do to get active:
· visit the Indymedia.com Web site
· print out a David Suzuki Foundation anti-global warming poster and put it up
· read Noam Chomskys new book, Rogue States
· ask your supermarket which foods have GMO content (but dont expect an answer)
· share your newspaper with neighbours to reduce the cost and the waste
· inspire yourself with socially conscious music, such as Billy Bragg, Ben Harper, Propaghandi, Bob Marley and Indigo Girls
· buy a copy of New Internationalist or Adbusters, read it and give it to a friend
· just once go out of your way to support a local band or business just because theyre not a multinational corporation
· dont make fun of vegetarians or bicycle commuters become one
· get online and educate yourself about globalization
10 Calgary activists who are making a difference:
· Grant Neufeld World Petroleum Congress, Activist Network, Anarchist Knitting Circle
· Joan & Mel Teghtmeyer Council of Canadians
· Tak Dirk promoter, labour activist
· Meagan Smith-Windsor Project Sudan
· Cesar & Marichu Cala Disability Action Hall, Collective Kitchens, history of activism in the Phillipines
· Peter Firzgerald-Moore Council of Canadians, Western Affairs Committee, former mayor of Bowness and professor
· Jorg Ostrowski Alberta Sustainable House
· Noel Keough Sustainable Calgary
· Raging Grannies you name it, theyre there, singing and chanting in support of various causes
· Gordon Christie Calgary and District Labour Council