Online activism during COVID-19

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Amy Field makes the case for better use of social media in organising based on her recent success fundraising for the people’s daily, the Morning Star.

Amy Field, Chair of the YCL London District

When the Morning Star announced its most recent Fighting Fund, like everyone else, my branch of the CP was daunted, especially considering that COVID-19 had blown our previous fund-raising ideas out of the window.

The usual ideas of BBQs, raffles and socials were no longer a possibility, and with sales down, we knew that it was more important to contribute than ever. However, in the Shadow of COVID-19, we actually managed smash our original goal of raising £200, in fact, we quadrupled it.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our ways of interacting with each-other have drastically changed, meetings, nights out, coffee mornings have become zoom calls, friends and family have become images on a screen.

Indeed, while we are still connected, I can’t deny that I have felt lonely, isolated and anxious. However, this crisis has revealed to me that in times of crisis, we can be more active in the movement than ever before.

Online activism has become more important than ever. So, instead of having a 19th Birthday Party I decided that this year, I would do something different. In the weeks before my Birthday, I set up a GoFundMe in aid of the Morning Stars Fighting Fund.

After sharing it across social media, donations came pouring in, in a day we smashed the goal of £200. The Party and its supporters in this age are more connected than ever, with the help of WhatsApp groups, Facebook pages and even just through friends and family sharing, over 50 comrades stepped in to donate.

With the aid of some excellent advertisement by Glenn Wigham, the London YCL was also able to set up and run a Pub Quiz over zoom for YCL, CYM and CP members. With 10 teams participating, and some excellent fancy dress, we managed to boost the amount raised to £800 overall.

Throughout COVID-19 pandemic, a crisis provoked by Capitalism, online activism has inevitably come to the forefront of our movement, and it has become clear that – while it will never be a replacement for building and working in our communities, campuses and workplaces – we must not disregard its effectiveness. It is a powerful compliment to more traditional methods of campaigning

Black Lives Matter exploded into an incredible movement in part due to the collective online outcry over the murder of George Floyd and has since lead the way in revealing the racist nature of Capitalism.

The Peoples Assembly Against Austerity has been leading the way regarding the fight against the onslaught of austerity, especially during COVID-19, with the YCL participating in many of the live broadcasted zoom calls. My little fundraiser does not compare, but it still illustrates that online activism is effective and important in growing the movement. 

Amy Field

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