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Protests Move From the Streets To YouTube

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the getting-word-out-of-the-Phillipines dept.

The Media 156

weighn writes "One factor driving the move of political statements to YouTube, and away from old-style street protest, is that on the Internet the chances of being personally associated with a protest are lower. Mounting your political message online is also safer in countries where taking part in a protest can result in your death or injury at the hands of your country's army. We've seen how street protests and online polls alike are being shunted aside and ignored. What is the future for the common person who yearns to be heard?"

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156 comments

lol (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18498981)

I would put an ASCII goatse here, but I'm too lazy. Pls use your imagination and picture a giant, torn, bleeding asshole.

w00! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18498983)

frist psot

Re:w00! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18499359)

Nah, http://www.timewarp-toys.com/troll.jpg [timewarp-toys.com]

Want to be heard? (2, Interesting)

taff^2 (188189) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499011)

Create a blog or upload some videos. Doesn't mean that people will want to hear what you've got to say, however.

Re:Want to be heard? (4, Insightful)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500393)

Umm, isn't the whole point of a public protest to show your dedication to a cause?

Oh no, I really believe in anti-globilization, but don't want to run the risk of catching a fire-hose or breathing some teargas... So I'll send a tersely worded internet petition to all my like-minded cowardly friends. That'll teach those nasty corporations that I can't be bullied.

There is value in standing up for something in spite of the danger of being beaten, imprisoned, or killed. There have been anonymous protests for ever e.g. roman graffiti, only problem is that it hasn't ever accomplished anything - unless I missed the chapter where Rome was sacked by anonymous graffiti artists. If you won't risk your skin it must not really be a cause worth fighting for. That is what makes the Rosa Parks, George Washington, John Hancock, and Mahatma Ghandi such icons. They believed in something strongly enough to publicly buck the system.

Dial Up Nation (4, Funny)

BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499035)

Aussies can use YouTube to protest against the lack of decent broadband. Very... slowly...

http://whirlpool.net.au/article.cfm/1715?show=repl ies [whirlpool.net.au]

Re:Dial Up Nation (1)

josemayor1 (1070508) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499339)

Youtube has been a revelation in the world of the communications, causing that all the internauts we have access to the videos. This implies but things, like for example that many artists can present/display their works of art and which they are seen by million people. For that reason I do not like that so much to Youtube is criticized. http://www.dovoyeur.com/ [dovoyeur.com] Voyeur

Evolution of Protest (4, Informative)

superbrose (1030148) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499039)

If you are living in Germany you can actually hire [bbc.co.uk] a protestor to do the dirty work for you - in case online protesting isn't your thing and you don't want to be there yourself, for whatever reason.

Re:Evolution of Protest (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18499141)

they've been doing this in Amerikkka for CENTURIES

Re:Evolution of Protest (1)

absolut_kurant (152888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500475)

This was just a marketing ploy, not a single protester has been hired yet.

What's the point? (4, Insightful)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499045)

Surely the whole point of having a street protest is that it is visible to everyone, and can't be ignored. If you manage to get into a good fight with the police then all the better, because then you're likely to be seen on the TV news.
But if you simply put a video on YouTube, then everyone can simply ignore it. In fact, most politicians are probably unaware of the existence of YouTube. How does that advance your cause?

Re:What's the point? (4, Interesting)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499085)

How does that advance your cause?
It doesn't.It just gives some armchair rebels a chance to feel good about themselves by 'supporting' their cause without having to go through the inconvenience of facing confrontation or rebuttal.

Re:What's the point? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18499231)

It doesn't.It just gives some armchair rebels a chance to feel good about themselves by 'supporting' their cause without having to go through the inconvenience of facing confrontation or rebuttal.

Indeed - the people making these videos are modelling them on O'Reilly, etc.

Armchair Rebels only need a curtain to be brave (2, Insightful)

rednip (186217) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499533)

It doesn't.It just gives some armchair rebels a chance to feel good about themselves by 'supporting' their cause without having to go through the inconvenience of facing confrontation or rebuttal.
In this country, and many others, there is only one place where one needs to show up in order to make a change (granted it's often not be a big change, but a change never the less), that is, of course, the voting booth.

Re:Armchair Rebels only need a curtain to be brave (4, Insightful)

ResidntGeek (772730) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499731)

Oh, it's a change, is it? When American voters fed up with big government and voted in a Republican in 2000, they didn't get the change they wanted. And since the 2006 midterms, when American voters fed up with war, paranoia, and moralism in government voted in Democrats, they haven't gotten that changed. And when American voters in 1892 realized the Republicrats weren't helping them and voted for the Populists, they didn't change anything. Et cetera, et cetera, and others. Voting doesn't do shit except allow you to complain without people saying "you didn't vote, don't complain."

Re:Armchair Rebels only need a curtain to be brave (2, Insightful)

rednip (186217) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500121)

When American voters fed up with big government and voted in a Republican in 2000, they didn't get the change they wanted.

If you have ever believed that voting Republican was really a vote for smaller government, I've got a bridge to nowhere to sell you.

And since the 2006 midterms, when American voters fed up with war, paranoia, and moralism in government voted in Democrats, they haven't gotten that changed

4 months and we aren't out of Iraq yet, how shameful. Considering that congress only controls spending, and that the Constitution doesn't explicitly give them the right to end a war, the only effective way to get our troops out is to either attach timetables to a spending bill (done), and/or Impeach the President (they are working on it, but it needs more public support, and we need to get rid of Cheney first)

If you want sweeping landslide changes in this country, I'd suggest moving under a hillside in Southern California, as our government tends to be more stable than that For the most part it is a good thing, but sometimes it sucks. However, that's life, get used to it.

And when American voters in 1892 realized
Of course, in 1892 the voters were all white land owning males, and it took over 100 years for women to be assured of their right to vote. Change does happen, but it will never be quick or sweeping enough for some. However never say that a vote doesn't matter at all, but one should keep in mind that an ordinary individual vote only matters a little. A strong, focused, well heard voice can make a real difference, if it can be heard above the pseudo-intellectual crap, which only seems to drag real change to a crawl.

Re:Armchair Rebels only need a curtain to be brave (1)

ResidntGeek (772730) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500419)

If you have ever believed that voting Republican was really a vote for smaller government, I've got a bridge to nowhere to sell you.
I don't want your bridge, but I'm sure some of the Republican voters, the people I was actually talking about, would be interested.

4 months and we aren't out of Iraq yet, how shameful. Considering that congress only controls spending, and that the Constitution doesn't explicitly give them the right to end a war, the only effective way to get our troops out is to either attach timetables to a spending bill (done), and/or Impeach the President (they are working on it, but it needs more public support, and we need to get rid of Cheney first
And the paranoia and moralism? Nothing done. You can't tell me Congress can't pass a bill requiring the TSA to allow liquids and gels on planes, for example.

