What Is a Political Activist?

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A political activist is someone who is involved in the political process for the sake of promoting, impeding or raising awareness of a certain issue or set of issues. Political activism typically involves engagement beyond just voting, whether it be through protest, demonstration or lecture.

Political activists consider voting to be a passive type of involvement. In contrast, political activism involves taking a clear stance on an issue, voicing an opinion and working to ensure that the change desired by the political activists comes to take place.

Political activism is most effective when done with large groups. Community organizers and political leaders see the most sweeping change when the demonstrations and activities are unique enough that the voices of the demonstrators draw a great deal of attention. This is why creative acts of resistance by political activists tend to be so powerful.

Demonstrations of political activism that are performed in an attempt to end a corrupt or unjust system tend to be more disruptive. This sort of activism sometimes becomes violent. Extreme activists use these methods to disrupt an oppressive system, call attention to its flaws and put an end to it. Despite this, many strands of non-violent political activism exist.