The reading talked about how the success of the Occupy movement relied on participation both on-line and in person. At first, I kind of thought that the on-line participation aspect was kind of fake. I was a little weary that the emphasis on online participation could lead to the kind of “slacktivism” we often see in online settings today. However, this idea that people need to be able to be physically present is also incredibly limiting. Giving the demographics of who was often present at the Occupy camps, one can clearly see some privilege involved in attending a camp. Attending a camp requires being in a place not to HAVE to go to work. This could mean that the people who are in the 99% and have families to take care of and bills to pay can’t participate in the same way that other people who have more privilege can. For this reason, I actually think that online activism provides opportunities for people to participate in ways they may otherwise be unable to without technology.


One response »

  1. alexamuniz says:

    This is something that I have been thinking about a lot lately too. I used to be somewhat annoyed by people who seem to only participate in activism online by ‘sharing’ or ‘liking’ things on whatever platform. It does often seem like “slacktivism” and I still think that in some cases it is. But having become more aware of ableism and privilege my view on this has shifted and expanded.

    I totally agree with your analysis that it is sometimes a privilege to be able to take part in activism physically. Whether it is having the ability not to HAVE to go to work, but even more broad than that. Some people don’t have the same physical accessibility to be in those spaces as others. Not everyone can advocate for causes by taking part in marches, protests, sit-ins, Occupy, and whatever other physical forms of demonstration. Self care is also important to consider in activism and sometimes that means distancing yourself from these causes.

    That is why online activism is very important. Although it is not accessible to everyone, it does allow for more people to participate in various forms of activism. Sharing and spreading information is valid and important. I still think that there is a distinction to be made, as some causes that flourish online are not actually sustainable or effective and just lead to “slacktivism”. Personally, it can also be frustrating to see people interact with issues online and not translate that into their physical and actual lived lives, making that jump from the virtual. But that frustration is something that I am constantly reflecting on and coming to terms with.

    But yea, online activism is important. It is also important to recognize the privilege and ableism in activism and how we think about activism.

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