Articles on Activism

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It’s easy to sneer at people for protecting their backyards, but what if there’s a compelling reason to do so? Mickey DeRham photos

In defense of NIMBYism

Foundation essay: This article is part of a series marking the launch of The Conversation in the US. Our foundation essays…
Who yarn bombed these trees? There are many reasons knitters take their work to the streets. jenniferworthen

Knit one, purl one: the mysteries of yarn bombing unravelled

Who exactly is behind the knitted bike rack cover that you walk past at the local park? And what is it that drives someone to cover a tree with intricately knitted creations? Yarn bombing – the practice…
Australian rugby star David Pocock is among the international sportspeople supporting the Principle 6 campaign – citing the Olympic Charter – against Russia’s anti-gay laws. Twitter/@pocockdavid

Sport, Sochi and the rising challenge of the activist athlete

What happens off the field stays off the track and the dais but plays OK at the press conference – that is the rather convoluted message from International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach…
Who’s in charge here? It’s not us. jdlasica

From breastfeeding to politics, Facebook steps up censorship

Facebook has recently tried to close down the popular Anarchist Memes page on its site in the latest of a string of crackdowns on political online activism. It’s just one more example of the social media…
A Palestinian farmer and Israeli soldier clash in an olive grove. Can academics in other countries affect this situation by boycotting one side or the other? AAP/Abed Al Hashlamoun

Academics and activism: Stephen Hawking and the Israel boycott

The news that famous physicist Stephen Hawking has decided to join the academic boycott of Israel has attracted some heated commentary. Hawking pulled out of attending an Israeli conference in June, explaining…
The situation is desperate, no-one in power seems to care: what’s a concerned citizen to do? AAP Image/Greenpeace, James Alcock

When the time comes to disobey: civil disobedience and coal

Greenpeace’s attempt to stop a ship carrying Australian coal is an opening shot in what is likely to be an escalating campaign of civil disobedience directed at Australia’s export coal industry. The raid…
A recent social media campaign for gay marriage has been criticised as ‘slacktivism’ and spawned a number of spin-offs. Amanda B/Know Your Meme

‘Slacktivism’ vs ‘snarktivism’: how do you take your online activism?

Debate over the value of online activism has risen again in the wake of the highly visible Human Rights Campaign marriage equality campaign, which urged Facebook users to replace their profile photographs…
Former Greens leader Bob Brown has endorsed Jonathan Moylan’s hoax against Whitehaven Coal; but Moylan’s actions are unethical and corrupt the integrity of our systems.

Whitehaven hoax was an unethical act that was harmful to all

Bob Brown’s opinion piece for Fairfax today seems to endorse Jonathan Moylan’s “activism” as a form of civil disobedience. The thoughts echo the sentiments expressed earlier in the week by his former colleague…
Queue for iPad 2 in Sydney: green activists targeting companies and governments should realise that those ‘enemies’ reflect the values of the money and consumption-hungry populace. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Why the global environmental movement is failing

The recent news out of the RIO+20 summit is dire. No collective pre-agreement, no institutional change, no investment. The difference between RIO+20 and Kyoto was that at least Kyoto created an agreement…
Lachlan Murdoch’s familial and professional links with News Corporation - as well as Channel 10 and radio network DMG - are cause for concern for internet activists Avaaz. AAP

Web activists Avaaz put Lachlan Murdoch’s media interests under the spotlight

The worldwide online activist group Avaaz, which claims over 14 million members and operations in 193 countries, has this week launched an Australian campaign against Lachlan Murdoch. The group has written…
Search engines can flag up “dubious” searches on request. ssoosay

Why didn’t Google catch the Norway killer?

We know the self-confessed perpetrator of the Norway killings Anders Breivik purchased six tonnes of fertiliser, a key ingredient of explosives, in recent months. We know he was under surveillance by the…

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