Courtesy AdbustersFor twenty years, the people behind Buy Nothing Day have been pleading with consumers to avoid the frenzy inherent in “Black Friday,” the no-holds-barred shop-o-rama that comes the day after Thanksgiving. This year, they’re ramping things up and calling for an all-out Wildcat Strike against the “capitalist consumption machine.” Socialists, you say? No, just worried people who want to take a stand in the face of “crises of ecology, psychology, and faith.”
Dearest readers, I’ll let them say it themselves — give this a look, and visit the Buy Nothing Day site to learn more:
This year we’re calling for a wildcat general strike. On November 27/28 we’re asking tens of millions of people around the world to bring the capitalist consumption machine to a grinding – if only momentary – halt. We want you to shut off your lights, your televisions and other nonessential appliances. We want you to park your car, turn off your phones and log off your computer for the day. We’re calling for a Ramadan-like fast. From sunrise to sunset, we abstain en masse. Not only from shopping but from all the temptations of our five-planet lifestyles.
Instead we’ll feed our spirits and minds with a feast of subversive activities: pranks, shenanigans, credit card cut-ups, bicycle swarms, mall invasions and all manner of culture jams and creative détournements … and some of us will take things even further with sit-ins, demonstrations, passive resistance and acts of nonviolent defiance, anarchy and civil disobedience. If we can create a big enough ruckus on November 27/28, then we may be able to catalyze what the Situationists tried to set in motion half a century ago: a chain reaction of refusal against consumer capitalism … a sudden, unexpected moment of truth … the first ever global revolution.
So think about it — and at the very least, I encourage you to rein in your shopping this holiday season. Here’s an interesting look at the role of products and packaging in our current climate crisis; when all is said and done, they can be tied to 44 percent of our greenhouse-gas emissions. In the words of Santa’s seamstress, “Yikes.”