However never say that a vote doesn't matter at all, but one should keep in mind that an ordinary individual vote only matters a little. A strong, focused, well heard voice can make a real difference, if it can be heard above the pseudo-intellectual crap, which only seems to drag real change to a crawl.
No matter how strong and focused a voice may be, it can rarely be heard above the gossip and prattle that always have and always will make up the majority of people's lives. That's not even the point anyway, your original post said going to the ballot box would make a difference. Going to the ballot box != a strong, focused, well heard voice making a real difference.

Re:Armchair Rebels only need a curtain to be brave (2, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500259)

Oh, that's rich.

There is much more to it than that. You need to let your legislators know what you care about. You need to pressure them to make decisions that you think are best.

If all you ever do is vote, then your legislator will vote according to what they are hearing from other people[1]-- you've got to ensure that they vote in what you consider the best interests of your locality, county, state, or the whole country.

Write them a letter. Call their office. For local legislators, make an appointment to have lunch with them.

[1] Some are better than this... but not many.

[1] OK, some legislators have principles, and vote with their conscience. But it's rather easy to find a justification for voting yea or nay on anything -- are you confident your legislators vote the way you think they should?

Re:Armchair Rebels only need a curtain to be brave (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500753)

How old are you?

Re:What's the point? (2)

Tsagadai (922574) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499985)

Well said. You raise the most important point, protesting does nothing if it doesn't in some way affect society. YouTube is too easy to ignore. I ignore 911 conspiracy theorists and rebels without a backbone one youtube every day. If people don't stop and think the protest hasn't worked. I know I'm going to come up against alot of apathy here but protesting does work. I'm an Australian and I am at constant disagreement with the present government. I've been to some very successful protests where we changed not only national but international opinion by keeping the issue in the media. One example of this is the immigration policy of manditory detention, I was at Woomera and Baxter detention centres 4 times. Each time made national and international news, each time reminded Joe Blow that we still have this policy through making mainstream media every time. Protesting works, web protests don't. Protest is an approach that works, we have hundreds of years of it working. Web protesting in the form outlined in the article is pointless, you will change a few bored geeks minds at best. YouTube is still useful in protests the most recent example is uploading videos showing police brutality, but it is not a protest in itself. The only way you will get a government changed in an undemocratic country is a few million people on the streets. Real change always comes from below.

Re:What's the point? (4, Insightful)

Adeptus_Luminati (634274) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499103)

Well maybe not every politician today is aware of Youtube, but in about 10 years for sure they will be. Youtube offers the masses editable broadcasting time which allows for clear messages to be sent instantly to millions. Traditional rallies are always at the mercy of the media (often in bed with political parties) to selectively display (or not) your protest & cause.

When the masses start taking action, like boycotting products / companies as a result of Youtube video messages, I think the politicians will start listening & watching.

Several companies including Starbucks already responded via Youtube to videos that people have posted on Youtube against their companies, some with merit, others with less... political campaigns are also increasingly going online as Generation Y (or Z or i?) watches less TV and more and more Youtube.

The Internet remains one of the few but very significant tool left that humanity has to make itself heard to its governments. It is a significant shift of power (to the people) that can not go ignored. Whenelse in history has a single non-elected person been able to influence an entire Nation so fast and so deeply as today with the Internet (and specifically Youtube)?

Adeptus

Re:What's the point? (2, Insightful)

ReidMaynard (161608) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499127)

.. not every politician today is aware of Youtube, but in about 10 years for sure they will be.

I bet you $1 Youtube is gone in 10 years, or if not gone, certainly forgotten.

Re:What's the point? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500221)

I bet you $1 Youtube is gone in 10 years, or if not gone, certainly forgotten.

Do you mean YouTube specifically, or are you saying any online video site? I bet YouTube won't be around too, but the OP's point wasn't specific to that particular site.

Re:What's the point? (2, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499169)

Youtube and the Internet are the place to rally support for the public rally and of course to record and keep alive that public rally. Just like the TV you can switch off and ignore youtube, a peaceful rally that disrupts traffic flows, and daily operations of business is the only truly effective means of motivating change, and using the Internet the most effective means by which to drum up numbers.

The greater the number the harder it is to ignore and the greater the safety for participants from thugs in uniform who in their jock strap low IQ ignorance believe are doing the right thing in suppressing the democratic process.

That and the rally continuing until such time as change occurs, a month can resolve virtually any issue, especially if reinforcements turn up to replace those being arrested and hauled away (protest in organised shifts).

Another important part is the preparation of a legal fund not only to fight the criminal cases but also to pursue the thugs in civil court, the only way to motivate the greedy, unfortunately, is via their pocket books.

More centralization of propaganda, great! (0, Troll)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499627)

Youtube is now in the hands of search monopolist Google. Many said that they paid too much, but what really was bought was influence, worth far more than any revenue stream they could derive from it.

What will happen now is that google will allow activism it approves of or is indifferent to, and lower the search rankings/drop from top 10 lists any activism that it doesn't like. The same thing it already does with news and search.

I doubt this will change anything. All it will do is further tighten control.

For example, google/youtube has already been caught pulling / removing from top 10 lists the video where the BBC stated that the Salomon Brothers building (WTC7) had collapsed... 20 minutes before the event actually occurred.

http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/february2007/ 260207building7.htm [prisonplanet.com]

Re:More centralization of propaganda, great! (1)

Guuge (719028) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499861)

I assume that this was moderated "Troll" because of the bit of paranoia at the end. Nevertheless, I think the main point is valid. YouTube is not the populist tool many think it is, but yet another corporate offering that we're supposed to consume. It doesn't matter whether Google is abusing its power or not; the potential is there. Instead of trusting the government to let us protest, posters to YouTube are trusting Google to let them protest. It's the same system with a different master. You'd think that we could make our own public space on the internet without having to rely on the goodwill of big business.

Re:What's the point? (4, Interesting)

Psx29 (538840) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499119)

Well if a political statement is turned into a 'viral' youtube video (a la hillary 1984) then it's very likely more people will hear it than a street protest. Of course this just means that in a (mostly?) free country like the US you can have a street protest AND a viral video on the net, why choose just one?

