[ mediums for activism ]



Lobbying basically involves an individual or group working towards obtaining political support for a particular issue. This can be ventured via letter writing, petitions, meetings with politicians, advertisements (pamphlets, posters, media), submissions (recommendations, proposals, discussions, research data) and other endeavors to raise public awareness.

I agree with Bell (1988: 23) who states that you need to "establish a dialogue with those in power" and feel that this is one of the greatest challenges. I have personally found that politicians often speak a completely different language to my own due to the fact that we have such completely different worldviews. Sometimes politicians are so set in concrete about a particular idea they have no interest whatsoever in what you have to say. In my experience, there is no specific way in dealing with politicians. The greatest recommendation I can give is to plan carefully before you approach, do your research on the topic and gather information on the politician's previous dealings with similar issues. This will at least give you an idea on what you are dealing with and how you might go about it. One thing I have never found to go down well is when activists are very angry/aggressive with politicians. This usually seems to set the concrete even more on a politician's stance. The media love this and do their best to make activists look bad.

Lobbying has resulted in the success of many campaigns from well known issues like women's rights for voting, native title, the Franklin River, to smaller successful campaigns like protecting local forests and allowing women to breast feed in public. It is a medium that is well-used today to work towards solutions and the changes people/groups wish to see.