Activism is a synonym for the pursuit of change. That change can be social, economic, environmental, religious,or political in nature.
The person who practices activism is called an Activist. These individuals or groups raise their voices against violations of civil and human rights, injustices, and infringements upon fundamental freedoms. Their activism is practiced through movements in every country of the world to make people aware of rights violations.Throughout history, these activists have had to fight of oppression, slavery, segregation, and patriarchy as they struggle to help marginalized communities. There will be activismas long as there is injustice.
Activism can be carried out in many different ways. Afew ways are mentioned below.
Marches and protests
Marches and protests are tactics frequently used when raising awareness about the most crucial issues that threaten fundamental human rights. Protests and marches are highly visible ways to make public demands for action to end injustices. Protests are generally peaceful in nature, but as history has proven over and over, they can often take a violent turn on a moment’s notice. Marches and protests are also prone to attack by outsiders, so it is essential to have volunteers with basic first-aid training and supplies. However, despite all the inherent risks,many protests and marches have resulted in significant social and political change.
Suppose an organization or a company has unethical or harmful practices. In that case, activist groups or the people working may call for the general public, governments, and private business to refuse to purchase goods or services offered by the targeted company. This is called boycott.In recent years, we have seen the boycott of several countries, companies, and individuals when it comes to hurting people’s religious and social sentiments. At their best, boycotts so severely impact a company’s finances that the industry is forced to change. Other times, a boycott raises public awareness and encourages further action.
Petitions and letter-writing
Activism can also be carried out through petitions and letter-writing campaigns executed by hundreds, thousands, and even millions of ordinary people. This kindof activism can be used tohold high-level figures like politicians, company executives, and high-profile individuals accountable for their injustice. It calls for specific actionsto support the community. On an international scale, Amnesty International, based in the UK, operates a “Write For Rights” campaign, providing participants with a letter-writing kit and other resources. The campaign focuses on political prisoners, victims of torture, and others experiencing injustice.
Strikes have always been an important – and often risky – the type of activism. Because of the risks, the success of strikes depends onexcellent organization, communication, and outside support.
Regarding activism, there are many examples of successful past and present activists. Brisa De Angulo is one of the most prominent examples of powerful activism in recent times. She has driven forward tremendous advances for women and children.
Brisa De Angulo
Brisa De Angulo is the founder and CEO of A Breeze of Hope Foundation. As a lawyer, psychologist, and human rights activist, she dedicates her life to improving access to justice and healing for survivors of sexual violence against children. Brisa, a survivor of childhood sexual violence, uses her story and expertise to challenge the status quo and promote legislation safeguarding children. At 17, Brisa mobilized her community in Bolivia and persuaded government officials, including the President, to pass a law declaring August 9th Bolivia’s national day in solidarity with survivors and against childhood sexual violence. Every year since tens of thousands of supporters across Bolivia have gathered that day to express their solidarity and challenge toxic social norms and practices.
With 18 years of experience working with survivors, and 22 years working with early childhood development, Brisa’s insights have created a remarkably effective set of interventions. Her center for child survivors of sexual violence in Cochabamba, Bolivia, implements these interventions daily, serving more than 500 children annually.
In addition, Brisa is a public speaker, researcher, and author of many books. Her life story, her drive, and her outstanding accomplishments have garnered recognition from around the world. Brisa has received many international awards for her work, including the CNN Heroes, BBC Outlook Inspirations Award, the World of Children Award, and Elevate Prize.
On January 19, 2023, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) ruled in Brisa’s case, Caso De Angulo Losada vs Bolivia. Brisa’s filed her petition to the Inter-American Court a decade ago, demanding justice for the horrific human rights violations the Bolivia Government committed against her when she sought to prosecute her rapist. The Court’s judgement is binding on Bolivia and 22 other countries in the Americas. The judgement orders sweeping legal and policy reforms and establishes new heightened standards for rape laws and the management of sex crimes against children. Many are calling Caso De Angulo vs Bolivia the strongest judgment in the Court’s history.
The path to the Court was not easy. She endured death threats, multiple arsons, an attempted kidnapping, and hit and runs. She has been forced into hiding multiple times. But none of this has deterred her pursuit of truth and justice.
As we can see, Brisa has leveraged many forms of activism. Brisa and her Foundation are further notable for their firm commitment to working with—and not against—Government authorities. During the hearings for her IACtHR case, Brisa emphasized just how much she loves her country of Bolivia and how strongly she dreams of a safer Bolivia for all. As Brisa has often said, “If we want to make change that benefits all children, we must be the State’s Friend. Otherwise, we won’t affect change at scale. Local organizations simply lack the reach and resources to impact all children within an entire nation.”