We need to move away from Facebook ‘click like’ culture.
Clicktivism, as it is known, creates the illusion that we are doing something, when in fact we are doing nothing.
Simply ‘clicking like’ on a Facebook page is not enough. We need to be engaged actively in movement building and front-line action if we are ever to defeat fracking.
Clicking ‘like’ to show your support for something is perfectly acceptable. Only ever clicking like, however, will never be enough to reach the objectives we have set ourselves.
The same goes for online petitions. Yes, petitions help with awareness raising, but at the same time they openly encourage stay at home politics, because they trick people into thinking they are having a positive effect without leaving the comforting glow of their computer monitors.
This is not a criticism of warriors who use the internet tool properly. The internet can, for example, be used highly effectively for the promotion of campaigns, the dissemination of knowledge and as a networking tool. The internet can be an incredibly empowering tool when used wisely.
Nor is this an attempt to lambast the differently-abled community. There are many differently-abled activists who know and understand the true power of the internet and put it to proper use. All around the world there are very accomplished differently-abled activists who – although housebound – contribute massively to the struggles they are involved in.
This essay is criticizing clicktivism specifically. Why? Because clicktivism wrongly promotes the idea that passively ‘clicking like’ and signing petitions is enough. Its not. There is so much more that can be accomplished with a computer and broadband connection; so, so much more.
It is an exercise in self-defeat to use your computer to passively persuade globe spanning networks of corporations to change their objectives into ‘nice’ ones. Corporations have one objective, profit. The state is simply a puppet they use to accomplish this objective. Once you start standing up against them, their sociopathic nature becomes abundantly clear. You cannot persuade through moral reasoning something that does not itself hold the faculty of moral reason. Action is the only thing they will respond to.
“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”
– Frederick Douglass
And here we come to another negative effect of ‘click like’ culture. Through tricking people into believing they can do their bit by passively sitting behind a computer, it prevents them from going out and learning the realities of resistance for themselves.
Whilst trapped within the comfortable consumer bubble, it is easy to believe that one can reason with and persuade the state through moral argument alone. When, for simply expressing your human right to peaceful protest, a cop has you handcuffed face down in the gravel on the side of the road, the ability to see the state as a reasonable (if misguided) institution is compromised to the extent of ceasing to exist.
We cannot let the anti-fracking movement in this country become just another feel-good escapist exercise carried out over cyberspace. Our rage at the evil of fracking must not degenerate into one more simulated consumer experience. Our passion and determination to smash fracking has to manifest itself fully where it is needed most –in the mud and sweat of the real world.
Social-media and the internet in general are indispensable networking and promotional tools within any modern warrior’s kit. But for these new tools to work at all, they must act in a complementary and supportive role towards both physical campaigning and also more direct forms of resistance. As a standalone endeavour, networking in cyberspace is worthless.
We have hard times ahead of us. Things are going to get tough. Unbearably tough. Hiding behind your computer is the easy option. So far, the police have been polite compared to how they will act in the future.
Any idealism dictating that this will be a short campaign needs to be expunged from all our hearts, otherwise we will not be able to go the stretch. We must not be surprised if, five years down the line, we are still fighting and large areas of land have already been destroyed. We must cultivate a determined fighting spirit, because without a fighting spirit we shall lose the will to resist.
We need to be deploying a bio-diversity of tactics. Yes, you don’t have to be fighting directly on the front line to make a difference [although people are desperately needed to do this, so get stuck in properly if you feel called to – Ed.] – but it is absolutely vital that you are actively involved in physical campaigning. Cyber space is an illusion. The world outside your front door is not.
At the current very early stage of this campaign (and I say ‘early’ knowing it has already been in motion for years), awareness raising and movement building through direct network creation are still top priority. If this campaign is going to be successful, it needs to last long enough to see the job done. Without a fully functioning network of resistance stretching all over these islands, this won’t happen.
With all this in mind, we have a challenge for you!
Instead of simply moving on to consume some more information entertainment once you have finished reading this, take a look at the list below. Pick out from it three options, then start putting them into practice over the coming weeks:
- Make contact and get involved with a campaign group. There are countless groups all around the world campaigning against fracking. A simple Google search will usually produce the goods for your area.
- Start your own anti-fracking group if there is not one already in your area.
- Organise a film showing.
- Organise a public meeting.
- Organise a public talk.
- Donate or throw a fundraiser to help support a local or national group.
- Hold a public ritual to protect the land and the brave warriors currently standing in defense of it against fracking. This will also raise awareness amongst your local pagan community about whats going on and why they need to get pro-active.
- Hold regular private rituals (either as a solitary act incorporated into your daily practice, or as a standard part of your group practice) to protect your local area and help keep you focused and grounded for the work you are undertaking
- Spread the word by telling your friends, family & contacts about fracking and the risk it poses.
- Visit and support local protection camps. Front-line action is sadly required in many areas currently under direct attack, so any help you can give there is desperately needed! That help could manifest as living on said camps full time, or simply bringing down food and supplies whenever you get a chance.
If you are involved with the anti-fracking movement, then you should be doing at least three of these things already. If you want to get involved with the anti-fracking movement, then pick three tasks and – hey presto – you will be involved! If, however, you can’t be bothered to do any of this – why the hell are you even here?
No matter what actions you chose to undertake, the important thing is to choose action in the first place.
Only clicking like is simply not enough…