An activist holds Buy Nothing Day flyers during a protest on the first day of shopping … [+]
The annual Buy Nothing Day has been gaining momentum since 1992 when it was organized in Canada as “a day for society to study the problem of overconsumption”. In 1997 it was postponed for Black Friday – the day after Thanksgiving, one of the busiest shopping days in the US.
The day of the protest allegedly began 52 years ago in 1968 when Ellie Clark and her family decided not to consider the commercialization of the Christmas vacation. It later became official in 2001 when a group of Canadian Mennonites created a website and gave the movement an official name. In recent years it has been increasingly adopted by like-minded groups who are now using social media to spread the anti-consumer / anti-capitalist message. Perhaps some confuse the concept of socialism with social media.
The non-governmental environmental organization Greenpeace (@Greenpeace) offered their support with their “(not) shopping list” and asked: “What would you add to the (not) shopping list?
#BlackFriday #BuyNothingDay #LessIsMore “
The nonprofit Life Squared (@Life_squared) also promoted the not-to-buy concept: “How can we help our children become people, not consumers?”
Writer / publisher Kevin Williamson took an even tougher line and shared a video clip of John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) of punk rock group The Sex Pistols with the bold statement “Today is #BuyNothingDay F *** capitalism” – but you have to wonder if the publisher would refuse to sell its books today?
Apparently, some even saw irony when @missllieaquas replied, “Says he uses a smartphone, tablet, computer, buys things from Amazon, gadgets galore, wardrobe full of clothes, several pairs of coaches, a mortgage, car, makes money on his Company, buys lunch from the subway, drinks beer and designer coffee, has a smartwatch, etc. Am I wrong? “
Another user, @TweeMiddleClass, wondered, “Is that John Lydon who signed a big deal with EMI, Kevin?”
Many on social media saw good reasons beyond mere consumption, not to get the message across, not to buy anything. @ Suzanne64449706 replied, “I would buy anyway. If I buy someone somewhere is making a living because I bought what they make or fix. There’s enough unemployment without you trying to make it worse, at this rate we will end. ” eat yourself in time! “
Others said 2020 might not be the best year for the soap box. @awlilnatty replied, “I know we all want it to be #BuyNothingDay today, but I think it’s important not to embarrass or pressure those who are saving money today. This time of year is stressful and costly at best of times, not least after an incredibly busy and difficult year. “She added,” Perhaps today we should focus on saving gifts that people need, not what they want. Many of us are in right now Not even if they have to save pennies where we can. “
The Amazon Game
There has also been a lot of anger on social media about Amazon.com and its billionaire founder Jeff Bezos. In addition to the hashtag #BuyNothingDay, the hashtag #MakeAmazonPay was also trendy on Friday morning.
UK Labor MP Beth Winter (@BethWinterMP) asked directly, “Jeff Bezos’ net worth increased by $ 70 billion in this crisis that saw millions of people struggling to get through. Last year Amazon paid 6.3 Million pounds corporate tax UK with sales in excess of £ 13 billion. #MakeAmazonPay #BuyNothingDay “
Progressive International (@ProgIntl) posted several comments on Twitter: “Workers of the world are uniting against Amazon. Help them with a donation to the #MakeAmazonPay strike fund at http://makeamazonpay.com.”
Greenpeace in Central and Eastern Europe (@CeeGreenpeace) also interfered on this topic: “We stand in solidarity with those who fight against the excessive power, the oppression of workers and the destruction of the planet and the climate by Amazon. Let’s do it today a Green Friday and #MakeAmazonPay. “
Social advocacy group The Leap (@TheLeap_Org) also called on Amazon and Bezos on Black Friday: “During the #COVID19 pandemic, @amazon became a trillion dollar company, and CEO @JeffBezos was the first person in history to who amassed $ 200 billion in personal fortune #BlackFriday It’s time for #MakeAmazonPay “
Not all anti-consumers
Many on social media have also shown understanding that many people still work in retail and that consumerism promotes jobs and a healthy economy.
@irin_ska offered this insight: “On Black Friday or any other day – shop locally, shop consciously and support workers and local communities #MakeAmazonPay #BlackFriday # BlackFriday2020”
@ Euphful1 also exclaimed Buy Nothing Day and said, “I’ve called them before, but #BuyNothingDay is further evidence that people are stupid and defiant. Consumerism is not about you buying things, it’s about buying things You have favourited Not Just for Black Friday is a chance to save money if you are smart enough to wait. It’s easy. “
Many African American entrepreneurs also saw the opportunity to greet Black Friday with the hashtag #BuyBlack. This is not about promoting consumption, but about supporting black-owned companies.
Black Lives Matter Michigan (@BLMMichigan) took it on and asked, “What are your favorite black businesses in Michigan? Are you looking for black causes and businesses to put your money where it matters? We’re going to community organizations and Shops around the world share holiday season. #BuyBlack “
Dre ‘Auna of BookViewsByDre.com (@BabyHooper) in New York City was among the small businesses who chose #BuyBlack: “It is $ 0.00 to retweet and grow my sparkles for small businesses.”
And so the holiday season can begin.