Tag Archives: Occupy

Inspirational Advertising: The Importance of Direct Actions and Civil Disobedience


The largest international environmental nonprofit group on the planet has taken marketing to an entirely new level. Greenpeace is best known for successful campaigns to save whales, rainforests and wildlife with provocative tactics that captivate audiences around the globe. Controversial law bending and peaceful strategies allow the group to innovate marketing tactics.  In 2009, highly trained Greenpeace activists hung a banner on Mount Rushmore National Monument. The banner was positioned in line, to the right of the sculptured faces. The banner depicted President Obama in the backdrop essentially placing him on Mt. Rushmore, a significant national monument.  The white banner was straightforward with a bland but beneficial color scheme that contained lettering in red, white, black and green. The message was clear, “America Honors Leaders, not politicians. Stop Global Warming.”. Creative communication and audacious demonstrations of provide Greenpeace and advantage in mass marketing and direct messaging.

On the day of the event the Greenpeace activists brilliantly coordinated a live video stream, the media, and utilized social networks to gain attention to the MT. Rushmore demonstration. Audaciously trespassing in a restricted area the activists, were successful obtaining free publicity to boost awareness of their message. The spectacular act could not be ignored by international media outlets, social or radio networks. Political and controversial issues have been largely ignored and spun by network pundits, but this valiant action by Greenpeace was successful in reaching millions of people around the world captivating their targeted audience.  Greenpeace also showed impeccable timing with this protest. This particular demonstration was synchronized with the G8 summit, a meeting of the world leaders putting an emphasis on the message.

The clear and concise image circulated mass media outlets for weeks after the incident demanding attention to the issue of climate change. On the bottom of the banner, the contrast between the white lettering and the black background presented the words “Stop Global Warming” a conspicuously powerful, and thought provoking message.  Climate change is a sensitive issue which many politicians and world leaders have notoriously avoided despite public concern and the scientific community’s uproar.

Americans largely distrust politicians, a majority of whom are known to break campaign promises and flop on major issues due to political pressure.  The word, “politician” carries negative connotations, often conjuring up feelings of deceit and dishonesty and often brings into question their integrity.  Highlighted in bold red “Not Politicians”, clearly stands out from the dull grey artistic sculpture. It is obvious that the primary target in the message is President Obama, personalized by his face on the banner. This can also be considered a ploy to open a direct line of communication with the president and hold him accountable for lack of action and leadership on the politically controversial issue.  It is apparent that American voters are the secondary target by stating on the banner “America Honors Leaders”. The tertiary target is aimed towards climate change sympathizers. The message is clever, direct and daring. It also provokes the observer to consider the difference between a leader and a politician. This comparison also adds a sense of importance by depicting President Obama next to President Lincoln. Mount Rushmore National Monument contains the glorified sculptured faces of George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln who are arguably four of the most influential presidents in America’s history.  They are each known for making historic, popular and essential decisions.  The banner’s image of President Obama placed perfectly to the right of President Lincoln invites the observer to compare the current president to the former presidents, not just the difference between a leader and a politician. 

The passionate people who are willing to stretch the bounds of the first amendment are also incorporated in the image. The sheer consequences of their actions give the observer a heightened sense of importance to this issue. We see them in the image, bravely hanging from thin ropes from a world famous monument. The dedicated peaceful protesters are evidently inspiring others to bring attention to the issue. It is considered a social norm to admire the brave and courageous people in our society. We honor those who put themselves in harm’s way for a just cause, and often refer to them as heroes. A tradition that is traceable throughout human history, and we often attempt to mimic their behavior. The activists in this image are clearly trespassing on a national monument which is unlawful, although in this image the majority of the targeted audience will consider them heroes. They could have fled, at the expense of the image being less potent, allowing the observer to excuse the minor mischief.

Greenpeace is a major leader in the environmental movement.  Their campaigning tactics are continually being innovated to suit their needs of specific campaigns. Their creative communication techniques and the precise demographic targeting help to enhance their unique form of marketing. Greenpeace is not selling us a product; they are promoting their organization, advertising their message with the use of free publicity.  Attention that any business would handsomely pay for. They have an exceptional and provocative way to accomplish their marketing objectives. We must respect and admire their successful techniques and recognize the nonprofit group as a marketing genius, regardless if we agree with nonprofit’s use of civil disobedience. Observers of this image will forever associate Greenpeace with the greatest leaders of America’s short history. Any American should be thankful that McDonalds didn’t think of it first.









