The People's Power

| March 29, 2012

Editor:

In response to Marcy Burstiner's column ("Take the Money and Run With It," March 1), stating only the wealthy and corporations have the power and money to access mass audiences, I couldn't disagree more. As Erik Black pointed out ("Free Speech? Tweet," March 15), not only is Twitter a free way to project our voices to our community, other powerful online mass communication tools, like e-mail, websites and YouTube can reach millions.

These are truly mediums where common folk can band together to pressure the wealthy, corporations and governments into enacting change that is both ethical and overdue! For instance, the members of a previously "unknown" band, Sons of Maxwell, aired their homemade music video on YouTube, "United Breaks Guitars," causing such a public outcry that United Airlines not only changed its checked luggage handling policies, but also agreed to pay royalties for the band's future songs "framing" United as the newly changed "good" guy.
Even more impressive are the three middle-class teenagers who created the YouTube video that would be seen by millions around the world, raising public outcry on the plight of Africa's Child Soldiers. Their video, and the masses who viewed it, picketed, sent letters to the government and demanded action, pressured the U.S. government to change its policy on refusing military involvement in war-torn countries where there is no economic or tactical incentive. (See www2.invisiblechildren.com/videos).

For three youths to unite with (currently) over 20 million strangers around the world through a homemade video and demand justice -- and for the U.S. government to yield to that -- now that, Mrs. Burstiner, is power! Power that's growing so strong, as a matter of fact, that governments around the world are trying to limit, if not shut down, these mass communication networks through bills like SOPA, ACTA and TPP because they, too, are recognizing the 99 percent's power to use these mediums for incredible global change. If it's anything that the above samples have shown us, it's that the united, outraged, voices of the common people have just as much power as the 1 percent.

Cyndy Phillips, McKinleyville

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Please don't tell me someone believed the Kony 2012 scam from invisible children. That worries me.

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Posted by anon.r.mous on 03/29/2012 at 3:13 PM

"These are truly mediums where common folk can band together to pressure the wealthy, corporations and governments into enacting change that is both ethical and overdue!" Hilarious! 1% of the world's population is enjoying the internet! Ms. Phillips might need hours to wait for limited access to a H.Co Library computer. During limited library open hours, of course. If the internet ever threatened to become an effective tool at social change, it can be switched off in seconds, as China demonstrated during the Han/Weegan riots. Or, how AT&T demonstrated during the protests planned around the last republican convention in NY, when thousands of organizer's e-mails were mysteriously intercepted and deleted. Keep dreaming. Nothing will change until tens of millions more Americans join the 48 million now living in poverty to actually occupy the centers of power....like much of the rest of the world is doing. The fall of every past empire was preceded by the corrupt looting of its treasuries and the divestment and predation upon its own human resources. Back to the future....

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Posted by ALAS on 03/29/2012 at 11:32 PM

@Alas Try learning about how telecommunications works before you speak about things you know nothing of. How did pulling BGP in Egypt work out for the dictators? Not very well, I'd argue. The ban was easily bypassed by dial-up accounts set up in Europe in the event of a telecom blackout. The regime fell shortly thereafter. How about the eternal war between China and Iran and the TOR project? Who is winning? Not the dictators... How do we know we're winning? The very fact that any government feels threatened enough to resort to these drastic actions (internet censorship and surveillance) is pretty strong evidence of their fear of their own populace.

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Posted by ANTIFA on 03/30/2012 at 10:47 AM

Just FYI, over 32% of the world uses the internet. Over 78% of the people in North America does. So if you use the internet, you have a good chance of getting your message heard.

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Posted by anon.r.mous on 03/31/2012 at 4:09 PM
Showing 1-4 of 4

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