Welcome to Activist Land!

Activist Land provides tools and a pragmatic forum for the progressive activist community. It aims to complement traditional political blogs by emphasizing how you can get involved in specific issues and how to integrate activism into your life in an effective and sustainable way. Therefore, in addition to calling for action on a particular issue, it encourages people to post "activism opportunity" posts that describe the nuts and bolts of how one would, or did, take action in a particular instance.

My main area of focus is media reform. I've been working with Save Boston's Progressive Talk to help bring progressive talk radio to Boston, and I've written interviews to publicize "The Real News", an independent international news network. My secondary area of focus is election integrity. I maintain a set of Voting Rights pages with an emphasis on an election integrity timeline. I've written pieces on these and other subjects for Daily Kos and my local newspaper. For more info, see my first post. Come and join the community!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Activist Opportunity: Abe Foxman Must Go

SUMMARY: Takes a blog post critical of the director of the Anti-Defamation League and uses it as a starting point for an "activist opportunity analysis" (analysis of what could be done and whether it is worthwhile).

Yesterday, I came across the post Abe Foxman Must Go, by blogger "Red Sox" on Daily Kos. The diarist was critical of Abe Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, for failing to support efforts to induce Congress to pass a resolution acknowledging Turkey's role in the genocide of the Armenians from 1915 to 1917. He thought that Foxman should be fired. I posted the following comment:

So what are the action points?

How should pressure be applied? How is the director s/elected?

I went to the ADL site and looked at their annual report, but didn't see that info. However, the ADL's national chair's name is Glen S. Lewy. If you are looking for someone high in the organization who can apply pressure, that might be the one. Didn't see any individual contact info for Lewy, but it might be possible to ask for him by name at one of the numbers listed in the report.

I think the media route could be effective. Develop a mailing list. (My e-mail address is in my profile; you can collect other addresses from other commenters' profiles.) Consider forming a Yahoo! message board (go to http://www.yahoo.com to find out how to do it). Get people organized to write editorials and, once they're published in newspapers, send copies of them to the ADL (and to you). I'll think about doing one myself. Then you can write follow-up diaries.

If you want, I can post the text of this diary (credited to you) on my brand-new blog, Activist Land. This type of campaign is just the kind of activism that the blog was designed for.

Good luck!

"Red Sox" responded:


Not sure exactly how best to go about applying pressure. My guess is that unless some major donors were to get involved, nothing much would come of it. If you would like to post this diary on your blog, I think that would be great. I appreciate your contribution here.

If "Red Sox" or anyone else would like to take this further, please let me know.

This is an example of the kind of thing I'd like to do on this blog. I want the blog to be not only about outrages, but about how to combat them. The mental exercise of evaluating how we would build an activist campaign is useful even if the evaluation results in our deciding not to take on the cause at the moment.

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