Re:What's the point? (5, Interesting)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499121)

Surely the whole point of having a street protest is that it is visible to everyone

This is the problem with a street protest nowadays. If it doesn't cow-tow to the opinions of mass media moguls, then it is not visible to everyone. I remember when we had over 150,000 people marching in the streets of Melbourne against the Iraq war (biggest ever protest), and you'd read in the news and see on TV: "Thousands marched" or "scores" and not "A hundred and fifty thousand stopped the entire city" which is what actually happened - everything had to stop. However, if you didn't live in Melbourne, you wouldn't have thought much more of it. The politicians knew this and therefore didn't give a rat's about it.

Putting the protest on the net simply makes it even more useless. Unless you go there and look, you won't know.

However, what is working is the fact that more and more people are reading news from non-commercial sources and this is getting politicians a little nervous (hence the drive for censorship).

Re:What's the point? (1)

pairo (519657) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499309)

Putting the protest on the net simply makes it even more useless. Unless you go there and look, you won't know.
But, going back to your war protest analogy, wouldn't that mean that people all over the world could find out about this? You don't have to live in Melbourne.
Though, the right way to do it, I'd say, is going out on the streets, then posting a video of that on youtube. Best of both worlds. :-)

Re:What's the point? (1)

xappax (876447) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500843)

wouldn't that mean that people all over the world could find out about this?

It would, but protests are not about offering people the opportunity to seek out information. That's what a library is for - and libraries are equally if not more important to the functioning of a free society.

Protests are for forcing people who would not willingly seek out certain information to be confronted with information that they may not be interested in learning. This is why anti-war activists don't just leave a copy of their manifesto in the library and wait for people to go educate themselves. They make an outrageous ruckus - often only peripherally related to their argument - which causes the media and ordinarily disinterested people to take notice of the spectacle, and as a side effect, learn of their message.

So, an analog to this tactic in my mind would be to create videos and other internet media which are entertaining and "spectacular" in their own right, and then also include a political message. This way they will attract the attention of many people who would not ordinarily pay attention to a particular political issue. Ordinary joes watch TV coverage of the big anti-globalization protest because it's mildly entertaining, not because they actively want to expand their understanding of the intricacies of international commerce - that understanding is (hopefully) a side effect of the protesters injecting their message into new coverage. In the same way, if you can get people to watch your internet video simply because it's cool and funny, it will reach ordinary joes in the same way.

Re:What's the point? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18499389)

mmmm, Melbourne has a population of 3.7M. So only 4% of the people came out to protest. And, by your admission and pride, pissed off the other 96%. And that is assuming EVERYONE came from Melbourne and not the surrounding area. Then your percentage drops even more.
Plus who says 150K people showed up? Did you sell tickets? Or did you just pull that number out of fantasyland?

The nice thing about the Internet is that you can see non-published photos of an event. The more cropped the photos are in the MSM, the less people showed up and the more the MSM is trying to hide the big empty streets.

Re:What's the point? (1)

Tsagadai (922574) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500135)

It is very difficult to estimate the number of people in a very large group. 150,000 would be an at least figure for melbourne at those protests. There was at least 175,000 in Brisbane on that same date and many more across the world on that first weekend before the Iraq war. Protests are always a percentage, some people cannot physically get up and onto the streets, some will be fired or whatnot if they do. You will always get less than 100%. If you have 5% of a country in protest it means there is something seriously wrong and the government has really cocked up, any more than that and you are looking at resignations and overthrows. The reason is for every one on the street there are 10 who agree with the protest just not as strongly as to take to the streets. This is a pretty recognised fact around the world in most societies.

Re:What's the point? (1)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499421)

Yes, that is depressing. If it shows up in the media, it will be a blip, or perhaps even with a ridiculing tone, or with footage of the one (quite likely paid) troublemaker who decided to turn up.

Most media are in the business of selling attention. It's not good for business to give it away for free.

Re:What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18499735)

The revolution will not be televised.

But it will be on YouTube [youtube.com] .

Inflitrate the old farts... (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499783)

So , it only takes 2x the number of young people to join the parties, and vote the old useless crocks out.

Or hell, just rake up so much debt, and we can all default at once, and all those old peoples investments go up in smoke.

Its real easy not to buy the corporate world crap, by default young people have more dynamic free thinking minds than old frozen minds.

If the govt does try to 'turn of the internet' , then riots are quite easy to do, there are more people than police or bullets.
Or just find out all the investments of government pensions, and boycott those to the max, even if its painfull, Their portfolio losses
for the year will be more painfull than you missing out on any luxuries for 12months. Theres always beer , even if its home brew.

Re:What's the point? (1)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499239)

But if you simply put a video on YouTube, then everyone can simply ignore it. In fact, most politicians are probably unaware of the existence of YouTube. How does that advance your cause?

[Shhhhhhh! Don't tell them that, you fool!]

No, YouTube protests are highly dangerous and effective! We shall be developing technological countermeasures shortly. Curse those techies!

Signed,

The Man

Re:What's the point? (1)

Frozen Void (831218) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499265)

Street protests are not described from protesters side.TV and Media can redact and change whatever they don't like.
YouTube videos are creations of the protesters.
Besides real life street protest does not automatically mean coverage and air time.
If you were living in a country like China,the only people watching you protest would be the police.

Re:What's the point? (1)

SQL Error (16383) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499269)

But if you simply put a video on YouTube, then everyone can simply ignore it. In fact, most politicians are probably unaware of the existence of YouTube. How does that advance your cause?
Two answers.

Serious answer: It gets the message out. Local protests are, well, local. The internet is global. Politicians will ignore it, but their paid pollsters won't.

Really serious answer: Protests are mostly pointless to the level of idiocy anyway. Ooh, here come the giant puppetheads! I don't care whether people see your video or not, as long as it keeps you off the streets.

Re:What's the point? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499501)

I hate to point it out to the general public. Protests tend to accomplish very little. I realized this one day when I was upgrading computers in a government agency the people who can't do anything about it were on floors low enough to read the signs and hear the chants. The people who could do something about it were all the way up and could see a crowd of people but has no idea what they are protesting about. Getting into fights with police you actually get a negative effect from the public and less support. Think about the Abortion Bombings in the 80s and 90s Nothing sways public option then a bunch of people with a view resort to mass destruction in attempt to save lives. In order for a protest to work you will need a Lot of people Over a thousand, enough to effect traffic and parking, they need to be peaceful, if violence errupts then their cause will get unheard and make people who are not fixed optioned on the topic sway against you, and it needs to Focus on one problem, not a general I hate Bush thing, or Against the War and to lax drug laws. The trick for protest it to show that people feel strongly about an issue and is willing to take time out from there lives to protest it as well show they are not alone. Larger the number the more effective it is.

Re:What's the point? (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499609)

Getting into a fight with police just turns law-abiding folks against you, when they otherwise might sympathize with you. It can also get you a nice, juicy felony conviction.

