Wayne Hsiung
Published on
January 16, 2014

Empowering Networks

Our latest campaign video -- the international compilation video from Peace, Not Violence -- was just posted today. Check out the video below!

One of the beautiful things about our campaign is the way that it's brought a community of people together around the country. (And, increasingly, around the world -- Denmark and the Czech Republic have been inspired to join us in January!) But this is not just mawkish idealism. Creating activist networks -- networks that empower people in their local communities -- is one of the central goals of effective direct action

It's so easy to feel isolated and weak, when we are disparate and marginalized. But when we see ourselves as part of the crest of our movement... when we see the writing that is on the wall (as recognized even by mainstream media)... we become empowered and energized to do more. To speak more directly and honestly. To take action, even in the face of massive cultural and institutional forces arrayed against us. To take animal rights as seriously as if it were our own lives, or our loved ones' lives, at stake. 

Because when you participate in our days of action, you are not just taking a stand in one small city, with one small group of people, against one small restaurant. You are playing a key role in an unfolding international narrative: the confrontation between a giant industry that wants to deceive the people and betray the animals, and a grassroots movement that won't allow itself to be duped or corrupted. 

There is powerful evidence and research behind this approach, most recently in a study by two Harvard professors on the Tea Party. Large protest movements, they found, had a powerful impact on both policy and public opinion. Every person who participated, in fact, had a 20x multiplier effect on the people around them. 

And this is for a movement that had, as part of its founding narrative, absurd factual beliefs that could be easily discredited by casual scrutiny! How much more powerful our movement can be, if we can create a network of activists that stands strong for our cause, that is resistant to erosion and corruption, and that is prepared to take a strong stand for those we represent. 

So join us on January 25, not just because you, as an individual protester, can have an impact (though you most certainly can), but because as a movement and network, we can make big splashes that are far larger than the sum of our individual parts. 

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