Fight Back

Protesters from the Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT) demonstrate in Sarasota, Florida—one of 31 U.S. locations—during Flood PNC Day of Action on Dec. 6. | Photo courtesy EQAT

Five ways to make your activism more strategic

Thirteen years ago, at an anti-war rally where a small group of protestors gave speeches to each other in a park, my precocious five-year-old looked up at me and said, “Mom, this is not going to change George Bush’s mind. Can we go get ice cream?”

Of course, she was right, though at the time I didn’t know what was missing from all those rallies and marches I’d attended over the years. It was only through my involvement with Earth Quaker Action Team—a group founded five years ago that uses nonviolent direct action to work for a just and sustainable economy—that I learned the following keys to effective activism.

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Growing Grayer? A crucial state environmental fund is in danger of withering away.

Think of Growing Greener as the massive invisible partner to Pennsylvania’s environmental movement. Hardly anyone has heard of it, and yet the state granting program supports countless local organizations—including the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Penn Future and The Pennsylvania Environmental Council—with thousands of conservation, recreation and educational projects. Now, as the natural gas industry takes hold, making up to 70 percent of state lands potentially vulnerable to fracking, Growing Greener is running dry. The program’s annual investments of $150 million have been whittled away to just $27.4 million for next year.

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Stepping on the Gas: West Philly dynamo/water activist Iris Marie Bloom leads the local charge against environmentally irresponsible drilling.

Iris Marie Bloom is busy. Seriously busy. The night before we meet near her West Philadelphia home, she was in Warminster, screening a documentary and organizing residents. Three days before, she was at a rally in Harrisburg. As we talk, she occasionally checks the time; she has another interview that morning, and after that, her weekly radio show.

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Activism: The Industrial Revolution, Take 2

A maverick CEO makes the case for sustainability
by Alex Mulcahy

In 1994, Ray Anderson, the CEO of an industrial carpet manufacturing company, faced a task he dreaded: delivering a speech to his workers about his company’s environmental policy. The problem was that his company, Interface Inc., didn’t have an environmental policy. They weren’t breaking any laws; wasn’t that enough?

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