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Buy Nothing Day is November 26th
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#OCCUPY and Buy Nothing Day move into phase two: #OCCUPYXMAS

Ben Hudson

25th November, 2011

On its twentieth anniversary, Ad Busters plan to take it up a gear, marrying Buy Nothing Day with Occupy in order to #OCCUPYXMAS

We are all familiar with concept of Buy Nothing Day, and for those of you who are not, it is a simple premise: buy nothing.

Buy Nothing Day started in North America in response to Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when shops swing open there doors and up the sale signs for the busiest shopping day of the year.

Traditionally, the idea of Buy Nothing Day is about fasting from consumption or just escaping the shops for a few hours, but in its most realised form has an almost meditative and philosophical air to it, imagine a day of nothing. The message of the Buy Nothing Day website is buy nothing, do nothing, become an inactivist.

Buy Nothing Day was largely popularised by AdBusters and Kalle Lasn, the man behind Occupy whose radical ideas have been creating a much needed shake up in politics, the economy and, yes, even the Church. Conrad Schmidt wrote about Buy Nothing Day for the Ecologist in 2008 – whereas then, we had just entered recession, now we truly beginning to realise its full extent.

What makes this year’s Buy Nothing Day important? It is the Day’s twentieth birthday and its message is one that world is starting to pay attention to through the Occupy movement, that being, if I may: the current global capitalist system has serious problems. Countries around the world have been dipping in out of recession since 2008, the Eurozone verges on collapse, our energy systems, based on limited stocks of fossil fuels, are way out of date. We must remember that climate change is but a symptom of the problem; (over-, hyper-) consumption. There are over a billion more people in the world since the first Buy Nothing Day, most of whom have never bought anything and constitute some of the world’s poorest people yet will suffer most for the carbon sins of the West.

This year Ad Busters effectively merged Occupy and Buy Nothing Day to create Occupy Christmas, or for shoppers and shop keepers, a general nuisance. The havoc has already begun State-side as hundreds of people occupy store fronts and shopping malls with sit-ins and flash mobs. It will certainly be interesting to see how this translates across the pond and if the momentum will carry through to December 25th.

For those who want to take part in one of the most exciting anti-capitalist movements of recent times or just refrain from spending money for a day, there is a point to be made and pennies to be saved. Either way take solace in nothing and appreciate that you have something.

When: Friday 25th November (US only, but feel free to take part, or not) Saturday 26th November
Where: Everywhere and nowhere
Cost: nothing

Further information:

Occupy Xmas

AdBusters

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