Still, protests on YouTube won't carry the weight that a protest in meatspace will have, either positive or negative, for the reasons you cite. What's more, it becomes easy to discount the magnitude of a viewpoint put forth on YouTube, because there are no warm bodies backing it up. It's hard to argue with a quarter million people marching peacefully in Washington for civil rights, on the other hand.

Re:What's the point? (1)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499709)

Between "Macaca" and the recent Obama video, it's a pretty good bet that politicians have at least heard of YouTube.

That is, those politicians who realize the Internet isn't, in fact, a truck.

Re:What's the point? (1)

wandm (969392) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499781)

If you have BRAINS, you have a comparative advantage in protesting in the Internet:

1 - The potential upper ceiling of visibility is practically unlimited. Protesting on street will expose your message to a few hundred people, out of which most don't really care a bit. Yes you can jam the traffic but it could work against you.

2 - If you have imagination, you can make a catchy/naughty/funny protest video, and make it big quickly - It will be dugg, it will be on dozens of blogs, and evetually get thousands of viewings, all due to ONE person's imagination and some hours of work.

Doing that will not make you a geeky couch potato, you just use your own means the best way. You would have achieved a lot less by going to a demo and standing in a rain with a piece of cardboard.

Re:What's the point? (1)

o'reor (581921) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499849)

But if you simply put a video on YouTube, then everyone can simply ignore it. In fact, most politicians are probably unaware of the existence of YouTube. How does that advance your cause?
Do they need to know YouTube ? Actually, how does a YoutTube video get really popular ?

It does not get popular thanks to millions of people spending their time hooked on YouTube and trying to sort the best videos out of the flowing mess that's being uploaded everyday.

It gets popular because of a few people who upload their videos, then spread the word around them, mailing the URLs to tens of people, who in turn post those URLs on their blogs or mail/post them around for the whole world to discover them.

So if your average politician has somebody on his PR staff doing his job, they will surely get the message, sooner or later. In France, there has already been public outrage among teachers because one of the candidates had stated in a video [dailymotion.com] that they should be working more. And this is thanks to DailyMotion. Meanwhile, her main opponent, Nicolas Sarkozy, is doing his best to get a few embarrassing video off the Net, and has succeeded twice in taking down a MySpace account [blogspot.com] to shut up dissenting voices.

chained up by the government? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18499049)

are they tieing you up?

http://www.allsextoys4u.com/index.php?cPath=326 [allsextoys4u.com]

the traditional media (3, Insightful)

kwikrick (755625) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499053)

There is no news coverage by traditional media (papers, tv) of demonstrative acts on the internet. Right now, the best way to make yourself heard is still organising something in the streets. The internet is only helpful to get people to sign petitions and to organise live demonstrations. Of course, politicians are still going to ignore you. A confrontation with the police is really a good thing, because more people will sympathise with you.

Not only protests... (4, Interesting)

o'reor (581921) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499065)

... political statements, partisan criticisms and campaigning too.

Here in France as the presidential elections are coming near, the two main candidates, Ségolène Royal [youtube.com] and Nicolas Sarkozy [youtube.com] , have more than their fair share of partisan and protest videos on YouTube.

I am against protests (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18499355)

I am against protests ... but I don't know how to show it.

General Strike (3, Insightful)

essence (812715) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499113)

On February 15 2003 the largest global protest ever [wikipedia.org] took place in hundreds of place around the planet. It was against the war on Iraq. They were ignored by politicians. Democracy is dead.

The only thing that i can see to get real change is to have a global general strike. Kick out the politicians everywhere. Institute democracy again. But lets do something different this time. Let's create a system that hasn't been tried before. One where we all have a say.

Theres lots of talk about democracy, but for most people, most of their days are spent at work where there is no democracy. Work is a dictatorship. I'm all for workplace democracy. Non-hierachical collectives running things.

When we have a system where our only say is to elect a so called representative every few years, we should expect to be ignored.

It's time we took back the power we all have. The power found in co-operation.

Time to overthrow these corrupt corporate bastards.

Re:General Strike (0, Offtopic)

BlueTrin (683373) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499175)

In your Soviet Democracy, your boss goes on strikes !

Re:General Strike (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18499595)

no that wasn't even funny; try again:

In Soviet Russia, generals strike you.

Re:General Strike (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18500325)

Is that the contest of the worst joke ever made on Slashdot ?

Re:General Strike (0)

TheRagingTowel (724266) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499185)

The only thing that i can see to get real change is to have a global general strike. Kick out the politicians everywhere.
I think you're for dictatorship yourself. Who says the politicians should be kicked? A global general strike is a strike that should be commited by EVERYBODY. Who are you to tell everybody what to do? And I got news for you, politicians will be even after your glorious revolution.

Theres lots of talk about democracy, but for most people, most of their days are spent at work where there is no democracy. Work is a dictatorship. I'm all for workplace democracy. Non-hierachical collectives running things.
Are you on crack?! Since when a business is a democracy? Who invests the money? And just as well, nothing is blocking you from raising a company like what you described all by yourself in the current system. Good luck with that!

It's time we took back the power we all have. The power found in co-operation.
Nice talk and all, but I don't think what you're looking for is cooperation, but more of groupthink...

Re:General Strike (1)

essence (812715) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499237)

Who says the politicians should be kicked? A global general strike is a strike that should be commited by EVERYBODY.

uhhh, that is kinda what a general strike is - a strike by EVERYBODY

Who are you to tell everybody what to do?

What kind of comment is that? I'm not telling everybody what to do. I'm merely making a comment on slashdot. Crikey mate.

Since when a business is a democracy

I never said it was a democracy. I said it was a dictatorship (mostly. There are lots of co-operatives, and lots of other good stuff being created about the place). What I am doing is suggesting a different system we could have if we all want it.

Re:General Strike (1)

TheRagingTowel (724266) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499285)

What kind of comment is that? I'm not telling everybody what to do. I'm merely making a comment on slashdot. Crikey mate.
It sure sounds like you are telling what to do! You assume everyone wants to 'overthrow' the politicians. Heck, even your supplied url [earthanarchy.org] suggests that!

Since when a business is a democracy
I never said it was a democracy.
Ok well, I meant "since when a buisness should be a democracy".
Anyway, what bothered me the most about your post was the sheer rage it expressed and the inability to see the good things (and there aren't much) in the current system as well.

Re:General Strike (1)

essence (812715) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499325)

ok, so maybe I'm telling you something you could do. You don't have to listen. Actually, yeah, I've got every right to say what I want!
I don't assume anything. I'm just having my say.

come & see the violence inherent in the system (1)

Bloke down the pub (861787) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499429)

You sound like a Monty Python [mwscomp.com] sketch.

