Voice in the Wire

December 16th, 2008

Late in the evening of December 6th, in the Exarcheia district of central Athens, 15 year old Alexandros Grigoropoulos was out with friends. Shortly after 9pm the group became part of a confrontation with members of the Greek Police. Alexandros was shot and killed.

In the days following the killing Alexandros became a symbol of a growing frustration among Greek youth over the country’s growing economic problems, rising unemployment, and a general perception of an inefficient and corrupt Greek government.

Riots in Athens over the death quickly spread like through out the country and then through out the whole of Europe.

The speed at which the riots spread has in part been attributed to organizers using text messaging and the internet as a means of spreading their message and setting up meeting locations. In an article to the Associated Press, Paul Have wrote…

At least some of the protests were organized over the Internet, showing how quickly the message of discontent can be spread, particularly among tech-savvy youth. One Web site Greek protesters used to update each other on the locations of clashes asserted there have been sympathy protests in nearly 20 countries.

This isn’t the first time we have seen the internet become a tool of the disenfranchised as a means of organizing protests.

When California passed Proposition 8 on November 4th, a wave of Anti-Prop 8 web sites such as Join the Impact, appeared on the web as a means of directing information to protesters and to organize events such as the Nationwide protest of November 15th and upcoming December 20th “Light Up The Night For Equality“.

Even in tightly controlled China, the internet has been used to organize people to effect change in government policies and stop construction of a chemical plant.

The internet is still basically in its infancy and the genie is out of the bottle. It’s difficult to imagine just how the civil rights movement of the 1960′s would have progressed had the internet been available. Imagine watching Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech as a live web cast or if Rosa Parks could have texted all her friends to join her in sitting at the front of buses all over the country on the same day.

Often, as individuals, we feel somewhat powerless against those with power, whether it be government, or the vocal majority. We sit in our homes feeling sorry for ourselves and saying “I can’t do anything about my situation so I’ll just make the best of it.” What we don’t realize is that we are rarely if ever truly alone.

Cross posted at The Pajama Pundit

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Senator Harkin: Fair

160px-tom_harkin_official_portraitI find myself not too happy with Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today. It appears that on Wednesday he went on to the liberal talk radio show of Bill Press and said?

BILL PRESS:? Alright, well good for you. You know, we gotta work on that, because they are just shutting down progressive talk from one city after another. All we want is, you know, some balance on the airwaves, that’s all. You know, we’re not going to take any of the conservative voices off the airwaves, but just make sure that there are a few progressives and liberals out there, right?

SENATOR TOM HARKIN (D-IA): Exactly, and that’s why we need the fair — that’s why we need the Fairness Doctrine back.

As B-Diddy has pointed out before, there is definitely a core group of Democrats that seem to interested in bringing the Fairness Doctrine back in some form or another. Fortunately, Obama has gone on the record against it and as Michael Calderone points out on Politico?

It seems that a lot of Democrats talk up the issue, but then there isn’t any legislation that follows.

Just to be safe though, when I get home from work tonight I will be writing a nice long letter to Senator Harkin letting him know that this Iowan is no where near close to supporting a legislative move that I feel is tantamount to censorship, regardless of how much I would love to see King Limbaugh or Bill O? be taken off the air. Radio talk shows and TV Political commentary shows are balanced by their ratings and advertising dollars. The government has no place in dictating fairness against broadcasters any more than it has with saying I can?t get married.

Cross posted on The Pajama Pundit

  • Annette, Missouri

    You know I am wondering if they are really just trying to stir things up. Since this is such a talking point for the right wing nuts and they have been attacking everyone in Congress over the Recovery bill and the President, this is a way to change the subject.

    What better way all of a sudden than to bring up such a hot button topic as the Fairness Doctrine…lol That just sets Rush, Sean, and Bill’s hair on fire more than anything… so why not..changes the subject doesn’t it…lol

  • Vast

    Maybe, but then I can’t remember Harkin doing something, just to stir the pot, before.

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