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The People's Power




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

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