Thursday, November 11, 2010

Buy Nothing Day - What Will You Do?

November 26, the day after Thanksgiving, is traditionally a day where corporate dominance over our lives is asserted and our complicity in consumer capitalism is encouraged and expected. Known as Black Friday, consumers/citizens are prodded by media and business to flood stores en masse to start the holiday shopping season.

Buy Nothing Day is the resistance to this! A symbol of resistance to a symbol of consumer capitalism, ecological devastation, and neo-liberalism. Use this day as a start on reducing your consumption and ending participation in corporate expectations of you.

What will you do this Buy Nothing Day? The Socialist Party of Central Virginia is asking everyone reading this to participate in some way in the myriad of activities planned.

First off- don't buy anything on Nov. 26! Make sure you send us an e-mail before that day, or the day of, to let us know how you plan to participate.

Here are some ideas:
  1. Don’t buy anything!
  2. Attend, or help organize, a free store: Nov. 26- Really Really Free Market, Really Really Free Speech Zone, and Really Really Free Movie 1p.m.-8p.m. Random Row Bookstore, 315 West Main St., Charlottesville, VA. Nov. 27- Noon-3 p.m. Monroe Park, Richmond, VA.
  3. Organize a gift making party or workshop- reuse goods for art!
  4. Post about Buy Nothing Day on Facebook.
  5. Write and call your friends and family and ask them not to buy anything on Nov. 26.
  6. Visit a shopping mall and don’t purchase anything; tell shoppers to hurry up and start buying because we have a planet to consume!
  7. Zombie shoppers- get some friends to dress like zombies and wander around the mall with empty shopping bags.
  8. Cut up your credit cards. Offer to cut up other people’s credit cards- set up a stand at a mall, “Free Debt Reduction,” and bring scissors to cut up cards.
  9. Bike or walk to work.
  10. Pack a lunch for work- Thanksgiving leftovers anyone?
  11. Puppet or street theater at a Wal-Mart, or other big box store, or mall.
  12. Research a particularly vicious corporation and hand out fliers to shoppers at their stores.
So, what are you doing for Buy Nothing Day? Please post your ideas below and let us know!


  1. Here’s what I’ll do:

    Hope with all my heart that a socialist buys a used book from Heartwood Used and Rare Books in Charlottesville. Used bookstores give books (and their readers in some fashion), a new life. Surely some members of the Socialist Party of Central Virginia are on Medicare. Though we’re not old enough for Medicare, we still have to help pay for it—tough to do, since we’ve paid somewhere around $200,000 in the past decade for health insurance and health care. Shouldn’t a socialist be willing to share the cost of Medicare with us by buying a book?

    And while I’m at it, I hope someone takes a child to a bookstore and lets him/her pick out a shiny new book on Buy Nothing Day, because such a gift lets children know that books are important—so important that a new one is worth the price. Children’s literature is the basis of all subsequent literature and a crucial learning tool for the readers of the future, without whom there is no hope for our planet. Give them the gift of books!

    There are better ways to change our materialistic society than beating up on small, marginal, progressive business owners.

    Mary E. Lyons

  2. Mary,

    Thank you for your completely random thoughts. What they have to do with the above post, or anything written in it, I can't imagine.