Re:come & see the violence inherent in the sys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18499519)

I was thinking more the Inalienable Rights scene from "Monty Python's Life of Brian"

Re:General Strike (1)

quickgold192 (1014925) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499413)

uhhh, that is kinda what a general strike is - a strike by EVERYBODY
I wasn't part of it. Nor do/did I ever want to be. In reality, only a small percentage of people would actually be in support of such a large scale change, so it would be impossible to achieve that goal without sacrificing the very thing you're fighting for, which is the direct democracy where majority rules.

Re:General Strike (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18499205)

"Theres lots of talk about democracy, but for most people, most of their days are spent at work where there is no democracy. Work is a dictatorship. I'm all for workplace democracy. Non-hierachical collectives running things."

If people were really serious about democracy: They'd take over the industrial base, like food and energy and start being mutually responsible towards one another... good luck with that one though, people are inherently lazy and prejudice to the core. You have so many different factions, their worldviews, their petty animal preferences, it's a miracle anything gets done at all in society. I'm all for scientific dictatorship or soft dictatorships like capital when the people are not:

1) Spiritually educated enough
2) Actually educated in terms of survival skills modern technology requires.

The truth is the people are the root cause of their own misfortune: Einstein said it best, those who complain and put up with their present circumstances are the worst. Their passiveness is a choice, watching passively as a woman gets raped, is a choice. If we think of society as a woman getting raped, to coin a metaphor, and we sit there and watch... well you've just participated in allowing the criminal to go through with the act because you don't have the balls to put your life on the line for your principles because most people are cowardly. People will watch passively as destruction takes place they are too comfortable and addicted to social market order as it stands...

The real problem for mass protest is: Private control of food and energy. People have to have a constant supply of food, water, etc to feed themselves... if they are fed the can fight to the death, but if there social power is owned by private powers (i.e. businesses) then they too are owned indirectly by societies richest families and businesses. We live under a resource deprivation model of work, no one is truly self-sustaining because food production and it's transport is no longer socially owned, due to abdication of citizen's responsibility to himself from people amazing too much economic power, which results in their enslavement.

It's highly likely only through complete bankruptcy, desperation, collapse of many millions at once will social change come IMHO, it usually always idiotic humanity to drive into the ditch and crashing before something is done instead of avoiding it. The truth is the philosophy of individualism is humanities destruction. individuals by their nature, have no regard for anyone but themselves in a survivalist sense. One must weigh one's individualism against the reality of nature and one's principles, unfortunately too few people can see that: There are things that matter more then life itself.

Humans are barbarians through and through, democracy has already proven that it can't scale: Too many people, all trying to gouge each other and sacrifice each other for a dollar, a HDTV, a console, a new car, a new house, escorts, whatever you fancy, money can buy it and the money supply is limited, so the only way to get ahead is to crush you enemies through soft words and subtle tones or by force of having more money then they do to monopolize societies largest profit producing assets.

Re:General Strike (1)

Null Nihils (965047) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499245)

Time to overthrow these corrupt corporate bastards.
While I agree with most of what you say, we should pay attention to how the "corrupt corporate bastards" came about; it's not a problem inherent in our economic system, or neither (to a lesser degree) our political system, so much as the fact that the average citizen doesn't take an active role in politics, and the average consumer doesn't "vote with their dollar". They are content to unthinkingly stick with a imperceptably decending status quo, content to unthinkingly give their dollars to abusive faceless corporations.

In other words, nothing in the system inherently encourages corrupt centralization... it is the average person's unwillingness to participate in the system, and actively defend their liberties, that is the problem. People also let themselves be deluded into thinking things aren't that bad, and they fear the changes that become necessary once the system starts slipping towards a corrupt, authoritarian system with no respect for human rights. Many people are also selfish and short-sighted, with little concern for their fellow citizen, a la "they came for the Jews, but I did nothing because I was not a Jew...".

They only solution I see for the people willing to fight for their rights, is for us to stick together and find ways to move in our own direction and leave the complacent ones to their demise while their ancestors, who sacrificed so much for freedom and peace, spin at 5000 RPM in their graves.

Re:General Strike (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499485)

"In other words, nothing in the system inherently encourages corrupt centralization.."

Of course it does. You can vote for big-government Republicans or big-government Democrats... or you can vote for someone who'll lose.

The people who pick the people you get to vote for are the ones who win in a democracy. That's why so many big corporations give money to _both_ Republican and Democrat candidates in US elections.

Democracy is the theory that the opinion of two idiots is worth more than the opinion of one genius. No wonder it's broken.

How On Earth Is This Insightful??!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18499349)

The only thing that i can see to get real change is to have a global general strike. Kick out the politicians everywhere. Institute democracy again. But lets do something different this time. Let's create a system that hasn't been tried before. One where we all have a say.

Oh, you mean maybe have four annual elections, including a presidential election since your fateful day?

When did all the anarchists and idiots start taking over slashdot? And then get modded "insightful" to boot? This is why I rarely come here anymore.

Re:General Strike (1, Funny)

El Torico (732160) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499403)

Anarcho-syndicalists are so cute; their shallow idealism reminds me of my younger days.

Re:General Strike (1)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500301)

Ah, the days when we thought people could all work together to make the world a better place.

Now we know that the only way to dispose of a corrupt government from the inside is with a small minority of very angry people with guns.

Re:General Strike (1)

holywar (1079119) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499411)

Won't work. The arguments must necessarily be more "convincing" than just protest marches or strikes. The difficult part is not in identifying the problem and then get rid of elite that causes them. All revolutions on were surely right on that point: the French, the American, and the Russian revolution managed to wipe out the elites that needed to be wiped out. It is on the "What next" question where revolutions tend to fail.

Re:General Strike (2, Interesting)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499457)

On February 15 2003 the largest global protest ever took place in hundreds of place around the planet. It was against the war on Iraq. They were ignored by politicians. Democracy is dead.

Huh ? Just using Australia as an example (since I'm a local), even being _extremely_ generous and saying a million people in total across the entire country, were protesting, would mean 5% of the population were involved.

Politicians not following the wishes of 5% of the population does not mean "Democracy is dead". Quite the opposite, in fact.

To further drive the point home, pretty much every democratic country involved in Iraq has had an election since the invasion, and not many of them had a change of Government. Most of them weren't even _close_ to a change of Government. Whatever you might personally think the community feels about the Iraq war, the evidence suggests most of them simply don't care.

(To avoid pointless flames, I'm going to say up front that I don't think we should have gotten involved in Iraq. We should just build a great big wall around the whole Middle East and let the fuckers wipe themselves out.)

except that people are busy (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499621)

saying a million people in total across the entire country, were protesting, would mean 5% of the population were involved.


