Social media, protest marches and change- your opinions please…

Can we march to freedom? Can we change the world? Can we make a difference? Can we alter the course of history?

And if so, can we do this by marching? What does this achieve?

If we are to bring lasting change from the momentum created by marches, how could we best ‘steward’ the passion and unity of the moment, in the following days and months?

What other methods could we use to make our voices heard and bring about social / political change?

Do petitions work? Can you think of any examples where a policy outcome was the direct result of a petition or public outcry over any issue? Do they serve any purpose at all?

Does social media have any place in organising/ raising awareness/ igniting change?

Or is it largely an echo chamber – everyone talking to themselves and others just like them – at worst social autism, at best a tool for sharing photos of food/ kittens/ kids?

If our right to vote is the greatest democratic freedom we can have today, why are so many of us disillusioned with our leaders – how are they becoming our leaders if ‘no one’ wants them?

Is there a dearth of good leaders in the world today? Perhaps it’s always been this way…?

How can we ‘take the power back’ – make our institutions, systems and governments listen to us and govern FOR us again…?

I would love to hear your thoughts/ responses to these questions…

I have been asking/ studying/ researching these and many related questions for over twenty years now. Instead of arriving at a place where I have the answers, solutions and strategies all carefully worked out, I am continually seeing deeper levels of complexity…

It’s not as simple, formulaic or predictable as some activists and organisations would like to think…

What do you think – whether you have studied any of this at tertiary level, or not; whether you have marched for various causes, or wouldn’t dream of it; whether you believe there is a need for radical change or can’t see what all the fuss is about…. I want to hear from you.

Further reading/ viewing:

If a story moves you, act on it, Sisonke Msimang, (TED talk) If a story moves you, act on it

A political party for women’s equality, Sandi Toksvig, (TED talk) A political party for women’s equality

The Women’s March heralds a renaissance of resistance, Eve Ensler,   The Guardian,

Without a path from protest to power, the Women’s March will end up like Occupy, Micah White, The Guardian,

To Christy on Facebook, who doesn’t need the Women’s March, Susan Speer, Medium,

 How to Trump-proof your life (in a minute) – video, Chris Phillips, Chris Whitworth and Kate Aronoff, Source: The Guardian/Getty Images

The Immigration Ban is a Headfake, and We’re Falling For It, Jake Fuentes, Medium,

Communication, Power and Counter-power in the Network Society, Manuel Castells,

Education for Democratic Citizenship in a Digital Culture, Vicent Gozálvez Valencia,

Flourishing on facebook: virtue friendship & new social media, Shannon Vallor,


Comments and discussion welcomed

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