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For Activists, Now is the Time

Randy Shawbyline‚ Jan. 31‚ 2013

Young activists often look back longingly on the 1960’s civil rights marches or anti- Vietnam War protests and feel they missed a chance to make history. Some got this sense of historic purpose during Obama’s 2008 campaign, but nothing emerged during his first term to rival those earlier movements. But times have changed. Three growing campaigns now afford activists historic opportunities to get engaged and make a difference. First, organizing is already underway for comprehensive immigration reform, which could enhance the United States more than any legislation in decades. Second, massive protests are set for February 17 against the Keystone XL Pipeline, whose defeat would send the strongest message ever that the United States is serious about climate change. Third, pressure grows daily for passing legislation to rein in America’s gun culture, and grassroots activism to fend off the NRA is the key to victory. For activists wanting to make history, now is the time.