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Buy Nothing Day

November 27, 2014

Buy Nothing Day was originally founded by Canadian artist Ted Dave in September 1992, and was organized “as a day for society to examine the issue of over-consumption.” In 1997, Buy Nothing Day was moved from September to November–specifically, to the day after American Thanksgiving, commonly known as Black Friday. Since Black Friday is one of the busiest consumer shopping days in the United States, this Buy Nothing Day move was an intentional act.

Today, Buy Nothing Day advocates for people to come together as communities, to be present, and to work together towards a greater good without engaging in consumerism.

Every single person who chooses not to engage with Black Friday, and instead chooses to participate in Buy Nothing Day, is engaging in an individual act of defiance against mainstream consumerist culture. These individual acts of defiance work together to remind us of the power that resistances hold.

There are many ways to resist Black Friday and take action on Buy Nothing Day. Here are just a few (and if you have more suggestions please comment below and we can incorporate them into this list):

–Participate in Pete Shungu’s international Black Friday Boycott in Memory of Michael Brown
–Donate unopened food products to the Oregon Food Bank to help our neighbors stay nourished this winter.
–Give your extra binder wraps to Trans Active Gender Center to help provide access to folks of all socioeconomic backgrounds.
–Donate clothing and hygiene items to help those working with Bradley Angle House to make ends meet as they continue their safety planning.
–Donate to PFLAG Portland Black Chapter to support their community-building justice-serving work.
Become a monthly sustainer of In Other Words Feminist Community Center to support the critical community organizing and community-building efforts needed to keep moving our communities forward.

Regardless of what else you do on Buy Nothing Day, please at least do this: turn to the person next to you and tell them they are loved, they are valued, they are appreciated, and they are worth it.

Have a great Friday, Portland. You are loved, valued, appreciated, and worth it!


The volunteers and board of directors at In Other Words Feminist Community Center ❤️

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Heyjack permalink
    September 29, 2016 1:24 pm

    One of the more misguided and arrogant ideas to come from the privileged “radical” left. In theory you’re putting pressure on box box retailers and commercialism. In fact, they are the ones who can literally afford your lack of patronage. They just write it off on their taxes. Meanwhile small, local retailers, artists and crafts people who can’t afford the lack of trade are hurt the most. Thanks, you shouldn’t have.

    Things have changed a lot since 1992. Rethink this. The idea behind it was sound. The execution is utterly moronic.


    • October 3, 2016 10:48 am

      Also boycotts don’t work. We agree with you. This post no longer reflects our politics.


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