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Protests Move From the Streets To YouTube 156

Posted by kdawson
from the getting-word-out-of-the-Phillipines dept.
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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Protests Move From the Streets To YouTube

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  • Want to be heard? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by taff^2 (188189)
    Create a blog or upload some videos. Doesn't mean that people will want to hear what you've got to say, however.
    • by AndersOSU (873247) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @09:33AM (#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.
    • by fyngyrz (762201) *

      There is huge risk here. Person A creates a "protest." The government takes note, puts person A on list of troublemakers. Persons B through M watch the video. Government uses vague personal ID (IP addresses, for instance) and puts persons G through Z on same list.

      The series of tubes that comprise teh intarwebbing are not generally anonymous by nature, and anyone who thinks they are is deluded, or worse. In the USA, at least, the ability to track your online activities has been in place for some time. On

    • by gsslay (807818)
      You under estimate the paranoia of some protesters. Search in YouTube or Google video on 'conspiracy' and you'll find a never-ending stream of conspiracy videos; 911, illuminatii, apollo, jews, united nations, heretics, occult, aliens. They're all in there.

      And the beauty is, if no-one watches them and they sink without trace its not because you're wrong, its because Youtube/Google are suppressing them. They're part of the conspiracy! All your suspicions are confirmed, you get the positive feedback you c
  • by BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @05:47AM (#18499035) Journal
    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]
  • Evolution of Protest (Score:4, Informative)

    by superbrose (1030148) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @05:48AM (#18499039) Homepage
    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.
  • What's the point? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by badfish99 (826052) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @05:49AM (#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? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Timesprout (579035) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @06:00AM (#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: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        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.
      • 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.
        • by ResidntGeek (772730) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @08:19AM (#18499731) Journal
          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: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by rednip (186217) *

            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, a

            • 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

          • by gad_zuki! (70830)
            >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.

            With a Republican in control of the executive branch aint much is going to happen. You make it sound like there was a huge sweep in all branches, which is untrue.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Red Flayer (890720)
          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 appoin
        • by elrous0 (869638) *
          How old are you?
          • by rednip (186217) *
            I'm older than most of the users on this site, and I'm mature enough to acknowledge problems without whining about them incessantly. Also, in life, it helps to be generally positive.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by drinkypoo (153816)

          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.

          I think you mean the grassy knoll.

          I voted against Bush twice. Yeah, you heard me right. The Democratic platform of "he's not Bush" worked nicely on me. Once, we actually managed to get the popular vote to come out against him, but the electoral college gave it to him anyway, because that's

          • by rednip (186217) *

            Sure an individual's vote doesn't matter much by itself, but it does matter. A good citizen stays up with current events, and never discourages a voter. Some try to encourage voting by claiming it's importance, however I've learned that many seem to think that it matters more than it does, and when their choice fails, they get discouraged. They (and you) behave like a fair weather fan for a sports team, I on the other hand value my country and it's election process more than simple athletic contest.

            Does it really matter which group of rich fuckers that don't actually give a shit about the people is in office?

            All

            • by drinkypoo (153816)

              A good citizen stays up with current events, and never discourages a voter. Some try to encourage voting by claiming it's importance, however I've learned that many seem to think that it matters more than it does, and when their choice fails, they get discouraged. They (and you) behave like a fair weather fan for a sports team, I on the other hand value my country and it's election process more than simple athletic contest.

              What? I said I vote. So how do I behave this way? Are you just unable to read?

              Perso

      • by Tsagadai (922574)
        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
    • by Adeptus_Luminati (634274) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @06:05AM (#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: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ReidMaynard (161608)
        .. 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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rtb61 (674572)
        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

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

      by Psx29 (538840) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @06:11AM (#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? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mrbluze (1034940) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @06:12AM (#18499121) Journal

      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).

      • by pairo (519657)

        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. :-)
        • by xappax (876447)
          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
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        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 MS
      • 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.
      • 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 th
      • If you want anybody to pay attention, you have to blow something up.
        • by mrbluze (1034940)

          If you want anybody to pay attention, you have to blow something up.
          Terrorists are not the only people who understand that concept! On the other hand, an apolitical definition of terrorist would actually include politicians.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • by SQL Error (16383)

      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 s

    • 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
    • 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 ma
      • by mpe (36238)
        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.

        It is also rather hard to avoid if your encounter violent police. Which makes using YouTube rather safer.

        . 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
    • 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.

    • by o'reor (581921)

      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 the

    • That's the the thing, before the iraq war started back into 2003 over ten thousand people took to the streets in Seattle [youtube.com] (and millions around the world), and all it did was make a 1 or 2 minute blip on local news and even then they mostly concentrated on the one or two arrests that happen despite the fact 99% of everyone else was completely peaceful. And then the news on it ended. No insightful discussion on the message, or the problems that may occur if we attack iraq. Youtube provides the chance to cov
  • by kwikrick (755625) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @05:52AM (#18499053) Homepage Journal
    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... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by o'reor (581921) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @05:54AM (#18499065) Journal
    ... 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.