You're forgetting one very important fact about representative democracy: the whole point is that someone else represents us, because we don't have the time to be involved in day-to-day political governance ourselves. When ANY of us take time out of our lives to correct our politicians, then they need to take notice. It's only when the majority of people who DO something have a different view, that the minority who do something should be ignored.

Re:except that people are busy (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499703)

You're forgetting one very important fact about representative democracy: the whole point is that someone else represents us, because we don't have the time to be involved in day-to-day political governance ourselves. When ANY of us take time out of our lives to correct our politicians, then they need to take notice. It's only when the majority of people who DO something have a different view, that the minority who do something should be ignored.

So when I take the time to "correct" my local MP about this silly idea that women should be allowed to vote, what would you expect him to do ? How about if I found 5% of my local electorate to agree with me (probably not completely out of the question for some communities in, say, western Sydney).

Re:General Strike (1)

Guuge (719028) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500099)

Let's try to apply that logic in a more evenhanded manner. Compare the number of people participating in the pro-war demonstrations to those participating in the anti-war protests. Now look at whom the politicians chose to listen to and whom they ignored. Are you telling me that in a country where a few religious nuts can get a supreme court nominee withdrawn, a massive grassroots movement ought to be completely ignored?

We never voted on whether to invade Iraq. I don't know whether such a vote would have passed, and I'll never know. That doesn't sound very democratic to me.

Re:General Strike (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18500427)

If 5% of people were bothered enough to actually go out and protest, how many agreed but just didn't go?

Re:General Strike (1)

IHC Navistar (967161) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499557)

Institute Democracy again? We already have one, and (somehow) it works. Just because the Democracy we have doesn't do what you want doesn't mean it isn't there. Democracy is here. Should we keep throwing out democracies until we get one that does what *you* want? Or, is a successful democracy one that follows *your* beliefs and *your* viewpoints?

"Hmmmmm..... The democracy we have isn't doing what I want, and therefore isn't a democracy, or even a successful one. I know, I'll just say that it has failed as a way to justify my viewpoints and overthow it! Then, when the dust settles, we can institute a real democracy that does what we want!"

Sounds pretty Dictatorial to me. A Democracy that does only what you want isn't a Democracy.

Workplace collectives? Is that the new, politically-correct term for a commune? Workplace Democracy means getting out what you put in, and being able to make yourself more successful than the slacker next to you. Taking things away from Person A who is successful and giving them to Person B who is less successful and saying that it is practicing equality isn't actually practicing equality OR democracy, since Person A worked earned to become successful and Person B didn't. Taking from someone who is more successful and giving it to someone who isn't, is NOT practicing eqaulity or democracy. Person A put in a large amount of effort (say 100 hours) and got a large amount of money in return (say $1000). Person B put in a small amount of effort (say 50 hours) and got a small amount of money ($500) in return. Both Person A and Person B recieved equal amounts of money depending on the amount of money they put in. Equality has been practiced, and Democracy has been practiced. When you take away money from somone who put in more work than someone else, you are not being equal and you are not practicing democracy.

Just because an employee does manual labor doesn't mean he works harder than another employee who works at a desk.

I think that you are just jealous of people who have been more successful than you, as it is plainly visible. You don't like having a supervisor or manager telling you what to do, which is pretty obvious from your "Non-hierarchal" standpoint. Non-heirarchal collective? You mean, a commune where everybody gets the same thing, allowing people to slack off while others do the work, and since everybody is at the same level, regardless of skill or seniority, nobody can tell the slackers to get off their asses and work.

BTW..... Democracy works, just not for you.

Who Mods This Crap "Insightful?" (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18499817)

Other lame-ass wanna-be "revolutionaries" I guess.

Re:General Strike (1)

goldspider (445116) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500151)

Clue: Protests and other public spectacles rarely affect change in public policy. That doesn't mean that Democracy is dead; it means that that such displays aren't effective in making people sympathetic enough about your cause to change how they vote.

As for the latter half of your rant, just ask any older Chinese person how well collectivism worked during Mao's reign.

Myspace (0)

MadFarmAnimalz (460972) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499149)

Panem et circenses.

If there is easy access to outlets for banality, two things will happen:
1. The proportion of meaningful protest to Britney Spears wannabes is going to plummet
2. The average person will be more inclined to posting the banal; it is easier
3. Those expressing meaningful ideas will be marginalized and will gravitate to clusters which makes it easier to marginalize them

And that concludes my presentation on why a web for the common joe sucks. Thank you, and please be gentle with the shackles.

Politics (1)

FirienFirien (857374) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499187)

What is the future for the common person who yearns to be heard?

They'll create an independent political party based on truth and values, which will be largely ignored in favour of the incumbent elephants of politics who can spend orders of magnitude more on the campaign trail? Or they'll create a small community of supporters, with a dotcom lifestyle and even less effect on the world than the independent party.

Yeah, I'm pretty damn cynical about politics.

Nothing helps (2, Informative)

the_masked_mallard (792207) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499215)

In India, we had huge protests last by the student community against the government's hare-brained schemes to introduce reservations in the premier educational institutes.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_India n_anti-reservation_protests/ [wikipedia.org]
The news channels showed police beating up unarmed students who were peacefully protesting. There was a hunger strike by students which went for weeks and was telecast on TV. The members of the National Knowledge Commission resigned in protest.
But the end result was that the government got its way and passed the law, despite overwhelming opposition from the academic community. I wonder how YouTube can help, when primetime news couldnt ?

Re:Nothing helps (1)

Bucc5062 (856482) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499769)

Two points come to mind as I read your post and others that talk about how protests are ignored. The first thought addresses the last point you make in that despite the protest the government continued on and passed a law. I feel they did so because they felt there would be no public backlash where it counts the most, at the voting booth. Protests are a way of collectively voicing an opinion, but it is the vote that matters. If the public wants to gain the attention of the politician, protest, then vote such that those who appose the majority will no longer represent "the people", but be sent home (or to a nice lobbyist job). In my country we can only get 30 or 40 percent of the voting public to cast a ballot. We bitch, we moan, we chaff under the fur-lined handcuffs that hold us in place whiled getting screwed, but we do not enact our strongest protest, the vote.

