All posts by Lola

"Sometimes you need to step outside, get some air, and remind yourself of who you are and where you want to be." -The TV show, Gossip Girl I know how cheesy it is to start a blog with a quote from a girly show like Gossip Girl, but the quote has really helped me create a self-purpose in life. No matter what life throws at you whether it be ignorance, defeat, suffering, or someone holding you back, there is always something inside you that can bloom into the true person you want to be. I feel like writing is the "step outside, and get some air" part of the quote because we have not yet found ourselves when we are writing, but it feels like a sense of relief from the struggles life holds us up with.

We gotta lot of problems…

In her book, Necessary Trouble, Sarah Jaffe highlighted activist movements around the country from 2008 to about 2015, many of which connect to movements are currently happening or happened recently. Jaffe’s emphasizes that social media has been a key factor to bringing all the movements together; but, in a broader sense, she suggests that social media is now a key factor that connects movements everywhere.

The horrendous government bail outs of  banks lead to people losing their homes and jobs so that big shot millionaires could receive even more money.  In my post “Too Big of a Head,” I write about Jaffe’s story of the workers from the Republic of Windows and Doors. Workers were laid off by the company only to find out that the company and investment banks would be bailed out by the government with millions of dollars. They fought for their right to  severance pay by sitting in the factory until they got what they demanded. Workers were and still are fed up with the dealings of banks. Many banks will invest in business deals that do more harm than good, but then expect the citizens of the U.S. to continue feeding them their money.

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“Wells Fargo: NO DAPL, Invest in Schools” by Joe Piette-Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Specifically, the people of South Dakota and countries all over the world had to intervene with a particular bank after the investments began to impede on their daily lives and well-being.  The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) was put to a halt when a local tribe called Oglala Sioux supplied a lawsuit against the project since it could contaminate 200,000 resident’s fresh water from the Missouri River. Since the water is sacred to the tribe, they knew something had to be done. While Barack Obama was still in office, he decided to investigate the pipeline using the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Once Donald Trump took office, he began his reign of terror by lifting the EIS hold and leaving the Oglala Sioux and South Dakota residents to deal with the pipeline.

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“Hey Wells Fargo- No DAPL! Rally” by Joe Piette- Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

With courage, protesters decided to go even deeper than the oil company by protesting at Wells Fargo banks all over the country so they would divest in DAPL financiers. The news spread so much about the DAPL Wells Fargo protest that Green Peace and 350 Japan organizations began to protest big banks in Tokyo. In December of 2016, Norway activists convinced their banks to defund the project and activists all over the world pledged to demonstrate their frustrations every day for the month of December. An important aspect that is reflected in this movements and many more that I will mention is the social media involvement to connect others who feel the same about this issue. One of the best things for an activist movement is news coverage, twitter hashtags, and much more because it is easily attainable for the public to grab onto.

In April 2014, a hashtag swept twitter after 219 Nigerian girls were kidnapped by members of the Islamic Sects. #BringBackOurGirls hashtag began in America to help activists in Nigeria demand their government get involved to save these young women.

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Image found on bringbackourgirls.ng

The 276 girls went to school on April 14, 2014 not knowing that their day would end in tragedy. The were kidnapped by the radical group because of the beliefs that women should not be educated. Fortunately, 57 girls managed to escape their abductors, but none have been found ever since. On the bringbackourgirls.ng activist website, they provide steps for each country to get involved on this issue. Many steps include creating campaigns and rallies in order to bring to light the obstructive ways the government of Nigeria has dealt with the 219 girls missing for almost three years now.

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By Michelle Obama, Office of the First Lady [Public Domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The citizens of the U.S. used social media platforms to advocate for the girls and support the activists in Nigeria. One of the most influential people who took action was Michele Obama, previous first lady of the United States. While holding up a sign saying “#BringBackOurGirls,” she had a look of despair that captivated the nation to protest even further for these girls knowing that they had the first lady behind them. Sadly, the 219 girls have still not been found and in about a month it will mark the three year period of the poor girls being missing. The hashtags fueled the protests and activism in Nigeria to spread all over the world and without that small influential piece of the puzzle there probably would not have had the coverage it did. In my #KillTheBill blog post, I discuss hashtags being a huge impact to connecting people across the nation and world in order to support a movement. Kill the Bill became incredibly strong protest in Wisconsin and their relating hashtag was how they were able to gather so many people into the capital building. The use of social media and specifically hashtags are what many movements thrive on since it is a simple way to connect people from around the world. Although some people believe hashtags are irrelevant in social media, the truth of the matter is that they provide a linkage to problems and people all over the world.

On the first day of office for Donald Trump, 45th president of the United States, was greeted with thousands of protesters in Washington and actually all over the world. All of the protesters including both men and women were protesting the right for women’s rights. Throughout the duration of Trump’s election, many remarks and promises were threatened against women, religious backgrounds, race, ethnicity, and the LGBTQ community.

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Image by womensmarch.com

People from all over the world decided that it was time to stand up against the president and show the government that they were not going to take human rights away without a fight. One of the most prominent aspects of the campaign was towards the rights of women emphasizing that women’s rights are human rights since Trump openly disrespected women and threatened to “throw” immigrants out of this country. Not only were there 500,000 people who participated, but many celebrities such as America Ferrera, Ashley Judd, Scarlet Johansson and many more spoke to the crowd about how infuriated about where our government has gone–down the drain. The Women’s March overwhelmed Twitter, Facebook, and so many other social media platforms that connected others who were not participating in the march, but felt the same about the concerns they were presenting.

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Image by womensmarch.com

In my You Go Girl blog post, I describe a powerful woman who Jaffe mentions is a political activist in Seattle, Washington community in 2011. Kshama Swant is that activist whose presence in protests are fumed with influence and competence that would make any woman feel like they had a voice because SHE has a voice.The Women’s March was to represent all human rights, but to have so many women making a huge difference by sharing their voice with others who felt the same way, it must have been such an empowering feeling for women around the world. In the past decade, women have gotten to be more and more influential in our government and society to the point where in 2017 millions of women all over the world felt that they were influential.

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