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Activists Resource List


findlaw.com  – You can see what charges lead to what convictions in what area etc. A better way to say this would be legal precedents. This website is used by lawyers and a bit to hard to navigate at first but you will get the hang quickly.

midnightspecial.net  –  This site has tons of trainers know your rights training and lots of good legal info for activists as well as the know your rights comic books.

nlg.org  –  national lawyers guild, really goo resource. They will also help to find you friendly lawyers in your area if you call 888 NGL ECOLAW.

collectiveliberation.org  –  Catalyst project, does a lot of rad anti-racist work and has a lot of cool resources.

efclimbers.net  –   This site has two printable resources; directions on how to climb or do mid-line descent and, a second edition focusing more on direction forces, rigging and knots.

smartmeme.org  –  This site offers quite a bit on campaign strategy.

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Framing the Debate on Overpopulation

Over Population

Over Population

Seven Billion people….

It is currently estimated that there is seven billion humans inhabiting the planet Earth. The theme of population, and more specifically, overpopulation has been in the popular mind for the last thirty years or more. Schools, national governments, international legislative bodies, interest groups and the media have all but insured that the public sees the issue of population as a problem, and increasingly, in reference to natural resources and the environment. At the heart of the population-resources-environment debate lies the question: can the earth sustain seven billion or more people? How one answers this question depends greatly on whether or not one sees population as a problem.

Is population a problem? Some would argue that yes, population is a problem in that the earth is limited, that it can only sustain a certain number of people (although no one knows what that particular number may be), that the more numerous we become, the poorer we will become. Others argue that no, population is not a problem, but that it is government policies, economic structures and the organization of society that is the problem. Some contend that numbers in themselves do not equal poverty; rather, poorly structured societies and economies foster poverty.

How people perceive the issue of population is critical, for it is by these perceptions that international legislative policies are formed, economic development packages are crafted, federal social and economic programs are formulated, and local sex education classes are designed. Thus, it is equally critical that people ensure that their perceptions are grounded, not in rhetoric and emotion, but in established scientific and empirical data. An accurate understanding of the data will enable people to think and act rationally with regard to population on a local, state, national, and international level.

Perspectives in the Debate Today

There are many groups taking part in the current population debate. All approach the question of population from very different points of view and with different motivations. A working knowledge of the parties and their underlying philosophies will allow one to sift through the diverse rhetoric and hold them up to the light of scientific data. Frank Furedi, in his book Population and Development: A Critical Introduction, (1997) has provided a brief outline of the variety of approaches to the issue of population.

1.      ·  The Developmentalist Perspective. Until the nineties, this was one of the most influential perspectives. Its advocates argue that rapid population growth represents a major obstacle to development, as valuable resources are diverted from productive expenditure to the feeding of a growing population. Some also contend that development in turn solves the problem of population. They believe that increasing prosperity and the modernization of lifestyles will create a demand for smaller families, leading to the stabilization of population growth. A classical account of this approach can be found in Coale and Hoover (1958). It is worth noting that at least until the early eighties, this was the most prominent argument used by many leading demographers and most of the influential promoters of population control. …

2.      The Redistributionist Perspective. Those who uphold the redistributionist perspective are sceptical of the view that population growth directly causes poverty and underdevelopment. They often interpret high fertility as not so much the cause but the effect of poverty. Why? Because poverty, lack of economic security, the high mortality rates of children, the low status of women and other factors force people to have large families. They also believe that population is a problem because it helps intensify the impoverishment of the masses. For some redistributionists, the solution to the problem lies in changing the status of poor people, particularly of women, through education and reform. Repetto (1979) and the World Bank (1984) provide a clear statement of this approach. This perspective is linked to the Women and Human Rights approach discussed below. Some proponents of redistribution contend that the population problem can only be solved through far-reaching social reform. (See Sen and Grown (1988) for a radical version of the redistributionist argument.)