As to my first point, it relates to protest and visibility. There are two movements that come to the forefront for me in regards to protest and creating change. In your own country, Gandhi and the movement for independence, in my country Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement. I am sure there are others (South Africa and Mandela), but what I find common are that these movements had leaders who stood on the front line of change. They took the beatings, the arrests, the ridicule, and continued leading by example till change was made. In leading this way they inspired others to make the same sacrifices, even if those sacrifices affected their personal lives. I respect Cindy Sheehan immensely, but at a critical moment when she could have sparked a strong anti-war protest into a national movement (starting at Crawford TX), she went home to take care of a family member. By the time she got back to Crawford the movement was fading and her position as inspiring leader was past.

That takes me to the other point about protest and my three examples. King, Gandhi, Mandela; these leaders never stopped. It was not one protest, maybe two. It was time and time again walking into the face of the adversary. It was peaceful, non-violent so that what ever hate was spewed at them, they absorbed it, turned it around and said, it's okay, we are still here. The media is not at fault, it is the lack of commitment by any leader, and any group to place themselves and others in moments, in places that will bring attention again and again and again.

The people in eastern bloc countries who had protested crooked elections changed their governments this way because they never went home till they were heard and satisfied. King changed civil rights in this country by marching, sitting, walking, and talking non-violent resistance against discrimination all the time. I watch the riots, the angry mobs at G8 summit meetings, at war rallies and I ask, does meeting violence with violence work? Perhaps people are more fearful of the angry mob then the immoral government. What happened to the 150K people in Melbourne? Did the come back the next day, and the next, and the next? If not then why would the government feel compelled to effect change? Here today, gone tomorrow is how *they* see us, not the other way around.

A basic example of the difference in protest; two people walk up to a customer service counter to complain. The first screams, shouts, insults, berates, and vents all the anger and frustration inside demanding something be done. The louder the voice, the less help is forthcoming so finally the customer walks out, nothing gained. The second person walks in, explains the problem, backs up the statements with facts, continues to ask questions when rebuffed, remains calm and respectful, but does not stop, does not walk away. By staying this customer maintains attention to the complaint so finally customer service must address the problem if they wish to take care of others.

Protest can be loud, it can be visible, but it must remain in a way that the sleeping majority will not only take notice, but respond in positive support.

Re:Nothing helps (1)

the_masked_mallard (792207) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500127)

The protests did continue for a pretty long time and the protesters backed down only when the government assured them in the Supreme Court that they would give the matter more thought. Later, they back-stabbed them and passed the law. The matter is sub-judice in the Supreme Court, so all hope is not lost, yet.

As you pointed out, the problem is that of going out to vote. But the problem is that we are witnessing are very absurd situation in India. Powerful communities have declared themselves as "backward" and are going all out to gain as many concessions as possible. The real poor still suffer and the middle class gets robbed of educational opportunities and jobs. When a large number of the electorate is illiterate, rhetoric helps them decide, not logic.

If the court too rules against the government, the government can go ahead and amend the constitution. The Indian Constitution is the among the most amended constitutions in the world. If the government decides, with the help of the majority to screw a section of populance, then precious little can be done.

Youtube protest chant (4, Funny)

BabyDave (575083) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499229)

We're here, we're buffering,
We don't want any more suffering!

online can be traced... (1)

fantomas (94850) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499385)

If the authorities are checking out people who are planning to protest -where are they looking? on websites, wikis, etc where people are asking to share rides, a place to stay etc. They are already checking the web. Protesting on YouTube is going to be 'safer'? I'd say it singles you out more. Far safer to turn up unannounced as part of a large crowd, you're less likely to get hauled out and disappeared, and more likely to get media coverage as well. Ok you're going to get filmed by the authorities there as well, but at least if you're one of ten thousand you're giving them a bit of work to do, trawling through all that footage. I guess they can put you all in Guantanamo Bay, I am sure they are entitled to for any form of protest these days, but at least you'll have a bit of company.

Youtube protests are going to get lost in the millions of Simpsons episodes/drunken nights out/skateboard radical tricks/etc that are being uploaded.

Respect is based on fear ... (1)

holywar (1079119) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499463)

Rulers do not respect the people and the people do not respect the ruler for any other fundamental reason than fear. The fact that politicians ignore the people is because they know they will only protest and nothing else. And crushing protests is just needed to instill fear. The only solution is to fight with equal weapons. That is, to count the guns on the other side, and match or over-match the tally. What's more, most soldiers are just in the army because they get fed and somewhat paid. However, they are never paid enough to die to defend the elite. Most of them are not part of it, anyway. Therefore, the tally to match is actually not that high. It is usually seriously overestimated. What matters much more, is the determination to do what needs to be done.

answer (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499469)

Q:

What is the future for the common person who yearns to be heard?
A:

He has no future
The answer is very simple: your voice will always drawn in the sea of other voices. So what if you get a youtube account with potential for your street protest video to be viewed by millions? The same potential belongs to other millions of users of youtube who can post whatever they want with whatever text they want and whatever tags they want. It is true that your chances jumped from none to miniscule, when first videosharing website was created but this miniscule chance is getting smaller and smaller with growing number of submitters.

This is an entropic effect of democracy.

If people want results, they need to give the voice only to the reasonable people. This is called technocracy. Early internet was very technocratic because of sheer limitation to have an access to academic network. Your message could be heard by a miniscule amount of academics.

Protest by proxy (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499491)

Sad. Really sad we have come to this point.

real protests (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499511)

are only useful if a huge number of people turn out. otherwise, the media outlets and the government ignore a few rabble rousers frim the fringe. something like the philippines people power revolution is a successful example of a protest toppling a government. that snowballed with support from the church and the military and the tacit approval of the majority of the population. rare indeed

smaller protests, in comparison, say a million people, are also useful at eliciting media attention and government attention for a list of grievances. but online?

huh? i don't understand how that's supposed to be compelling to anyone

look, i'm a champion of the internet changing our lives in fundamental ways just as much as the next slashdotter, but there are some problems for which the internet is poorly suited, and others which it matches beautifully

i'm sorry, but nothing replaces a real protest in terms of impact (and even then, it better be big)

Also safety against the police. (1)

apathy maybe (922212) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499535)

"Mounting your political message online is also safer in countries where taking part in a protest can result in your death or injury at the hands of your country's army."
Mounting your political message online is also safer in countries where taking part in a protest can result in your death or injury at the hands of your local police.

Police in the USA beat and shoot and kill people, in other places ("Western" "Liberal" "Democracies") it isn't so bad, but seriously. The police aren't there to help protesters, they are there to protect property, and they will beat you up and arrest you without charge and so on.

Speaking from experience.

wow could we get ANY lazier? (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499551)

what next? blogging on myspace about how you feel about other people's YouTube activism?.....oh wait....

Giving commoners a voice since 1999! (2)

purpleraison (1042004) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499583)

The internet has been responsible for otherwise unheard people, being able to get together collectively and voice their opinion.

