Contact: Roland Watson, roland@dictatorwatch.org


September 2, 2005

Please forward this as widely as possible.

Dictator Watch is pleased to announce the launching of a new website: Activism 101 (www.activism101.org). This site presents the why and the how of activism.

Why should you be an activist?

Because you care.

More and more people are now waking up to the fact that there are innumerable serious problems around the world; that in most cases these problems are not being properly addressed; and that they – you and I – personally, can do something about this. The last is an excellent trend, which Activism 101 is designed to encourage.

What has happened is that the system of checks and balances that maintains the balance of power between social institutions, and between such institutions and individuals, has failed. Our only recourse left is to challenge the institutions, which now act solely for themselves rather than for the publics that they are supposed to serve.

In doing this, though, we must be informed. We do not want to act out of ignorance, or be sheep and follow what is trendy – what is “cool.” (Please boycott the word, “cool.”)

Activism 101 already has many elements, and it will grow. For the launch its contents include a comprehensive guide to activism; a set of positions on important social issues; a directory of five hundred advocacy organizations – you are certain to find something of interest in this group; a clearinghouse for the ideas of other activists – we want your ideas – on what works to accomplish positive change, and doesn’t; and, most importantly, a set of principles, or ideas, on which we should live our lives and design and develop our society.

In particular we call on all students, notably in high school and university, and all around the world, to get active. (The most important class you can take this semester is Activism 101.) Read, learn, and then act.

And as you do, remember that the keys to success in any activist venture are to be creative, particularly when seeking to overcome institutional defenses, and to have fun. Activism is fun. Marching in a demonstration is a blast. The people are great, and you are doing something important, really doing something of consequence with your life.