An activist is someone who is moved to respond to a problem. That’s
my definition of an activist, although I would add that the problem posed
is one that in some way or sense harms the human and/or non-human world.
How to go through life without harming anything is a real challenge.
An activist in my definition is not necessarily a politicised person,
but can include politicisation. Rather, my definition of an activist
is someone who acts on behalf of the other. Edward Said was an activist.
He once wrote that ‘survival is about the connections between things.’ I
think an activist is someone who makes connections, between ideas, problems,
people, contexts. An activist is never narrow, but aware of the interconnectedness
of life. They challenge the status quo where there is inequity, power
imbalances, exploitation and arrogance. The activist may be a singer,
an artist, a writer, an intellectual, a monk. What unites them in their
activism is compassion. A com(plete) passion for all. That is when responsibility
is far more than protecting an island, but being actively responsible
for the self and other.
Activist Networks and Resources Online
Rights Legal Information and Resources (Victoria)
Site for people who are trying to create positive changes in their
lives and communities. Resources on the site have been drawn from around
the world and from our own experience here in Australia to help support
new and experienced activists, campaign organisers, legal workers and
progressive lawyers. Aim of the site is to help Australian activist
networks and movements face the police and legal system, build resilience
against repression and to keep working for a better world.
Academics as Activists
public intellectual network
Dedicated to the 'democratisation of knowledge', the API Network is
a free electronic gateway specialising on matters Australia. Managed
and produced by the Australia Research Institute, the Division of Humanities,
Curtin University of Technology, it links public intellectuals through
its publications, mailing list, online Forum, chat room and regular
posting of news relating to book, journal and ezine publications, conferences,
events, tours and funding opportunities in the field of Australian
Citizen Participation in Decision Making
This is the website of Dr Lyn Carson, a senior lecturer in applied
politics with Government and International Relations at the University
of Sydney. The site provides easy access to information which individuals,
groups or organisations can use to enhance citizens' involvement in
the activities of local, state or federal government.
Carson says: 'Democracy, for me, is active, interactive, deliberative
and genuinely representative of the wider population. It's as valid
to speak of a democratic personality (Gould, 1988) as it is to speak
of a democratic workplace or a democratic society. We can enact in
microcosm what we imagine for the level of nation state. We need
not restrict our thinking to systems of government - we can do democracy
at any time, any place.'
Extensive resources from an influential academic.