What Protections Do Activists Need?

All humans need protection. In a way, protection is the most basic need of all, since if you aren’t safe you can’t eat, drink, sleep or sometimes even breathe. 

The more vulnerable you are—poor, young, elderly, chronically ill, historically targeted by oppression—the more you need care and protection. But so often in the belly of the Beast you get less. 

That’s when you, the activists, step up–you who are the first responders against injustice. 

Most often, you arise from those same vulnerable ranks, or the vulnerable folks are those closest to you–your kids, neighbors, coworkers. You share their vulnerabilities and need for basic protection, dignity and rights. 

But as activists, folks who step beyond your own private life to confront shared injustices and larger powers, you face additional risks. And need additional protection. 

Detective Drunella

Like what?

protect our activists characters

That’s what we’re Asking Activists like you about. 

But here’s what it looks like so far…

Protecting Activists

LOVE. [heart graphic]
What do I mean?

Many revolutionary leaders stress the centrality of love in social movements. What does this mean and how exactly does love protect activists?
What happens when it falters or fails?
How can we better cultivate love in our community?

EMOTIONAL UNDERSTANDING.
What do I mean?
How does it protect activists?
What happens when it falters or fails?
How can we cultivate it in our community?
EMOTIONAL AWARENESS.
SUMMARY FOR GRAPHIC:
The Beast manipulates our emotions to divide, discourage us, and dissuade us from going on. We need to protect ourselves from this very real danger by becoming more aware of exactly how the Beast does this, what strategies activists use to combat it, and how we can do this more effectively.

SOLIDARITY-MUTUAL AID.
What do I mean?
How does it protect activists?
What happens when it falters or fails?
How can we cultivate it in our community?

FLEXIBLE, PRINCIPLED THINKING.
What do I mean? Connection
How does it protect activists?
What happens when it falters or fails?
How can we cultivate it in our community?

COLLECTIVE COURAGE.
What do I mean?
How does it protect activists?
What happens when it falters or fails?
How can we cultivate it in our community?

MILITANT EQUALITY
What do I mean?
How does it protect activists?
What happens when it falters or fails?
How can we cultivate it in our community?

DIALECTICAL MATERIALISM
What do I mean?
How does it protect activists?
What happens when it falters or fails?
How can we cultivate it in our community?
Detective Drunella

How is POA working on cultivating the above qualities to improve the climate for activists?

granny gus protect our activists
  • Creating greater awareness—especially among activists and friends of activists—about activist culture, activist experience, the activist community, in all its complexities, contradictions, challenges and conflicts…as well as its complete fabulousness!
  • Calling attention to stereotyping of activists and to other misinformation and misconceptions that facilitate marginalizing and mistreating activists and discounting activist messages and movements.
  • Countering stereotyping by producing and encouraging the production of fiction featuring full and fair portrayals of activists
  • Focusing on aspects of activist culture that protect activists and our movements, and to those that do not, and thinking with others on how to change the latter.
  • Conducting discussions, participatory research, and collective writing activities exploring activist culture and how to better defend and develop it.
Detective Drunella

What does POA ask you to do?

Detective Drunella

What are some of the things that activists are doing to protect our work?

[This will get filled in with boxes summarizing existing areas of protecting activists ]

  • Read,
  • Comment
  • share
  • Invite POA to discuss these and related topics
  • Support
granny gus protect our activists
  • Read,
  • Comment
  • Share
  • Invite POA to discuss these and related topics
  • Support

Our favorite fiction is full of police and superheroes. And activists?? Not so much. Let’s seek out stories with activists, the courageous first responders against injustice! And let’s look into why there aren’t more of them.

We’ll ask why activists–when they do appear–are so often shown as unappealing stereotypes, not real people.

Does this matter? If so, what can we do about it?

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RAINWOOD HOUSE SINGS, a social justice mystery for youth and adults, paints a truthful (with a hint of magic) picture of activists taking on gentrification, police violence, worker rights and cultural divisions; tackling mysteries large and small with creativity, humor and collective action.

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Stories of Our People (SOOP)

Sample filled-out FFA Test:
JB tests the movie Billie Elliot

Sample filled-out SOOP Questionnaire:
A few stories and burning questions from JB

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Add your Suggestions to our Fiction Featuring Activists List

The POA Fiction Featuring Activists List is a compilation of works of fiction in which activists and activism play a significant role. Use this form to:

  • Share info for books, movies, TV shows and narrative games with activist characters and stories.
  • Review fiction with a focus on how fully and fairly it portrays activists, using Protect Our Activists’ FFA Test.
  • Nominate a work of fiction featuring activists for our 10 Best and 10 Most In Need Of Improvement Awards!