Buy Nothing Day 2011 essay

A short essay on BND 2011

Buy Nothing Day was originally the brainchild of the Adbusters Collective, and in their typical way they put the idea out into the world, and moved on.  BND has clearly taken on a life of its own with events all over the world, no two alike.  Among the more well known is the Reverend Billy of the Earthallujah Church, formerly the Church of Stop Shopping, holding an event in front of Macy’s in New York, the epicenter of excessive consumerism on the planet.   This year Adbusters burnished their reputation as culture jammers by being the first to call for Occupying Wall St.

I am not sure what everyone thinks of Occupy Wall St, though the polls say Americans support the effort, believe that plutocracy has gone too far in undermining our country and our shared value of being in this together.   Wall St and some very powerful and rich business men, in conjunction with the Washington politicians,  have taken a very radical form of capitalism, and tried to mainstream it in the media to the direct detriment of both the people of the world, and the ecosystems of the planet.

This year as I work on the Buy Nothing Day Winter Coat Exchange I am going to keep in mind the work of Occupy Wall St and our local efforts to Occupy Providence.  Those of you who have not been to Burnside park might want to make a trip.  Something very interesting is going on.  People governing themselves, sharing, and really practicing democracy.  People from all walks of life are there, including many who have no jobs, or no homes.  People who have always been part of Buy Nothing Day, buying nothing, and needing winter coats.  People who have donated coats and volunteered their time.

Occupy Wall St and Occupy Providence is the first evidence in a long time that the cracks in the walls are starting to show and can not be painted over.  We are going to address poverty and ecological destruction, the lack of democracy and the power  of money to cause destruction in the wake of Occupy, or it will be even harder to address down the road as the planetary ecosystems get more out of kilter and the looting of our country by Wall St further impoverishes more people.


15th Annual BUY NOTHING  DAY


If you have a coat to give, please drop it off.

If you need a coat, please pick one up.


State House lawn (directly across from Providence Place mall)

rain location St Johns Cathedral 271 N Main St Providence

Pawtucket Visitors Center, 175 Main St. Pawtucket

On November 25th 2011 – the busiest day in the American retail calendar and the unofficial start of the international Christmas-shopping season – thousands of activists and concerned citizens in 65 countries will take a 24-hour consumer detox as part of the  annual Buy Nothing Day, a global phenomenon that originated in Vancouver, Canada. Some see it as an escape from the marketing mind games and the frantic consumer binge that has come to characterize the holiday season, and our culture in general. Others use it to expose the environmental and ethical consequences of over-consumption.  In Providence as part of International Buy Nothing Day, we hold a winter coat exchange on the lawn of the State House directly across from Providence Place mall. In Pawtucket the transfer of coats takes place at the Blackstone Valley Visitors Center. Events are also held at 3 other locations in Rhode Island. There are many partners for this event: community organizations, places of worship, civic, and environmental groups. Volunteers are needed to help with this life-affirming event.

Contact information: Providence Greg Gerritt: 331-0529;;

Phil Edmonds: 461-3683;

Pawtucket – Arthur Pitt 724-8915;

Other participating locations

Newport – St Paul’s Church 12 West Marlborough St. 10 AM to Noon Maggie Bulmer 849-3537.

Wakefield –St. Francis Church, 114 High Street, 10AM to noon Tom Abbott 364-0778

Barrington Bayside Family YMCA  70 West St   10 AM to noon Connie

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