It was magnificent. After three weeks of online and off line organizing, tens of thousands of people across generations and political persuasions took to the streets in 65 cities and towns across the country and around the world to stop the erosion of democracy in Canada.
It was magnificent. After three weeks of online and off line organizing, tens of thousands of people across generations and political persuasions took to the streets in 65 cities and town across the country and around the world to stop the erosion of democracy in Canada.
Thanks to Tor Sandberg of rabbletv, here is a speech I gave to the anti-proroguing rally in Toronto. There were about 10,000 people there and another 15,000 at least across the country'
Judy is off on vacation for a couple of weeks, so I'm going to take over her blog and post videos of Michael Jackson here. (Just kidding. We've all seen enough of that on Twitter and Facebook. Pam Kapoor wrote an interesting article about that here, in fact.)
What I really want to blog about is social media, which Judy also talks about in her book, in chapter 8. I just went to a fantastic conference a couple of weeks ago - Social Tech Training 2009. In a nutshell, the conference was for people who want to learn and share ideas about how to use social media to organize, promote, and create social change. Instead of taking notes, I tweeted them out on twitter as a way of staying in touch with Judy about what I was learning (since I was there for both of us), and you can find my play-by-play and other participants' notes from the conference under the hashtags #stt09 and #ncwk. So I won't rehash (ha, get it?) that here.
Instead, I'll talk about my own journey with social media, and I invite you to share yours in the comments here if you feel so inclined.
Today in Tehran from #iranelection on twitter
Sunday evening I spent almost an entire train ride from Ottawa to Toronto glued to Twitter following the posts from #iranelections, which is a way to get all the posts about the elections in Iran and following a twitterer with the handle Change for Iran who was posting from his roof top every few minutes and then going down to join the protests and coming back. It was an amazing experience to directly follow what was happening on the streets of Tehran as it was happening. More important, though, Twitter became a major source of information for those opposed to Ahmadinejad's government and protesting what they consider to be fraudelant election results.
Yesterday I visited the Tamil sit-in in front of the US embassy. After a couple of months of protesting in Ottawa and Toronto in the largest demonstrations in memory with little response from the government, the Tamil community has decided to block University Avenue demanding that the Canadian and US government pressure Sri Lanka to stop killing civilians and allow humanitarian aid into to assist Tamils trapped in the war zone. More than 6,500 ethnic Tamils are already dead according to the UN.
Jesse Hirsh ubergeek and internet columnist for CBC wrote a brief review of Transforming Power that he sent me today. Here's his view, post yours:
At rabble.ca, they've published excerpts from Chapter 8 of Transforming Power, which is all about networked politics and new ways of horizontal, democratic organizing using new technology like social media.
Also, Antonia Zerbisias has an excellent interview with Judy about the book in the Star today, here.
I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Ottawa Book Launch for Transforming Power, that was held at the Raw Sugar Cafe earlier today. The cafe was definitely packed with people who came to both see Judy & celebrate Octopus Books' 40th Anniversary. The venue was intimate and everyone was interested in hearing from Judy. We have been doing the Website for Octopus Books now for probably 8 years (Krishna & I put up what was at the time a fairly complex site at that time) and also helped Judy Rebick put together her site over the past couple of months.
We took a leadership role in supporting Judy's site because we saw the potential for this project to mobilize the social justice movement in Canada. When we (Krishna & I) first worked with Judy it was when we helped to launch rabble.ca back in 2001. Rabble.ca has done a lot to help to focus left leaning media and discussion since that time and it was with rabble.ca that we were involved in our first advocacy campaign to build a petition to release Jaggi Shing.