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
But as Republicans smelled serious opportunity in the midterm elections, they didn’t let facts get in the way of a great punchline. And few in the press challenged their frequent assertion that under Obama, the government was going to take over the health care industry.
PolitiFact editors and reporters have chosen “government takeover of health care”
I’m not sure I totally agree with them, mainly because I would attribute this lie to 2009 and the summer of rage, but I suppose its right up there with a lot of them.
I think that the claim that the new health care law provides viagra for rapists probably ranks a little higher on my gauge.
There is also the lie put out by Gen. James Amos, that allowing gays to serve openly in the military would cause them to suffer higher causalities due to “distractions”. If I was a marine I would be wondering if the general just suggested that they were all pent up closet cases, just waiting for a release valve to open. Of course the hate group, Family Research Council has latched on to this and is spreading it around in an attempt to get their sheep to donate more cash.
And then finally, the lie I would call the lie of the year, is that Republicans are the party of fiscal responsibility or that they are interested at all in doing anything about the national deficit. When you pass a bill giving tax breaks to everyone, even people that don’t need it, and don’t accompany those tax breaks with real spending cuts, and just their fake earmark ban, then they don’t care about the deficit, because they just added to it.