Photo: Gizmodo

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Small acts of resistance

I came across today on Duncan Green's blog what seems like a really inspiring book called "Small acts of resistance: How courage, tenacity and ingenuity can change the world." The book has its own website where you can also submit your own stories of resistance.

Some of the examples included on the website from the book give pinpoint examples of how ordinary citizens took very simple actions to bring about change. For example, football supporters in Uruguay during the military dictatorship mumbled the national anthem until it came to the line, "May tyrants tremble!" which they shouted with all their might, before continuing to mumble the rest. The Generals couldn't arrest a whole football stadium nor could they accept the humiliation of removing this line from the national anthem. The people had found a way to express their opinion.

Those of us committed to creating a fairer world by eradicating poverty should also submit our stories of acts of resistance. So often we're faced with the question, "So what have you done that's improved people's lives?" Often our responses are so long-winded and complex, that potential supporters have moved on to the next, more readily understandable cause.

We should take up the author's invitation to submit our small acts of resistance. We are witness to them everyday by people living extraordinarily difficult lives who, despite all the odds, demonstrate courage, tenacity and ingenuity to survive extreme poverty. To inspire you, here's a video presentation of the book.

Small Acts of Resistance Final from Small Acts on Vimeo.

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