First of all, dismissing info-activism as ‘just sharing pictures’ is so early 2000s. I’m only a little bit kidding. Because in all seriousness, in the age of digital information, spreading awareness by sharing images & information actually is important. And as much as older generations (who must not be paying attention to rapidly changing cultural shifts in how information is digested or who simply don’t understand the opportunities that creates) like to foolishly repeat the dismissive notion that anything done on the internet isn’t really doing anything ‘real’, that simply isn’t the case. Virtual space is where many of the meaningful social dialogues in our society are now happening. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing, if you care about the future of society, you have an obligation to participate in and affect that space.
That’s why these campaigns work so hard to get people to take quality photographs & to edit photos and maintain pages for the campaigns. The images are taken, made & posted so that we (the world/internet) will share them. It affects turn out to direct actions, it magnifies the impact, etc. Awareness is the whole point of these actions, so instead of the action only being seen by three people driving by that day (plus the workers at the construction site,) thousands will get to see what a few have done in these actions. It affects national consciousness and conversations around the world. It’s important. And every day as more people turn to the internet over TV, and turn to the internet for news over print media, it becomes more important, more relevant, more essential. Virtual spaces are not going away. They are increasingly relevant and increasingly helpful for sharing visual information, and that will continue to be the case for the foreseeable future. Affecting the consciousness, being vigilant in making sure that the left is more involved than others, is important for shaping our society and the possibilities of our society going forward.
Direct action is extremely important, for obvious reasons. If you specifically want to get involved with direct actions regarding the keystone XL pipeline, the states that have the pipeline are probably your only option. If you have a free weekend and the capacity to travel, they relatively often have campaign events calling for participants to arrive for a series of coordinated actions over a weekend. Gracie & I were recently able to go to a blockade in East Texas; we were there for three days. See the above map for ideas of where you might be able to travel to get involved with some pipeline resistance. If there isn’t a campaign related to your nearest pipeline, you can organize with others to build one. You really can. No, really. You can. You can use this blog for help finding like minds if you decide to go in that direction.
But there are many other direct action campaigns in Portland, Oregon that you can get involved with. Here a few starting resources for finding environmental organizations in your area that you could potentially get involved with: