Our first suggestion is to become active in letter-writing campaigns to politicians and corporate decision-makers to announce your uncompromising support for freedom of speech every time you see an injustice occurring. Many times, the people behind the censorship are acting simply to try to win approval from a public they perceive supports such policy. If millions of people rise up and say we are opposed to such policy, many of the people behind the acts of censorship would change their tune. You can sign onto the ROC mailing list to receive our incident updates and Calls to Action to participate in any letter writing campaigns we initiate. It is a core element of people that are really driving the music censorship movement. Those people will not be deterred by public disapproval of their policies. But if enough people stood up to oppose them, they likely would never rise to any position of power to make such decisions in the first place.
Another way to stop music censorship is with your wallet. Watch closely where every dime you spend goes, and the sort of people your money is going to. Since money is power in this world, the less money the censors have, the less power they will have in their policies. For instance, the Wal-Mart chain has restrictions on the music they sell, forcing their customers to accept their decision-making for what is or is not appropriate to listen to, rather than trusting the free-market system that allows consumers to make their own choices. If free speech supporters would simply stop giving Wal-Mart any of their money (for anything, not just music), then Wal-Mart's impact on the music industry would be minimized as Wal-Mart's power within the industry would be reduced.
Then of course, another thing freedom-loving people must do is to vote for candidates that also support freedom of speech. We realize they are becoming a rare breed in today's political environment, but by putting free-speech friendly candidates into office, we can solve a lot of this problem. See FAQ question #5 for more on this subject.
If you want to get even more active, you can work to organize people in your area by forming your own anti-censorship group or ROC chapter. You can work on petition drives, speak out at city council and county commission meetings, organize rallies against First Amendment abuses, write letters to the editor of your local paper to voice opinions against censorship in your area, and much more. To get more involved with ROC, go ahead and fill out our volunteer form and we'll try to get you started on something to help out. But also volunteer to assist any of the groups on our Know Your Friends page as they are all doing excellent work in fighting First Amendment civil rights violations.
50 Ways to Fight Censorship
by Dave Marsh
1. SPEAK OUT!
2. Register and Vote!
3. Send Your Senators and Congressperson Letters or Mailgrams.
4. Teach Your Children How to Know When Censorship Appears in the Classroom, or Elsewhere.
5. Oppose De Facto Censorship of the News Media by the Wealthy and Powerful.
6. Get Involved With Your Library.
7. Make Art That Fights Censorship.
8. Speak Out About Freedom of Speech at Schools, Churches, and to Youth Groups in Your Town.
9. Write a Letter to Your Local Paper in Defense of Free Speech.
10. Call Your Radio Station Talk Show.
11. Support Those Retailers Who Fight Against Censorship.
12. Read Banned Books. Read Everything About Censorship and First Amendment Issues.
13. Gather Information and News Clippings on Censorship and Send it to a Central Clearinghouse.
14. Buy Banned Records.
15. Write and Perform Songs About Free Speech and the Perils of Censorship.
16. Write Movie Moguls and Tell Them to Eliminate the MPAA Ratings Code.
17. Watch "The Simpsons" and Other Controversial TV Programs.
18. Contact Your Local Cable Outlet to Find Out if It's Being Pressured to Censor Its Programming.
19. Join the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
20. Join the Freedom to Read Foundation.
21. Stop the Attack on the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
22. Join Article 19.
23. Support the American Booksellers Association Foundation for Free Expression.
24. Get to Know the Censorship Groups. Study Their Literature, and Expose Them to Public Scrutiny.
25. Investigate the Tax-Exempt Status of Pro-Censorship Lobbying Groups.
26. Find Out Your State's Requirements for Purchasing Textbooks.
27. Run for Public Office On a Platform Supporting Freedom of Expression.
28. Write to Your Favorite Artists; Find Out What They're Doing to Help Preserve Freedom of Expression.
29. Make an Anti-Censorship Home Video Showing the Various Benefits of Free Speech in Your Community.
30. Write About Your Positive Experiences with Art.
31. Become a Voter Registrar. Organize a Voter Registration Drive.
32. Form a Group That Establishes a First Amendment Litmus Test for Politicians.
33. Start an Anti-Censorship Petition Campaign.
34. Boycott Products Made and Marketed by Companies That Fund the Censors.
35. Start a Grassroots Anti-Censorship Organization.
36. Start an Anti-Censorship Newsletter.
37. Contact Local Arts and Educational Organizations; Persuade Them to Stage a Free Speech Events.
38. Set a Good Example by Starting a Parents Group to Combat Censorship.
39. Contact Local TV Stations and Propose a "Censored Films Festival."
40. Use Community Access Cable or Community Radio to Raise Awareness of Free Speech Issues.
41. Stage a Mock Trial on Censorship.
42. Sue the Bastards!
43. Create a Public Service Announcement to Be Aired Over the Radio.
44. Make Sure Local Schools Have a Course on Freedom of Speech.
45. Contact Others Concerned About Censorship--Use the Classifieds!
46. Talk to Teachers About What They're Doing to Ensure Free Speech.
47. Picket the Censors.
48. Have a Moment of Silence to Keep Speech Free.
49. Have a Speak Out Day.
50. Make the Real Obscenities the Real Issues.