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The activists category needs some work. Right now, "activists" are a very diverse bunch. A few issues to think about and discuss:
types of activism - philanthropy, speaking/writing, organizing, nonviolent direct action/civil disobedience, violent resistance, research/philosophy/academic, political lobbying, etc.
goals of activism - funding, research, political/human organizational/structural change, criminalization or decriminalization, etc.
subjects of activism - nationalist/political movements, individual human rights (reproduction, anti-death penalty, prolife, prochoice, children's, African-American civil rights, etc.), specific individuals (Mumia Abu-Jamal, Leonard Peltier, etc.), economic or other interests of groups (labor, veterans, women)
types of activists - individual and groups
And of course many of these categories overlap in general and particular; and they overlap with other categories as well -- simple research, simple advocacy that's not activism, and so on. We really need some good thinking-through of the categories here. Maybe a project? But at least, right now, any other thoughts? Is it okay to lump all these disparate actions, goals, subjects, and types together as one? Would further subcatting be unnecessary and over-complex? Trying to apply consistent standards ran into problems with the Category:Animal rights movement project folks, who raised issues that are common to many activist categories and have been raised in various forms elsewhere. What's the best way to organize people within a movement? --lquilter 22:00, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
The entire issue comes down to the definition of activism being different depending on who you are and what your personal thoughts are. Why not avoid using this term altogether and use something like 'People involved in x' or similar? But then that would still then come into problems - does someone who has said they agree with a groups goals belong in such a categorisation?-Localzuk(talk) 22:36, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
I think "people involved in X" is not any better than "activist", unfortunately, because it doesn't specify what kind of involvement--could be all the same kinds of involvement I listed above. You're absolutely right that there needs to be some way to parse out the people who are philosophically in agreement with a movement from those who are "active" in the movement. Traditionally, most people would agree that "activists" mean only those who are "active"--but the definitions of "active" include everything from financial support (membership in PETA, say) to direct action to lobbying/speaking/educating. ... We should probably look to see how the Library of Congress and Dewey classify these kinds of things, although we certainly shouldn't bind ourselves to those classifications. --lquilter 23:34, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
That was kind of my point. It is all down to definitions. Whatever method of grouping is approached, there will always be problems. I feel that this sub-grouping of movements is not worth the effort. It will cause so much extra work and give very little extra advantage to readers. -Localzuk(talk) 23:49, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, we're all clear that you don't think it's important! <g> But there are masses of categorizers who do think it's important to separate out people within categories. Hopefully we can get discussion beyond those of us who have already participated so we can generate some new ideas & consensus. --lquilter 00:26, 7 January 2007 (UTC)