Grassroots activism consists of a group of like-minded people coming together for a cause they believe in. Grassroots activists are not usually controlled by any political party. Their issues are often directly opposed to the policies of the major political powers.
Grassroots activism is often defined as being at the bottom of the political pyramid. Grassroots causes and issues are often the opposite of those of the political powers at the top of the pyramid. However, many major politicians become involved in grassroots issues if they feel strongly enough about the issue. Some cynics may say this is just another way for politicians to garner votes.
Political freedom is a major concern of the grassroots activist. Freedom of speech and the right to protest are essential to grassroots activism. People in Western society can take these right for granted, but there are still many countries in which one can be imprisoned for protesting.
Grassroots activists spend a great deal of time promoting their cause. They hold meetings, organize fund raisers, and donate time and money for causes they believe in. Grassroots activists are vehement in their beliefs. Many protesters have endured time in prison. Animal rights protesters have gone to extreme methods to promote their points of view, but grassroots is most often a peaceful method of changing policy, relying on sheer force of numbers and the public opinion that is involved.
The issues that are important to the activist can be small, such as community funding, or they can have wider reaching ramifications. What may start as a small protest can be picked up by the media and can ultimately change laws. Grassroots activism can be as small as standing up at a community meeting and expressing a point of view. It can be also be a well organized political march against a major political issue.
Grassroots activists are not easily swayed from their point of view. Activists in many towns and cities across America have prevented huge corporations such as Wal-Mart from moving into their towns. Grassroots activists are the little people standing up for their rights against the stronger powers that be.