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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Anti-Gay Groups

Christian Foster Care

imageThe National Organization for Marriage just can’t seem to understand that if a religious organization wants to discriminate against a group of people based on sexual orientation they probably shouldn’t get into bed with the state. Now they are attacking an article in the editorial section of the Chicago Sun-Times.

I post this comment here because NOM is so afraid of civil debate that they don’t allow me to post in their comments.

Marcus Bachman’s “Gay Cure Clinic”

Is this the family you want in the White House? A family that advocates “praying away the gay”; a practice that is dangerous and harmful.

Hate of the Day

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I Love New York

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Congratulations to the state of New York for standing up for the civil rights of it’s people. Marriage Equality has passed the state Senate 33-29. The bill passed the state Assembly earlier this week and amendments created by the Senate were passed earlier today 80-49.

The Anti-gay group National Organization for Marriage is calling it a huge GOP betrayal. Commenters on their site are having a coronary. This makes New York the 6th state to allow same sex couples to marry.

New Picture (14)NOM is now also planning to spend $2 million from donors that they refuse to disclose in violation of the disclosure laws of several states like Iowa and Maine to defeat the GOP state senators who did the right thing tonight. 

Class Act

Apparently the National Organization for Marriage can’t tell Kindergartners from 4th graders. Yesterday I received this email in my inbox.

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See that line where Brian says…

an Oakland grade school decided to teach kindergartners about multiple genders

Trouble is, when you click on the video and watch it the Fox News reporter actually says they are 4th graders. Honest mistake or is Brian trying to scare people again?

Here is the video.

A. McEwen over at Holly Bullies has a pretty good break down of the rest of the letter and the lies that it contains. Strangely enough however is that every time someone points outs lies like this NOM and others like them play the victim card and claim that we are trying to silence them. Sort of like Newt Gingrich claiming that any news organization quoting his Meet the Press interview where he trashes the Ryan Plan is a lie.

Oh, and as for whether this material is appropriate for a forth grade class… absolutely. This is no different than showing a book or having a class teaching kids that there is nothing wrong with being White, Black, Hispanic, Red Headed, Blue Eyed, wearing glasses, being Christian, or Muslim, etc, etc.

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