  • General Strike (Score:3, Insightful)

    by essence (812715) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @06:08AM (#18499113) Homepage Journal

    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: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "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 facti
    • 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 t

      • by 0123456 (636235)
        "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 gen
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by El Torico (732160) *
      Anarcho-syndicalists are so cute; their shallow idealism reminds me of my younger days.
      • 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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by drsmithy (35869)

      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". Q

      • 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 differ

        • by drsmithy (35869)

          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

          • I would expect him to listen, and propose a new bill/amendment, except if such an amendment has already been proposed for the same reasons, and dismissed. If it does get proposed, then all good people can stand up on the other side of the argument, and have the bill rejected. Simple, really.
      • by Guuge (719028)

        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

        • Compare the number of people participating in the pro-gay marriage demonstrations to those participating in the anti-gay marriage protests. According to your logic, it would mean 1000 people are for gay marriage for every person against it. However, I can't think of a single state offhand that has offered a referendum on gay marriage and had the people specifically vote to allow gay marriage. There is this concept known as the "silent majority" that aren't very vocal but hold strong opinions (usually for th
    • 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
    • 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.
    • by ex-geek (847495)

      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.

      No it isn't. It is alive and well and has never been stronger.

      Look, I too protested against the war in 2003. But I never expected that this could actually prevent the war. Demonstrations seldomly achieve this effect. Most politicians will in fact continue with their plans in spite and pat themselves on the shoulder for "not

  • 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.
  • 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 (Score:2, Informative)

    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 th
    • by Bucc5062 (856482)
      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
  • by BabyDave (575083) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @06:38AM (#18499229)

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

  • 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
  • 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 videoshari

  • Sad. Really sad we have come to this point.

  • 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 atten
  • "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 protester
  • what next? blogging on myspace about how you feel about other people's YouTube activism?.....oh wait....
  • 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 mil
  • by smchris (464899) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @08:02AM (#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.)

     
    • That's pretty much what they tried to do in seattle just a month ago. Well, at least they were trying to block the port where the weapons are sent from. Look what happens [youtube.com].
  • 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 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Peaker (72084) <gnupeaker@yahoo.DEGAScom minus painter> on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @08:33AM (#18499851) Homepage
    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.
  • Good! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    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
    • by enjahova (812395)
      What about the Million Man March? The anti-war protests during Vietnam? I think you have a point, that protesting in and of itself is not enough. It is becoming apparent to me that the most effective way to institute change is to organize a movement, not just a protest. When you want change you need to change peoples minds, and one way to work towards that is protests. Even though I wasn't alive for MLK Jr.'s speech, I get goosebumps when I watch it on youtube.

      I think the future of any successful movement w
  • 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

  • by goldspider (445116) <.ardrake79. .at. .gmail.com.> on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @09:28AM (#18500329) Homepage
    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.
    • "Gut-less new generation of protestors"

      Gutless or too distracted by TV, video games and all the other forms of what basically amounts to a kind of fun-a-holism and escapism, a form of denial of the horrible state of things.
    • Not true [youtube.com] They just have the abillity to go online as well now.
    • by koreth (409849) * on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @01:56PM (#18504015)

      The question is, if YouTube had been available back then, would those protesters have been as ready to hit the streets and get beaten when there was another avenue available to get mass attention? The situation has changed, so that might have some effect on people's actions.

      Also, assuming you're talking about the Vietnam War protests in the US, there was a military draft back then. Many of the protesters were literally fighting for their own lives -- if they didn't go out and get beaten by the police, they faced the prospects of going out and getting killed or maimed in southeast Asia. I suspect you'd see protests get a lot more serious in a big hurry if the draft were reinstated to send people over to Iraq.

  • On the net, the police can't really intimidate you, tazer you, kick you in the ribs while you're down or corral you into a "Free Speech Zone". The only question is whether you can generate as much publicity as with a protest. I think the answer is yes. After all, just look at the successes of propaganda.

    This may be the way to go really because our governments are increasingly trying to prevent protests via new laws. In the UK we have a wide protest exclusion Zone around Parliament, which is really desig
  • Breaking "Fake" news, Police march on Youtube headquarters and take their server farm down with a water-cannon. The protest about police brutality appears to have been ended with the loss of only one life. Police are not releasing the name of the victim but indicate one staff member at youtube unfortunately suffered a massive coronary after all of the magic smoke escaped from his computer room. Reporters caught 6 paramedics on tape attempting to carry what appeared to be an obese sysadmin from the building

  • Facts... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BK425 (461939)
    "Mounting your political message online is also safer in countries where taking part in a protest can result in your death or injury"

      There are people around the world (rhymes with CHINA) who will never see the light of day again, because words they posted on the internet were traced to them. The mode of protest is not as important as that it gets done.
  • What is the future for the common person who yearns to be heard?

    False assumption. The common person has NEVER been heard. It is only now, with the internet and cheap hosting, that the common person can start to make himself heard.

    p.s. But if the common person keeps making death threats [slashdot.org], he's going to quickly lose that new ability to be heard.

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