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Black Friday is Buy Nothing Day

Since 1997, the biggest shopping day of the year in North America has also been known as Buy Nothing Day - a playful protest against the cultural and commercial pressures that compel us to consume more every year, grow more in debt to prove our love to our loved ones, and find temporary happiness in that euphoric moment of purchase.

It's a movement that has been growing internationally every year, and will likely see its biggest year yet from all the creative energy coming from the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Here's a roundup of a few of the best articles and films on the shopping free holiday from alternative and traditional media:

http://www.adbusters.org/campaigns/bnd "On Nov 25/26th we escape the mayhem and unease of the biggest shopping day in North America and put the breaks on rabid consumerism for 24 hours. Flash mobs, consumer fasts, mall sit-ins, community events, credit card-ups, whirly-marts and jams, jams, jams! We don’t camp on the sidewalk for a reduced price tag on a flat screen TV or psycho-killer video game. Instead, we occupy the very paradigm that is fueling our eco, social and political decline."

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/buy-nothing-day-adbusters-role-in-the-global-occupy-movement-6263205.html "Of course it feels good that after all this time people are finally starting to get it. But there is also a darkness underpinning that good feeling. It sounds apocalyptic, but I have a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach that the economic pain people are going through is just the beginning. If that's right, then we will really see the young people of the world stand up in a way that is many times bigger than they have up until now. We need to find ways to capture the imagination of the rest of the world. If we can do that then I believe this movement may well pull off some incredible radical transformation that needs to happen to make the future of our planet work."

http://www.filmsforaction.org/Watch/What_Would_Jesus_Buy/ "Rob VanAlkemade’s ‘What Would Jesus Buy?’ is a rousing, irreverent and simultaneously sobering documentary about the year round destructive shopaholic obsession that spins into an out of control buying and spending orgy by the time Christmas rolls around. The movie follows performance activist Reverend Billy and his ragtag cross country caravan, The Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir, to bring the voice of reason a few holiday seasons ago, to compulsive consumers everywhere. The intent of this countdown to Christmas is to save the holiday from what Reverend Billy has dubbed only slightly in jest, the Shopocalypse. Ironically, many of his group are injured when one of their buses collides on a highway with a truck rushing to deliver Christmas merchandise to stores. Meanwhile, the Reverend muses, ‘everyone in a car is driving to a television."

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/11/business/some-consumers-object-to-sales-on-thanksgiving.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all "Ms. Nyberg is drawing the line now that major chains like Target, Macy’s, Best Buy and Kohl’s say they will open for the first time at midnight on Thanksgiving, and Wal-Mart will go even further, with a 10 p.m. Thanksgiving start for deals on some merchandise. "

http://www.filmsforaction.org/Watch/The_Story_of_Stuff/ (Not directly about BND but does a great job of explaining the motivation behind it) "From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever."

What will you be doing on Buy Nothing Day/Black Friday?

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