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
World of Warcraft
For the last six years I have spent much of my free time immersed in the Massive Multiplayer Online game World of Warcraft. It has consumed more of my time than I really care to admit to. For All but maybe 2 or 3 months of that time I was also guild leader of Foederati, one of the greatest groups of people I have ever gotten to know.
Over they last few months however I have found myself spending less and less time playing WoW. The game has just seemed to become monotonous and just doesn’t hold my attention like it used to do. Six years is after all a very long time to be attached to a video game. So I have finally decided that it’s time to move on and as of tonight I am stepping down as guild leader and officially retiring from the game.
Leaving the game itself isn’t all that difficult, but leaving behind the friends that I have made, some of which I’ve actually met in person, is difficult. These are people who have completely accepted me for who I am. They make me happy and are as much a part of me as my own family.
There will be a void of sorts where WoW used to be. I’m not really tied to any other game right now, although I’ve been playing a little bit more of Star Trek Online than I have in the past but my time there no where compares to the hours a week I used to put into WoW. Spring is just around the corner and I plan to plant a garden again this year, hopefully I’ll be a bit smarter about it. I’ve also been exercising more and hopefully when the weather gets a warmer I’ll spend a bit more time outside this year than those in the past. So there are things to keep me busy. And of course, I might actually get a bit more writing done now.
And of course this isn’t really goodbye to the friends I’ve made over the years. There are plans for a get together this summer in Minnesota that I’m planning to attend. All in all I’d say my experiences with WoW have been positive over the years. The friend sI’ve made and some of things I’ve learned about myself will be with me for a long time to come.
Late Sunday night Foederati; the World of Warcraft guild that I’m a part of, took down two more bosses in Blackrock Depths (Omnotron Defense System and Maloriak). The night went surprisingly well and everyone seemed to be in pretty good spirits. It looks like our 25 man raiding machine is off to a pretty good start for Cataclysm. If your wondering what I’m talking about, head over to the Foederati website for a look.
This morning however, I woke up to snow and freezing rain. Not sure how many times I have nearly fallen on my butt today going too and from work.
You see that short green fellow standing there on the deck of what’s left of a boat? No; not the one in the purple shirt, the other one; yeah, that one. That’s me, and I’m getting a dressing down by Trade Prince Gallywix because the idea of tossing exploding bananas at monkeys just seemed lame to me and I made the mistake of actually flappin my lips while everyone else just ran off like nuts looking for a squirrel.
As I was standing there listening to Gallywix yell, “If you’re not here to make me money kid, then you’re not here” I quickly began to realize that this little unplanned pleasure cruise to the Lost Isles meant that the life I’d known in Kezan was over and done with like last week’s newspaper.
It may be a little late but tonight I finally was able to participate in a kill of the Lich King in 25 man Icecrown Citadel. For those that don’t know much about World of Warcraft, he is the last boss of the last raid dungeon in the Wrath of the Lich king expansion. In less than 7 days the new expansion, Cataclysm goes live.