Activism has always been a central feature of the Peace & Freedom Party, and we’re proud to say that this spirit has continued among its members from the party’s foundation to the present day – but the present day is of course dramatically different to most before it. So what are the best methods for action in the time of coronavirus? Below, PFP state chair John Reiger makes a few suggestions.
I’m a longtime believer in being physically present at demonstrations. To actually take the time to put your body on the line is a sign of real commitment, commitment to the cause and to your own values. So it pains me to say that this pandemic time is probably not the best time to be out in the streets with lots of other people. Do it if you must, but please try to be safe, and please try to look for other ways to forward the cause.
• Auto Caravans/Parades
Here is a great way to be out in the streets without exposing yourself or others to pandemic dangers. Many groups have scheduled car “caravans” to protest or celebrate their causes. Join one, or schedule one yourself.
If your financial situation allows, this is a great time to donate to your favorite causes. All groups working for social change are underfunded. If you can help, please do so. The Peace & Freedom Party will put your donations to good use fighting for a better, socialist society. With so many people out of work, and so many underpaid, this advice is not for everyone, but if you can spare some money please spread it around. (Put in link to our donation button)
• Volunteer at Home
Many organizations are switching to at-home work. Try to find one that has tasks you could do while staying home. The Peace & Freedom Party has committees that could use your help.
• Email and Petitions
These things are not as valuable as you might think, but do them anyway, it can’t hurt. Too often online petitions are just a way to get you on an organization’s list. That’s not necessarily bad if you are OK with it, but the petition itself isn’t very powerful. Personal emails are better, but not as good a physical letter. If you are home and have the time, do them all.
• Write Letters
One of the most important activities you can do at home is to write actual letters to local, state, and national leaders and politicians. Pick up a pen, get some paper and an envelope, buy stamps and use them. Politicians pay special attention to those who actually take the time to write a real letter. They are usually swamped with emails and petitions. Those things are so easy to do that they don’t count for much. Writing a real letter counts!
• Online Activities
If you have the time and inclinations check out the webinars that are out there. This is a good time to expand your knowledge. If your group is now holding Zoom meetings (or other online meetings) join them. Get comfortable with this new way of getting together with other activists.
• Social Media
A great way to stay in touch with your comrades and find out about current activities and events, but to have a real effect on real events, try the other things mentioned above.
–John C. Reiger, Peace & Freedom Party State Chair