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Friday, April 23, 2004

Traditional mass media is an inappropriate medium for peace activism

If a half-million peace activists spent 2 hours a week protesting out in front of a government building, then, maybe, there might be a mention on the news for a few minutes. And most people, the people that need to be reached, would ignore it. In fact, this has been tried, over and over, for 30 years. Sure, it's been effective on occasion, but I've been to many protests, with hundreds of thousands of attendees, that failed to make more than a blip in the national news.

If a half-million peace activists spent a couple hours a week handing out flyers and calmly talking to others about politics and nonviolent solutions to problems, then every adult in this country will have heard a personalized message of peace within two months. Activists can and should strike up conversation, listen and respond to people's requests for information, without anger, on a one to one basis.

TV and movies and radio are "centralized broadcast media", and, as such, are prone to all the reliability, efficiency, and control problems that any centralized system has. They are inherently inappropriate for distributing messages of peace, because peace is about working through problems, not passively watching things happen.

One great thing to do would be to research the war, learn about stuff like the Patriot Act and the Project for a New American Century, and then make your own flyer or web page. Your original voice is worth a thousand photocopies of someone else's ideas! If you create or find a printable flyers that you like, please email it to me.

For a quick conversation starter, a poster for your wall, or a picnic handout:

  • AnotherPosterforPeace: Excellent site with beautiful, impacting posters and flyers that anyone can download and print.

  • Posters by Adam Nieman: Focuses on the oil/war connection, full color talented illustrations.

  • My archive of peace flyers. These are my favorites and ones that I've found online, and that have been emailed to me.

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