August 31, 2013

Six things you can do in 60 seconds

Have you ever read those online advice pages which talk about "important" things you can do to help organize yourself in five minutes? Like organizing a desk drawer, vacuuming a room, or phoning a forgotten friend? Some folks even claim you can save a child in five minutes.

But if typing the number of your already overburdened credit card into a World Vision sponsorship page isn't your idea of social progress, maybe you want to check out the Rebel Youth version instead. We know activists are busy people -- we've got protests to walk, people to text, things to write, minutes to type, and sometimes court orders to process. So here are six protesty things you can do in JUST 60 SECONDS !!!

1. Draw a 'stash on the Queen. 
Harper seems to thing Canada doesn't have a colonial history, but the British monarch is pretty much everywhere in Canada and, well WTF. Basically, you don't even need a fancy pen to do this. A crayon would work. Other ideas might be a slogan like Idle No More, or maybe Queen Go Home...  Plus side: you feel good about defacing a banknote. Downside: Not really much of anything accomplished fighting the power.

2. Pull a fire alarm
This is really good if there is some kind of Serious Assembly Of The People In Power, like a City Hall talking about privatizing transit, or university Board of Governors meeting discussing tuition increases, and to which everyone has just been kicked out of, or otherwise excluded. Plus side: righteous feeling of F-off and it might delay the meeting longer so more resistance can be organized.  Downside: could back-fire if you get caught, leading to fines, headaches and a cost-benefit analysis for you and the group...

3. Superglue a loonie on the floor
Classic trick with a new variation. This is great if you can do it at work, very close to the Bosses office, maybe partly under their door, and in a place visible for your co-workers to see the Boss as they bend down to pick it up... unsuccessfully. Plus side: Boss gets humiliated. Downside: you might get fired and it cost you a looney.

4. Re-decorate the bosses car with your keys

Good if you've just been fired, perhaps for crazy gluing a loonie somewhere. Try to do it in less than 60 seconds and don't get caught again!!!

5.  Copy the employee list at work

Slightly more constructive than the above two ideas. This is important if you are organizing a job site in a union. Usually you don't have much longer than a minute or so. Camera phones are pretty good; take multiple photos just in case. Not really worth attempting until you've got some sort of team working on the drive but basically necessary before you start signing cards. You need names, addresses, phone numbers, job classifications, departments and shifts. Plus side: could be a key step to getting a union at your workplace. Downside: could get into shit.

6. Write a "Go To Hell Harper" letter

All you need for this is a postcard, or a paper and an envelope. No stamp is necessary! Mail to parliament is always free. You can also be more eloquent if you like and pick an issue -- like military spending, tuition fees, or the fact parliament will be prorogued until October -- and then photograph it and upload to facebook. Plus side: The Prime Minister's website says he "greatly values the thoughts and suggestions of Canadians." Downside: like many of the above, not too much achieved. Anyway, here is his address:

Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2

Closing thoughts

There isn't a great deal you can do with either 60 seconds or acting individually if you want to over thrown the system.  That said, every revolutionary action is done by an individual, and can be divided up into little units of one minute. So go figure. Or spend some time doing something other than reading articles of the internets...

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