Large party politics HATES this because it is a threat to their two-party system. That is why they back all efforts to squash political blogs, and online political movements by trying to have them classified as 'lobbyists'.

As far as I know, there is no negative to giving the average 'joe' a voice when they are competing with two good-ol boy joes (Republicans and Democrats) with millions and millioins of dollars in backing.

So, then, the protestors have already lost? (3, Insightful)

smchris (464899) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499599)

At first glance I thought this was the most inane headline I've seen since Discover put "Why Kids Today Love Big Brother" on their cover for a story about MySpace and the loss of privacy a few months back. But if this is just reporting a trend, that is really sad.

I've been saying for a few years now that the only effective protest is a French-style protest where people walk off their jobs to clog the streets and a lot of those jobs are in transport and services so the economy is significantly crippled. Then power notices. Without even knowing the guy, I think I can almost guarantee you that George Bush doesn't give a rat's ass what you say about him on YouTube.

You can go to the internet for _information_ when the Mainstream Media won't give it to you. But _protest_ on the internet? That's just a few million people in the electronic forest baying at the moon. Didn't Nietzsche say something about real men and snarling dogs? Let's kill the fashion of 21st Century Schizoid Boy and get back to actually doing stuff. (Yes, I'm implying, like, back in the _real_ world.)

 

Reminds me of the whole 'in game 'protest crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18499611)

The ENTIRE idea behind protesting is to show that you'll come out and personally get involved. This idea that blogging or making a video or invading an MMO is ANYTHING like showing up in person (where, wow, you can be confronted by opposing views) is pathetic. IMHO, it just makes it so joe blow can sit in his A/C apartment and rant with no discomfort AND no real threat of having to confront people that don't agree with you. It's pu**y. There is no comparison, nor should their be.

On that front, having the right to say what you want does NOT infer that people have to listen to you - nor do you have a right to FORCE them to listen. This is one point that activists seem to forget - that and that EVERYONE has a right to voice an opinion - even one counter to yours. It's become a SERIOUS issue in U.S. colleges where opposing points of view are prevented rather than countered - and the oppressors yell 'freedom of speech' the entire time they are suppressing the other side. The irony would crack me up if not for how serious the issue is - we are raising a group of morons that think it's ok, in fact, CORRECT, to push their point of view on people, no matter what the cost.

Part of the problem is the level of special interests, especially when the ACLU gets involved. When scum bags like Jesse Jackson can get on a podium and ACTUALLY suggest that a word be made against the law and NOT be shouted down by EVERYONE (especially college people - that part continues to amuse me) - well we have a serious problem. The U.S. is FOUNDED on the fact you DO NOT have to like the person standing next to you - you just don't get to hurt him or suppress him.

Wake up people. Whether you are conservative or liberal, what's happening is NOT ok. NEITHER point of view is so 'right' that it should be allow to simply sweep the other side away - if you think that, you need to seriously take a step back and reconsider.

I Predict (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18499667)

. . . you will be modded down relentlessly for speaking the truth.

Yearning to be herd, eh? (2)

phunctor (964194) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499825)

1) Obtain foreign funding: KGB, Soros, PLA, Wahhabis, you know the drill.
2) Round up some useful idiots.
3) Print illiterut signs.
4) Compose mindless chant.
6) Ensure media camera angles and editing will keep all 71/72 of your protesters in the frame (with 3/12412 counter-protestors). (This is a gimme, you don't have to do anything. It's handled, dude or dudette!)
5) Let your well-reasoned position be heard! If you don't know what it is, those nice people at (1) above can help.

--
phunctor

Missing the point (2, Insightful)

Peaker (72084) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499851)

When many people are demonstrating, they are basically saying that they are willing to put their time, effort and sweat into the cause - they mean business.

When they sit around in their couch and post stuff in YouTube, they aren't making any point at all. They are just whining.

Online Polls (1)

Grashnak (1003791) | more than 7 years ago | (#18499997)

What? Online polls are being "shunted aside and ignored"? You say that like its a new phenomenon. When did an online poll ever count for anything other than an indication of how many pinheads can be persuaded to vote for Ms. Collossal Tits 2001?

Good! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18499999)

With fewer in-person protests, our police force can now better spend their time doing what they go to work for: catching theives, kidnappers, rapers, murderes, etc. and less time baby-sitting whiners, complainers, the un-informed, and the ignorant.

Should also help cut down on the trash and garbage left around following a protest, cut down on traffic jams, leave shop owners able to sleep at night knowing their store hasn't been smashed and looted, and actually promote a challenge-response over issues, rather than a one-way-we-scream-you-listen(or ignore) system that protests bring.

Protests have never worked. Why do we still waste our time on them?

Anonymous on the Internet? (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500075)

on the Internet the chances of being personally associated with a protest are lower.
Beg pardon?

Do you really trust Google and your ISP enough to feel anonymous on Youtube? And even if you don't think your info will be turned over willingly, do you trust every last employee of those organizations not to do something shady at their desks? Do you trust their security measures to never get hacked and leak your info?

Unless you are covertly using a stolen Internet account from a well-hidden location, you are perfectly traceable by those with the means.

Anyone can attend a protest, and not every member of that protest will be followed home afterward. The way I see it you can wear sunglasses and a hat and have a lot more anonymity at a real protest than in anything you do online.

Gut-less new generation of protestors (3, Insightful)

goldspider (445116) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500329)

Once upon a time, protestors gladly risked (even baited) arrest to make themselves martyrs for their cause. They were willing to sit in jail and scrifice their time to bring attention to their movement.

Today most protestors seem to do everything they can to protect their anonymity. Being arrested is simply an intolerable inconvenience these days. Self-sacrifice is something to be avoided, not celebrated.

Ironic, amusing, and sad at the same time.

Possibility for Scandal... (1)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500341)

I think that the biggest impact that youtube or google video will have is in exposing impropiety. SOMEONE in office is going to do something stupid, and SOMEONE is going to catch them on their cell phone or digital recorder and put it up for the world to see.

Remember Gary Hart, Monkey Business, and the 1988 election? Sean Penn's boat at Katrina? Tipper Gore's staged mud shoveling in the Honduras?

The list - of both the left and the right - is pretty long, but the political "gotcha" game is going to be increasingly affected by youtube.

Re:Possibility for Scandal... (1)

VegetativeState (1041398) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500399)

I think posting on Slashdot is a good way of creating awareness...

TOR: The Onion Router (1)

Don Giovanni (300778) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500519)

Protestors can stay safe on the onion router [eff.org] or psiphon [civisec.org] . Just look at the case in china where yahoo turned over Shi Tao, who went to prison for ten years.
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