Sunday, November 09, 2008

Another Reminder Of Just How Lucky Americans Are

Perhaps you're a bit bummed that your candidate didn't win the Whitehouse. Well, here's a fantastic article to remind you just what an amazing and remarkable country we live in.

The story is about individuals using Facebook to organize against the Egyptian government.

Yet the ease of participation cuts both ways. At first glance, this form of online activism [using Facebook] might seem ineffectual, even frivolous — a brand of sacrifice-free protest sometimes derided as "slactivism." After all, the Facebook group Bring Back Arrested Development has, at last count, 15,889 members, the group FREE TIBET! has 120,126, and Maher's group has 70,000. Big deal. But in places like Egypt, these virtual gatherings are a big deal. Although freedom of speech and freedom of religion may be democracy's headliners, it's the less sexy-sounding freedom of assembly that, when prohibited, can effectively asphyxiate political organization. Uniting 70,000 people is no easy feat in a country where collective action is so risky. Social networking has changed that. In turn, it is changing the dynamics of political dissent.

While the article has a technical bend to it, I found the discussion of security forces picking up individuals, torturing them, and essentially doing whatever they can to keep a group down who's mission is "peace and freedom" most powerful.

We live in an amazing country, and sometimes you don't appreciate just how much freedom we have until you realize others aren't so lucky.

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