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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Marriage Equality

Ligestilling i Danmark

Denmark is the land of my ancestors and thanks to my Mother, Grandmother, and Great-Grandmother have a deep love for the country so it makes me very happy to hear that their legislature is finalizing a bill that will bring marriage equality to same-sex couples there this summer.

In 1989 Denmark became the first nation in the world to allow same-sex unions of any sort, and this bill will make them the 11th nation to provide full equality to the LGBT community.

Marriage Down Under

Here is a great Marriage Equality Ad from Australia that is generating a lot of conversations around the web.

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. 

Rachel Maddow on Minnesota

Do the Right Thing Minnesota

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