3.      The Limited Resources Perspective. This perspective represents the synthesis of traditional Malthusian concern about natural limits with the preoccupation of contemporary environmentalism. According to the limited resources perspective, population growth has a negative and potentially destructive impact on the environment. Its proponents argue that even if a growing population can be fed, the environment cannot sustain such large numbers, population growth will lead to the explosion of pollution, which will have a catastrophic effect on the environment. See Harrion (1993) for a clear statement of this position.

4.      The Socio-Biological Perspective. This approach politicizes the limited resources perspective. Its proponents present population growth as a threat not only to the environment but also to a way of life. They regard people as polluters and often define population growth as a pathological problem. In the West, the ruthless application of this variant of Malthusianism leads to demands for immigration control. Some writers call for the banning of foreign aid to the countries of the South, on the grounds that it stimulates an increase in the rate of fertility. Other writers believe that the numbers of people threatens the ecosystem, and even go so far as to question the desirability of lowering the rate of infant mortality. Abernethy (1993) and Hardin (1993) provide a systematic presentation of the socio-biological perspective.

5.      The People-as-a-Source-of-Instability Perspective. In recent years, contributions on international relations have begun to discuss population growth in terms of its effect on global stability. Some writers have suggested that in the post-Cold War order, the growth of population has the potential to undermine global stability. Some see the rising expectations of large numbers of frustrated people as the likely source of violent protest and a stimulus for future wars and conflicts. The key theme they emphasize is the differential rate of fertility between the North and the South. From this perspective the high fertility regime of the South represents a potential threat to the fast-ageing population of the North (See Kennedy (1993)).

6.      The Women and Human Rights Perspective. This perspective associates a regime of high birth rates with the denial of essential human rights. Those who advocate this approach insist that the subordination of women and their exclusion from decision making has kept birth rates high. Some suggest that because of their exclusion from power and from access to safe reproductive technology, many women have more children then they otherwise would wish. The importance of gender equality for the stabilization of population is not only supported by feminist contributors but by significant sections of the population movement. At the Cairo Conference of 1994, this perspective was widely endorsed by the main participants. For a clear exposition of this approach see Correa (1994) and Sen, Germain and Chen (1994).

7.      The People-as-Problem-Solvers Perspective. In contrast to the approaches mentioned so far, this one does not believe that population growth constitutes a problem. On the contrary, its advocates believe that the growth of population has the potential to stimulate economic growth and innovation. From this perspective, more people means more problem solvers, since human creativity has the potential to overcome the limits of nature. Some believe that in the final analysis, the market mechanism can help establish a dynamic equilibrium between population growth and resources. Others emphasize the problem-solving abilities of the human mind. See Boserup (1993) and Simon (1981) for illustrations of this approach.

8. The Religious Pro-Natalist Perspective. Some of the most vocal opponents to population policy are driven by religious objections to any interference with the act of reproduction. They argue that population growth is not a problem and are deeply suspicious of any attempt to regulate fertility. Although some supporters of this perspective mobilize economic arguments to support their case, the relationship between population growth and development is incidental to their argument. For them, the argument that population growth is positive is in the first instance justified on religious grounds. See Kasun (1988) for a clear exposition of this perspective. Other pro-natalist voices regard the growth of population of the South as a positive asset that will contribute to a more equitable relation of power with the North. They view population programmes as an insidious attempt to maintain Western domination.

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New Pictures from Occupy Portland Part 2

Last night the Portland Police attempted to remove occupiers from the three parks in Portland. Nearly 5,000 protesters gathered to witness, and eventually forced the Portland Police to retreat. Here are the pictures of the ordeal as I witnessed it.

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New Pictures from Occupy Portland Part 1

Last night the Portland Police attempted to remove occupiers from the three parks in Portland. Nearly 5,000 protesters gathered to witness, and eventually forced the Portland Police to retreat. Here are the pictures of the ordeal as I witnessed it.

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Live coverage occupy Portland

I will be tweeting live and documenting the raid at Occupy Portland tonight, tomorrow I’ll post a recap of today’s monumental events.

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