Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Buy Nothing Day

On November 25 around 30 activists celebrated 'Buy Nothing Day' in Budapest. 'Buy Nothing Day' is an international day of anticnsumerism that is celebrated all around the world. On this day activists and supporters express their protest against capitalist world and in particular it's consumerism oriented approach. Moreover, people are encouraged to 'unshop' and 'unspend' the money on such a day.

The selection of 27-28 November is not random as these are one of the busiest shopping days in the entire year in the consumerism heaven of the US and Canada. As this day is usually celebrated on a Friday after American Thanksgiving in North America and the following day internationally, in 2009 the dates are November 27 and 28 respectively. This day was founded by Vancouver artist Ted Dave and subsequently promoted by Adbusters magazine, based in Canada.

Modern capitalist world encourages people to buy in different ways, starting from fashion shows and TV advertisement to success in the society due to the success in buying more and better things. The wwhole capitalist machine works in a way that the things people buy are not good enough or are simply out of fashin in a very short period of time, so that people need to throw them away creating additional piles of garbage and polluting the planet, and buying new and more trendy things that will be thrown away soon too. Therefore, it is important for public to show it's disagreement with the current system that fuels the fire of consumerism and also overconsumption.

In Budapest the celebration was held at TESCO in Fogarasi ut close to Pillango u. metro station. The action started at 22-00 and lasted for 20 minutes. First, the people with empty shopping carts were going around TESCO and afterwards everyone made a long line at the same cash desk with these empty shopping carts. As there were 30 people, it was quite a long line. Other people who came to buy things at TESCO, security and shop assistants were a bit surprised and they did not show great interest, but their attitude was al least neutral. At the cash desk the participants of the 'empty shopping cart race' gave the information about this action to the cashier and left.
It was a good action to attract public attention, but next time it should be even more numerous and rather on the weekend so that more people become aware of the pitfalls of consumerism.

A useful link explaining what 'Buy Nothing Day' is about:

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