I got a chance to be involved in the People’s Climate March here in DC yesterday, the first time I’ve been involved in something like this in quite a while. We did a “die in” outside the American Petroleum Institute, and then marched down to Freedom Plaza, blocking traffic in one direction along the way during rush hour.


In general in life, I spend a fair amount of energy wrestling with being present, particularly in the midst of action or groups of other people. Like many of my peers, my phone and the Internet are the most obvious distractions that tend to keep me from this presence. Particularly with focus in the Burning Man community, embracing the principle of immediacy is often top of mind.

So it’s really interesting to think about grassroots protest and movement-building in the context of our current connected age, particularly when we can’t count on media to get the message out. The way that many people who aren’t there find out about these things seem to be social media (at least in my network and based on my own experience), and it provides a huge channel for amplifying the message, particularly when applied en masse. In some ways, perhaps I am having a larger impact by snapping a photo and posting it than just by carrying a sign. But then, if you’re snapping a picture of a bunch of people on their phones, that seems less than helpful.

Is there a balance to be found here somewhere? Yesterday, I tried to quickly snap and post a couple photos but mostly keep my phone in my pocket throughout the march. And even that made me feel a little cognitive dissonance from my usual mode. I guess I’ll need some more practice at this to figure out where to draw that line? I’m curious about what others have experienced. Share thoughts if you have them!



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