“The decision to protest is not taken in a social vacuum”
(Klandermans & Van Stekelenburg, 2013)
“If we can make a critic laugh, that is the first step towards subverting their homophobia.” (Peter Tatchell, 2016)
Campaigners responded in a beautiful and creative way when the authorities stopped demonstrations at the UN climate discussions following the 2015 Paris terror attacks. Thousands of climate activists had expected to march in Paris to put pressure on governments to end reliance on fossil fuels. Following the decision to ban on protests in public spaces campaigners had to think quickly, respectfully and imaginatively to make their “voices heard”. Instead of marching thousands of shoes were placed on the Place de la République in a ‘silent march’. Continue reading “Turn to Face the Change”
It is good to end the year with some positive news; the announcement that the value of assets committed to some form of divestment from fossil fuel companies has reached $5 trillion. Continue reading “Fossil Fuel Divestment: What Makes a Successful Movement?”
In a recent blog I examined the approach of Stop Funding Hate, a campaign calling for companies to withdraw their advertising from newspapers – the Daily Mail, the Daily Express and The Sun – that often carry incendiary, divisive anti-migrant headlines.
It is a corporate responsibility approach to change according to Krznaric (2007) seeking to alter the behaviour of organisations through threatening reputation “with name and shame campaigns” (Krznaric, 2007: 59). Continue reading “Corporate Competition & ‘Field Level’ Change”
In a recent discussion in class* it was noted that the objective of the Stop Funding Hate campaign was to change the headlines and tone down the anti-migrant and xenophobic rhetoric in the Daily Mail, Daily Express and The Sun.
I would question whether this is the aim of the campaign, even if this is the change they want to see.
“Space is a social product… it is not simply ‘there’, a neutral container waiting to be filled, but it is a dynamic, humanly constructed means of control and hence of domination, of power.” Henri Lefebvre
In the last couple of weeks we have seen campaigners in court. Not for direct action that has long pushed the boundaries of what is lawful, but on the ‘other side’, challenging authorities for inaction on environmental issues.
Patagonia’s latest campaign “Vote Our Planet” is seeking to mobilise voters to choose candidates in local elections who support strong environmental policies. Patagonia – the US outdoor apparel company – is a company founded by an environmental activist and has a long history of campaigning. But it is not the first. Continue reading “Can Corporates Credibly Campaign for Social Change?”
The lines are blurring between companies and campaigners. From CEO activism to corporate campaigns leading businesses become increasingly outspoken on critical environmental and social issues.