Neocons’ worst nightmare: net movements intersecting in Ideas for Change in America

DREAM Activists and undocumented youth, the Stonewall 2.0 LGBTQ movement, Get FISA Right and civil libertarians, peace activists — together again for the first time, along with a demand for accountability for the last 8 years.   Scary stuff.  :-)

Read on for more … and please digg it!

It’s been surprising to me how little attention change.org’s Ideas for Change in America competition has gotten.  David Herbert mentioned it in the National Journal and Nancy Scola on techPresident; of course the competitors have blogging a lot (for example me, at Liminal States, Get FISA Right, and Pam’s House Blend, promoting my idea Get FISA Right, repeal the PATRIOT Act, and restore our civil liberties and the others I’ve endorsed).  But in the broader political, progressive or technology-in-politics blogospheres?  Very little.

Here’s my attempt to describe its importance.

Start with change.org’s partners, MySpace and a great and very diverse list of non-profits.*   Who knows how it will all shake out but it is very likely that regardless of which specific ideas win, the connections here will allow much more collaborative activism going forward.  And while details are sketchy, the plan for a national activism campaign behind each of the top 10 ideas is potentially a big deal. From Get FISA Right’s perspective, we’re holding off deciding on our strategy for the year and launching our video until we know whether we make the top 10.

More generally though it’s a great self-selecting filter for who’s thinking out-of-the-box, appealing to millenials and others on social networks — and to groups who are marginalized by the gatekeepers of the mainstream media and the “progressive” blogosphere.  It’s a view into something that’s been happening under the radar.  As Marisol of NYSLC said in a comment on my Apologies to DREAM Act advocates everywhere:

In reality, undocumented students are leading their own specific immigrant youth organizing movement through active on the ground organizing and rampant online activism through blogging, twittering etc..

What else can we expect from viral undocumented students and children of immigrants-mostly all millenials and younger-who with no funding and very little institutional support are rising out of the shadows and speaking for themselves.

Indeed.  And similar social network/millenial things are happening in LGBTQ activism, peace activism, drug reform, civil liberties (hiii!), and other areas as well.  The change.org competition, and the discussions around it, creates a rich enough milieu that we find each other.

From a neocon’s perspective, it really seems like their worst nightmare.**  Again using myself as an example: I didn’t know any DREAM Activists before this competition, only vaguely knew of Bob Fertik and Democrats.com (“the aggressive progressives”), and had never heard of the Center for Non-violent Communications.  Now I’m working with all of them, as well as others who I’ve known for a while — to promote our various ideas, exchanging techniques for what does and doesn’t work.

DREAM Activists and undocumented youth, the Stonewall 2.0 LGBTQ movement, Get FISA Right and civil libertarians, peace activists — together again for the first time, along with a demand for accountability for the last 8 years.   Scary stuff.  :-)

There’s something happening here, and like I say it’s surprising that more people aren’t paying attention.  The progressive blogosphere in particular is asleep at the wheel.  It’d almost be funny if it weren’t so irritating.

So pay close attention to the last 36 hours.  Even better, to really want to experience this new kind of social network activism, please take part in it — there are still a lot of ideas with a chance to make it into the top 10.  If you’d like to help advocate for Get FISA Right (etc) , we’ve got suggestions for how you can help via email, blogs, Facebook, or Twitter here.  If you’re advocating for other ideas please feel free to adapt and improve on these approaches.

One way or another, get involved!

jon

* as well as somebody called the Case Foundation who I know nothing about except I wish they would cut out the annoying popups.

** although not necessarily for libertarians.  If you’re reading this from #tcot, please vote for Get FISA Right, repeal the PATRIOT Act, and restore our civil liberties which would save several billion dollars a year as well as the Constitution and rule of law.  While you’re there, please vote for marriage equality following Bob Barr’s lead, for fair treatment for students, for more efficient and effective governmetn communications and decision-making … and for accountability for the last 8 years, because we need truth and justice to really move forward.