Every resistance movement runs the risk of fizzling out, especially in the face of incessant police crackdowns. Since change through protests is a long-term process, people can often feel disillusioned, burnout. In order to keep the current resistance movement alive, we can do the following:
1. Group together
Resisting with others strengthens our resolve and ensures continued involvement. Doing it by yourself can make you feel lonely and lead to burn outs. Join organisations, connect with like-minded people and keep each other company, hold each other accountable, and look out for each other. Relationships sustain us, and groups do it even better.
2. Remember History
Remember India’s freedom movement, the civil rights movement, the suffragette movement and all other resistance movements in history. Their victories didn’t come overnight, they came through sustained resistance. Find inspiration in history and do not give up hope.
3. Keep the discourse alive
The oppressive forces will attempt to suppress dissent and divert people’s attention. Remember your agendas, keep track of all State atrocities, and keep reminding yourself and your peers of it. Post on social media, hold meetings. No matter what, don’t stop talking about it.
4. Take care of each other
Caring for our bodies is as important as taking the streets. Know that your bodies have limits. Take care of yourself and your peers. Check up on each other. If you’re feeling burnt out, it’s okay to take a break. Develop a coping bank – a list of activities that give you a sense of fulfilment, relief, and replenishment when you’re feeling burnt out.
5. Work out creative ways of resisting
There is no one way to resist. Take the streets, but also innovate other ways to mark your protest and mobilise people. Create accessible educational resources, sign petitions, go on strikes, make resistance artwork, distribute flyers etc. Try out new engagement strategies and see what works!
Image credits: Telegraph India