[Air-l] FC: How anti-Iraq war protesters employed technology, from NYT

Ed Lamoureux ell at bradley.edu
Sun Feb 23 07:56:13 PST 2003

the other side of this also strikes me as interesting/compelling, and 
worthy of study:
in that digital leaves tracks [tracks which are generally unprotected 
by both technology and law], and in that laws of all sorts protect 
phone, mail, and personal exchanges [the old ways of organizing were, 
in many instances, "protected" or at least covered over by civil 
liberties] . . . the real "difference" may be the extent to which new 
[digital] and  ostensibly "secret" and "subversive" activities may be 
even more open to surveillance and prosecution.

On Sunday, February 23, 2003, at 08:45  AM, Steve Jones wrote:

> To be the devil's advocate (or at least a media historian) is what we 
> are describing a difference in kind or in scale? Most of us on air-l 
> are probably aware of the use of the phone (landline, then mobile) and 
> fax for organizing...and I recall reading about examples of the use of 
> audio cassettes and letters for organizing (though obviously on a 
> different timeline). So as I see it there are three fairly obvious 
> things the internet brings that are different than media before it in 
> this regard: One is the internet's relative instantaneity, another its 
> reach to so many people, and another is the inherent "copy-ability" of 
> internet communication (e.g., the ease of forwarding, posting). Which 
> of these matters most, or are they all equal? And what I'd like to 
> know more than that: Is there something else, something about the 
> internet as a medium, that makes it more than a faster/broader medium 
> in comparison to what has come before it?
> Thanks,
> Sj
> At 6:28 AM -0500 2/23/03, Michael Gurstein wrote:
>> Pace Gina and others... I think the article below provides some 
>> extremely
>> useful insight into the role that the Internet played, is playing and 
>> will
>> play in the variety of political transformations that are taking 
>> place.
>> The demonstrations were, we should note, occuring on day 1.5 of a war 
>> that
>> hadn't yet happened and yet according to CNN who referred us to their
>> website for confirmation, there were significant "anti" activities in 
>> some
>> 603 (not sure where the 3 came from) communities across the globe.
>> Some observations:
>> 	* pre-Internet, we would probably not have known (certainly not in a 
>> timely
>> fashion) about 90% of those activities as they occurred mostly in 
>> places
>> where AP/Reuters and the traditional national/international media 
>> never
>> tread
>> 	* pre-Internet, almost certainly 90% of those activities might never 
>> have
>> happened since the people in those communities would not have 
>> expected that
>> their activities in Peoria and Penticton would register on any sort of
>> international demo chart and thus they would have been invisible to 
>> all but
>> the direct participants
>> 	* pre-Internet, at day 1.5 of a war that hadn't happened yet, the 
>> turnout
>> would have been in the thousands rather than the millions and would 
>> have
>> represented the success of organizing efforts among the league of the
>> committed (the usual cast of fringe political parties and a few 
>> politically
>> active unions) rather than the infinitely larger and much more 
>> diverse (and
>> ultimately much more powerful) league of the conscious and concerned.
>> I think the results that Gina presented are an indication of the 
>> limitations
>> of attempting to study phenomena which are emergent, systemic and
>> tranformative with purely (and dare I say, narrowly) empirical 
>> methodology
>> and tools that are meant to study phenomena that are incremental and
>> particularistic.
>> Best,
>> Mike Gurstein
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Edward Lee Lamoureux, Ph. D.
Interim Director, Multimedia Program and New Media Center
Associate Professor, Speech Communication
1501 W. Bradley
Bradley University
Peoria IL  61625
Editor, Journal of Communication and Religion

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