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Photo Credits:-

Wrong way,
go back sign
(wallyir, Morguefile)

Steve Bray with megaphone (Unknown source, possibly Dominic Minghella; fair use, educational)

Do not enter,
wrong way sign
(Penywise, Morguefile)

XR's Red Rebel Brigade (Victoria Jones/PA; fair use, educational)

Keep on campaigning!
(NeuPaddy, Pixabay)

Scuppering the Edward Colston statue (
Ben Birchall/PA; fair use, educational)

Tiananmen Square boy (Dario Mitidieri; fair use, educational)

Tank Man (Stuart Franklin/Magnum Photos; fair use, educational)
Wrong way, go back sign No Thank You 

Sometimes we need to say "No thank you".
Showing strength tends to make others respect you.
You are less likely to be mistreated.

But we have to be wise and discern on what level we stand strong. For example, immediately resorting to physical violence can backfire (e.g. you dead or jailed).

It is important to stand up for personal and collective rights.
Otherwise Silence = Violence.
But avoid it over ego and petty matters.
Learn more in Handling & Understanding Violence.

If physical means are to be avoided, then how?
Social, mental, legal and spiritual methods are all possible.
Look at the smallness of Greta Thunberg, yet she speaks truth to power and by doing so awakens all of us, and drives positive change in the world.
You can use social media or or other media to present your case.
Legal methods are an option (if you can afford it or be supported somehow to do it).
Prayer and meditation are mocked as inaction by some, yet, when done collectively, have been shown to reduce crime in communities (e.g. here, here) or otherwise help (e.g. here).

Petitions can be helpful.
Petitions were highly influential in abolishing slavery.
Today petitions can be used to change the world. Some websites are below.
Most UK Councils need 5,000 signatures to debate an idea, some accept less (38 Degrees 18 November 2019 email).
You can feel empowered, that you make a difference.
Great things can be achieved!

You can be an Ally to other causes. 
How to be a good ally?
There are some excellent resources below.

"A good ally is an active ally, not a passive ally, right?" (Alexis McGill Johnson, Planned Parenthood CEO, YouTube, 6m56s, posted and accessed 28 June 2022)

You can always be an Activist, a defender of rights.
This may start in your heart and spread into the world!

Steve Bray directs a huge metallic megaphone (a bullhorn) at the UK's Houses of Parliament
Steve Bray basically saying "No thank you" to corrupt Tories in UK's House of Parliament.
Steve Bray was heavily targetted by UK police ("the mouthpiece of fascism") on the day when a draconian law outlawing noisy protest (FFS, most protests involve noise) came into force in 2022. Also see here.
Surely, "No thank you" to fascism and authoritarianism?
(Photo: unknown source, possibly
Dominic Minghella; fair use, educational)

Here are some related quotes:

The likelihood that your acts of resistance cannot stop the injustice does not exempt you from acting in what you sincerely and reflectively hold to be the best interests of your community. (Susan Sontag, At the Same Time: Essays and Speeches)

Human rights defenders come from all walks of life… There are no special qualifications. All it takes is commitment and courage.
(Navi Pillay, Equality Now Co-Founder & former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights)

"We do have the power to say no. Yes there will be consequences, and it is easier for some of us to do it than others, but finally it is up to us. If we don't say no to the things happening to us, who will?" [Mallika Taneja]
If a woman says no even once, she adds, then they will have made their contribution to the cause of equality. And while she acknowledges the importance of larger movements to bring people together, she reiterates that finally, change will only happen when the individual has decided to take a stand.
(BBC, posted and accessed 21 December 2017)

Do not enter, wrong way sign

“No” might make them angry but it will make you free. (Nayyirah Waheed)

I don't fear death; I fear remaining silent in the face of injustice…I say to those who would eliminate my voice: I am ready, wherever and whenever you might strike. You can cut down the flower, but nothing can stop the coming of the spring.
(Malalai Joya [Afghan activist and author], A Woman Among Warlords)

My father told me once, he said, "If you see something wrong happening in the world, you can do nothing or you can do something." (Steve Trevor, Wonder Woman)

Everybody in the whole wide world needs to save this world. Spread this on!
(Boy, 48s, posted 28 April 2020, accessed 12 September 2020)

Every year, millions of individuals write letters, sign petitions & organise events. And it works! People are freed, justice is served, and the world becomes a better place. Every action counts... (Amnesty International, 20 November 2020 tweet)

The Red Rebels of Extinction Rebellion, with whitened faces and all dressed in red, face off quietly yet powerfully with UK police
The Red Rebel Brigade of Extinction Rebellion quietly yet powerfully face off against the UK police, 2019.
(Photo by Victoria Jones/PA; fair use, educational)

