Activism can be done in a multitude of different shapes and forms, no matter what you are standing up for or speaking out about. Activism is important, it gives people the opportunity to speak up for their rights and the rights of other people and non-human beings.
Many changes in history have happened through activism, including abolishing slavery, The Australian Government recognising the land rights of Aboriginals, and legalising same-sex marriage in America.
Through the experience I have had with activism, particularly animal activism I have had the fortune of meeting Rodney Fox, a man once attacked by a great white, who lived to tell the tale and went on to work on movies such as Jaws, at an Anti-shark cull rally, I have joined protests on the steps of Parliament House in Adelaide, marched at a Ban Live Export Rally along Rundle St and Rundle Mall and much more. These are all things you can do too.
To be part of a movement you truly care about is amazing, to feel you are making a difference, even if it is small. You don’t have to strip naked and cover yourself in red paint to protest fur like some organisations, and activism doesn’t mean doing something illegal.
Within Adelaide, so many protests and marches take place for a huge variety of causes and movements. These are anything from Ban Live Export, Jumps racing, Anti-racism rallies, to protests to stop the closure of remote communities. Whatever it is you are passionate about, and want to give your voice to, you can be part of a community that believes in the same things as you do and make change happen.
Activism in this form is only one of many ways to help the causes or movements you care about. There are a huge variety of different ways in which you can speak up and help make change in the world. You can volunteer with different causes at the University, hand out leaflets, volunteer at stalls for charities or organisations that align with your goals and beliefs, send letters to your MP and members of parliament using your voice to make a change, or even signing petitions online.
Whatever way you chose to become involved in activism, it can be an amazing way to meet new people, especially if you are new to Adelaide. There are so many great, passionate people out their giving their voice to so many wonderful causes. Get online, whether that be through facebook or checking out USASA and find groups you want to become part of, lend your voice as there is strength in numbers and make new friends whilst doing it.
If animal activism is your kind of thing, one of the best books to read is ‘Striking at the Roots: A guide to Animal Activism’, or you can go online and check out Animals Australia, they have an online Action Network you can join. UniSA now also have their very own Animal Rights club which you can check out through USASA or on Facebook.
No matter what you are passionate about, get active this summer and give your voice to those who need it most and make a change in this world. It may be small, but you have no idea how many lives you could change.
Words by Claire Gordon
Image by Storm Warman