I've had several of these conversations recently, in different venues, about people feeling that speaking out is pointless, whether it's petitions, phone calls, political activism, and even just talking about things - the common demoninator is something like "Oh, it's all just talk and you aren't really accomplishing anything.". I want all of you thinking this way to stop it right now. There's a reason that freedom of speech needs to be a protected right, and a reason it's suppressed so often. Words have power.
We seem to be kind of in a pretzel about this. There's a huge outcry against bullying, and in particular, cyber bullying. We recognize that words have power and pat ourselves on the back for being supportive of people who are victimized by the power of words and public access to words. But then we turn around and say that speaking out for what you see as the best, most humane and fair path, and speaking out against unfairness, is just pointless. Prove that it accomplishes anything. Show me how that matters. Nobody cares about your petitions and shit.
Here's how it matters: words have power. The suppression of words is one of the worst forms of oppression. It matters that you look honestly at the world around you and participate in keeping it as kind and fair as possible to the best of your ability, including naming what you see happening and bringing attention to it. Every single one of us is a steward, and abdicating the power of your words and your voice isn't a legitimate option. The power of words has been pivotal at every turning point in recorded history. Words have power.