The Villager NYC: How to Put Fun Back into the Resistance #RevolutionIsSexy
Marni Halasa is a lawyer, journalist, activist and performance artist, and the founder of Revolution Is Sexy, a one-stop shop for activists, groups and organizations needing advice and counseling on how to stage protests that attract the attention of mainstream media. Halasa, who was active in Occupy Wall Street, was an editor for the book “Occupy Finance,” which educated the wider public about the 2008 financial crisis. A native of Akron, Ohio, she came to New York City after getting her law degree to attend Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and work as a reporter and editor for the New York Law Journal. Currently, she is a figure-skating coach at Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers. Here Halasa shares some tips with The Villager on how to protest while also being sexy and fun.
Q: What is the best protest advice you can give a newly ordained resister?
A: You don’t have to pull a Howard Beale, the TV anchor in the 1976 movie “Network,” and scream that infamous phrase about being “mad as hell” out your window. But you do have to take that anger to the streets. Whether you piggyback onto an already existing protest or organize your own, get out into the street and make some serious noise. And before you do, organize a strategy, publicize your demands, alert the media and then invite everyone you know. Democracy begins with mass movements. And citizen-led uprisings — from Occupy Wall Street to Black Lives Matter to Climate Justice — are steadily paving the way for policies to change, catapulting ideas that transform society into the national conversation.
Signing petitions, calling Congress and tweeting also have value, but they are no substitute for the power of concerned citizens on the street with a clear demand on the right side of history.