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
After Action Report
1 January 1936: Copenhagen, Denmark; Christiansborg Palace
Having come to the conclusion that it was too late to head home the night before, Stefan Jorgenson had found his way to a small storage room where he had a cot set up for just such a necessity, where he had laid down, surrounded by stacks of office supplies and drifted off to sleep.
The next morning, Stefan awoke to the sound of someone rapping at the storeroom door. When he stood and opened it he was greeted by the smiling face of Almar, the 13 year old office boy that often ran errands for Stefan and others. “Sleeping in the closet again?”
“Obviously,” Stefan replied.
“It’s nearly 6 o’clock. Would you like me to run and get you some breakfast from kitchens? Anne is probably all ready got some eggs cooking.”
“That sounds like an excellent idea ‘mar. I’ll be at my desk.” The young lad smiled again before turning around to disappear down a flight of nearby stairs. Stefan straightened out his clothes and hair and headed down the hallway to his office. Despite the New Year’s holiday the day was expected to be a very busy one. As he sat down at his small oak desk he looked across the room at the grandfather clock. He only had about an hour to get ready for the King’s morning briefing.
Stefan quickly opened the night safe and pulled out a large file of papers and began thumbing through the reports from the various government ministers. He was just starting to read through the first report, which was from the Chief of the Army, Erik With; when Almar entered the office with a plate of eggs and bread.
“Thanks ‘mar.” Stefan said as the plate was sat down in front of him.
Midnight Sun – A Hearts of Iron III After Action Report
Denmark – 1936 Grand Campaign
15 November 1863: Copenhagen, Denmark, Amalienborg Palace
Frederick Charles Christian; otherwise known as King Frederick VII of Denmark, lay still upon his bed, his last breath having escaped the lips of his 55 year old body. By his side stand his third wife, Queen Else Marie, his son Frederik Carl, and his adopted son Carl Christian; whose parents, Carl Berling and Louise Rasmussen had been killed in a carriage accident in 1842. As they mourned the passing of the King, the cogs of politics were all ready being put into motion; just as they had countless times going back as far as the Cnut the Great in the 11th century; the passing of the crown from father to son.