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How to be an activist | The Economist



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activism today can take many different

forms

sucio Park works with defectors from

North Korea to accelerate change in the

dictatorship North Korean people don't

have a hope to gather and naturally make

a change

nemco ally leads a global campaign to

end the barbaric practice of female

genital mutilation the female anatomy is

very much policed by culture and

religion around the world it doesn't

matter whether you're Somali whether

you're prettiest African or even living

in East London

Richard Ratcliffe campaigns for the

release of his wife from an Iranian

prison for me the most important part of

my activism is is campaigning it's

speaking out it's raising Lazarus story

to the world at large three different

activists talk about their campaigns and

what they think it takes to be an

activist in the 21st century

if you look at activism around the world

there seems to be an amazing sort of

flowering of different approaches being

taken to tackle these these deep-seated

problems what does it take to bring

about change in today's world so I think

that one of the key conditions is hope

and momentum and that is something that

the North Korean government has been so

effective in denying North Korean people

that you can work with North Korean

people to undermine the North Korean

government's control or degrade their

ideologies and so that can look like

different methods to get information and

foreign media and so on so the North

Korean people want to make way means

that our organization does it is by

working with North Koreans who are

leaving the country so when you're on a

column refugees the faxes or exile

working with North Koreans who have left

in order to try and empower them as

agents of change back into the country

so we try and build a platform for North

Koreans who have left the country to use

their voice so that the world can see

North Korea is not just Kim jong-un and

my sales but see them see North Korea as

a country from the perspective of North

Korean people which i think is so

lacking in the conversation about that

issue okay to you

nemco Ali's activism grew from her

personal experience as a survivor of

female genital mutilation or FGM

I mean breaking the silence has been a

fundamental basis of my activism and not

being ashamed of something that happened

to me but really trying to get the world

to understand that and for me it was

about lobby in the systems around the

issues of FGM because they were very

much British girls like me who would be

subjected to the practice but now it's

about supporting the efforts and their

movements so I think that's been the

connections between the personal

endeavor to the fire foundation which is

a global activism program to really

ensure that we end FGM and by 2030 okay

and what form does the activity of the

foundation take so what can you actually

do on the ground what are the what are

the tactics in practice so the

fundamental role of the Phi Foundation

is a global partnership the work to n

FGM is being done by women on the

frontline in Africa so so what I do

personally is to elevate those stories

to get the public finance and public and

private sectors in order to invest in

that so for us so for me is to be an

advocate on behalf of the women that are

really doing the work

Richard that's come to you now Richard

rackleff became an activist in 2016 when

his wife nazaneen-e hari rackleff was

accused of plotting to overthrow the

iranian government i stumbled into this

was a middle-aged accountant madly my

wife was arrested on holiday and we've

month muddled our way through it you

know part of being an activist is being

belligerent and difficult sinensis the

well doesn't have to be like this this

is nonsense and just to keep battling

away and and for me that's changed over

time you know an order flight it's just

getting noticed and if there's kind of a

creative anarchy the whole time of

looking for different things to do so

for instance recently someone we had a

hunger strike that we didn't plan on

doing it just doesn't it wasn't one I

joined her we set up in front of the

Iranian embassy to do it and actually

then lots of support it wasn't asked

came along and started decorating the

walls of the embassy with post-it notes

that they'd seen that guys in new in

Hong Kong doing and there was a way in

which actually you know a lot of

campaigning is is making it up as you go

along just to keep on try and keep on

hoping keep on back and keep on being

clear that listen you know welded notice

this is not acceptable the authorities

won't and and your job is to be

belligerent so I'm grateful so you have

to so you have to constantly change

tactics is it sort of part of there's no

right way of doing this yeah you know

you can try something it'll work for a

while and then it won't work some things

will work much better than expected some

things will not work

some things will not work and then will

work and there's a lot of sort of just

patience and an energy the most

important thing is to keep that hope

that it you know the world can be

different the world should be different

and you know by god will I make it