Protest is not, as governments like ours seek to portray it, a political luxury. It is the bedrock of democracy. Without it, few of the democratic rights we enjoy would exist: the universal franchise; civil rights; equality before the law; legal same-sex relationships; progressive taxation; fair conditions of employment; public services and a social safety net. Even the weekend is the result of protest action... A government that cannot tolerate protest is a government that cannot tolerate democracy.
(George Monbiot, The Guardian, posted and accessed 2 July 2022)

Always, always keep on campaigning. Keep on campaigning. Keep on campaigning.
Yet simultaneously step back and celebrate the level of debate that’s going on - because the apparent disaster is not going on silently. There are huge arguments, there are huge debates, there are huge pushes to get appropriate legislation in.
Battles will be lost. Apparently wars occasionally will be lost. But keep on campaigning and keep your eye on the fact that it’s a hot subject – and that’s to be celebrated. Nobody is going through all this apathetically.
And that, for me, is a huge indication that humanity as a whole is waking up to its self-responsibility in relation to its environment. So, keep on campaigning but don’t get depressed by the bad news - because you get depressed by the bad news, you're just going to shovel more shit onto it... the vibe doesn’t work. Keep campaigning and hang out with people who’ve got an eye on the long picture and the fact that it’s tough now, but we’ll be okay. (William Bloom, 21m8s, posted 18 October 2018, accessed 20 October 2018)

Keep on campaigning! [panorama with person on horse, behind is person pointing]
Keep on campaigning!

Participation - that’s what’s gonna save the human race. (Pete Seeger)

My dear lovelies, it's fine being outraged at terrible stuff terrible people/governments do. It's very important to express outrage, actually.
But please, never fall prey to the illusion that outrage alone will do anything, ok?
1. Learn to assume that (in)actions with evil consequences are deliberate. They are not happening because of stupidity, but because of malice.
2. Learn to assume that the actors committing those actions are beyond the reach of public shame.
3. Learn to organise your responses and campaigns in consequence of points 1&2. If you want accountability and redress, you have to be the actors that ensure accountability and redress occur, through your demands & actions. Don't count on awareness or shame for ANYTHING.
Basically, don't be a liberal, lol.
Also, individuals, like you, can and should change the world. Just not through voicing outrage alone.
(Prof Julia Steinberger, adapted from 1 February 2022 tweets)

Protesters throw the Bristol Edward Colston statue into the harbour
Protesters throwing the Edward Colston statue into the Bristol harbour in 2020.
Do we want heroes that are imperialists, colonialists, slave traders? Surely, "No thank you"?
(Photo by Ben Birchall/PA; fair use, educational)

People like civil disobedience in the past – they don’t really like it in the present. But disruption is necessary because it’s a way of getting the message across with much more urgency. If you are living in a society that is self-consciously self-terminating, then disrupting that is an extremely compassionate thing to do.
(Clare Farrell, XR co-founder, quoted in The Guardian, posted 1 July 2022, accessed 2 July 2022)

The principle of civil disobedience is recognised in international law after the war crime trials at Nürnberg, Germany, after WWII, which affirmed the principle that individuals may, under certain circumstances, be held accountable for failure to break the laws of their country. (@docrussjackson, 31 March 2022 adapted tweet)

Almost every day I'm asked "but what can I do?"
The answer is the same as it has always been. Combine with other people. Mobilise. Build the movement until it becomes big enough to reach a social tipping point.
The key to resistance is persistence.
(George Monbiot, 8 April 2022 tweet)

Find three causes you care about, and focus on those. (Sarah Woolley)

We will endure only if we cease to consent. Our survival depends on disobedience.
(George Monbiot, environmental journalist, 15 July 2022 tweet)

At Tiananmen Square, 1989. Just before the massacre. A small boy is on the shoulders of an adult, his hands in prayerful pose. All we see is the boy and many hard hats of Chinese soldiers.
"No thank you" can mean deep sacrifice, or death.
A few hours before the massacre of about 10,000 pro-democracy protesters by Chinese authorities, Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China, 1989. (Photo by Dario Mitidieri; fair use, educational)


Articles Allyship
Petition Websites
In 1989, a day after the Tiananmen Square massacre, a lone man bravely stands in front of a line of tanks
"No thank you" does not have to end in death.
A day after the Tiananmen Square massacre, a lone man - 'Tank Man' - bravely blocks a line of tanks.
(Photo by Stuart Franklin/Magnum Photos; fair use, educational)

Also see:-

Thank You


Spirituality articles

Sexual Consent & Harassment

Handling & Understanding Violence

Vulnerability [Emotion]

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Page last updated: 7 July 2023.