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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Republican Party

The Michele Bachmann Song

HT: Joe.My.God

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.

Restore Military Readiness Dodge

imageRepublican Duncan Hunter (CA) has introduced H.R. 337, badly named Restore Military Readiness Act.This bill, if passed would require the signoffs of the Joint Chiefs before the implementation of the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Contrary to its name, there is little in this bill that does anything to improve the readiness of the military. It is nothing more than a back door attempt to delay or even prevent the ending at this discriminatory policy. Hunter is a Main combat Vet, having served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and who is publicly opposed to allowing open service for gay and lesbian troops.

His statement

The idea behind the Restore Military Readiness Act is not necessarily to prevent the implementation of the DADT repeal, but rather to ensure that military readiness and combat effectiveness are not adversely impacted.

Is nothing but a cover because he is fully aware that Marine Corps Commandant, Gen. James Amos is opposed to repeal and would not signoff on it.

I don’t believe I will ever understand how some people see this sort of discrimination acceptable. Appently they don’t Understand that not only does DADT interfere with peoples lives, encourages hateful bigotry, but also wastes those precious tax dollars that Republicans are so fond of pretending they are interested in saving.

Re-imposing Discrimination

New Picture (15)Iowa House Republicans wasted almost no time at all in submitting a bill to the house that would overturn the Varnum decision by the Iowa Supreme Court and allow a vote on adding discrimination to our state constitution for the first time in our history. Republicans, spurned on by the nastiness of Groups like the Iowa Family Policy Center and outside anti-gay groups like the National Organization for Marriage, are hell bent making sure that Gay and Lesbian Iowans are treated as second class citizens and striping away our right to marriage.

The proposed bill would not only remove our civil right to marriage it would also expand the ban any other form of legal recognition of same sex couples in domestic partnerships or civil unions.

56 of the 60 Republicans in the state house have signed on as co-sponsors of this discrimination. Republicans have enough votes to pass this in the House, but Democrats have vowed to defeat it in the Senate. If this bill passes both the House and the Senate, it will have to do so again in the next state legislature and would be put in the ballot in 2013. If it fails, their next opportunity will not be until 2016. Hopefully by then the US Supreme Court will have ruled all such bans unconstitutional.

ACLU spokesman Ben Stone responded…

The ACLU now recognizes the explicit anti-gay agenda behind the so-called marriage amendment movement by going beyond marriage to civil unions,” Stone said. “This is quite clearly and quite simply an anti-gay measure. The ACLU Of Iowa and its allies will fight it

If this law passes and is approved by voters in 2013, the ACLU needs to immediately challenge it just like Prop 8 has been challenged in California.

Graph of the Day

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HT: Rachel Maddow

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