not to be confused with Anarchism

Activism, in a general sense, can be described as intentional action to bring about social or political change. This action is in support of, or opposition to, one side of an often controversial argument.

The word "activism" is often used synonymously with protest or dissent, but activism can stem from any number of political orientations and take a wide range of forms, from writing letters to newspapers or politicians, simply shopping ethically, rallies and street marches, direct action, or even guerrilla tactics. In the more confrontational cases, an activist may be called a freedom fighter by some, and a terrorist by others, depending on which side of the political fence is making the observation.

In some cases, activism has nothing to do with protest or dissent: for instance, some environmentalists do not wish to confront organizations that harm the environment; instead, they seek to educate people about the practical matters at hand, such that an increased awareness of the issues might induce a change (for instance, educating children about small efforts they can make to help the environment).

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