To some, Black Friday means 'Buy Nothing Day'
Not everyone will be out and about today to buy and revel in one of the biggest-selling retail days of the year.
Instead, some may observe "Buy Nothing Day," a day of activism for the anti-consumerism crowd, who oppose what they say is the massive consumption that Black Friday promotes.
Although there are no planned "Buy Nothing Day" events in Philadelphia, there are scheduled activities set for many cities worldwide, including Oklahoma City, Kyoto, Japan, and Minneapolis, where organizers plan to screen the Morgan Spurlock documentary "What Would Jesus Buy?" featuring Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping.
Events also include "zombie walks," during which protesters dress up and walk like zombies, reflecting the mob mentality of consumerism.
The Adbusters Media Foundation is behind the annual "Buy Nothing Day," which was started 18 years ago by a Vancouver, Canada, artist, said Lauren Bercovitch, spokeswoman for the organization.
Adbusters publishes the "Journal of the Mental Environment," a political, social and economic activist publication with no advertisements. ("We're basically there to stir the pot and say what other media can't," Bercovitch said.)
Consumerism, at any time, is "destructive," said Bercovitch, who spoke from Adbusters' Vancouver offices. "If everyone in the world were to consume like North America, then we would need five planets to sustain our lifestyle.
"It's obviously not a sustainable lifestyle, what we're doing."
The foundation "asks people to stop buying anything for 24 hours," she said. This year Adbusters have asked participants to "kick it up a notch" and refrain from using their cars, cell phones and the Internet.
"We want people to start thinking about the environment we consume, the water we consume, think about where food comes from and think about other ways we impact the planet," Bercovitch said.