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Flash Mobs. I creative protest idea??

Flash Mobs are the latest Internet craze circling the planet. They are examples of smart mobs, a term coined by writer Howard Rheingold, which describes the use of modern technology to quickly mobilize people for spontaneous creative gatherings. At the moment flash mobs are a performance art form, organised through internet and mobile phone technology, allowing ordinary people to participate. It is only a matter of time before flash mobs are utilised effectively as part of a swarm protest strategy, or to counteract incursions on free speech and protest.
I found this article on the New Zealand indymedia site. Thank you friends down under!
 http://www.indymedia.org.nz/front.php3?article_id=9752&group=webcast


Flash Mobs: a social artform that is sweeping the world fuelled by the internet and smart mob technologies.

Flash Mobs are the latest Internet craze circling the planet. They are examples of smart mobs, a term coined by writer Howard Rheingold, which describes the use of modern technology to quickly mobilize people for spontaneous creative gatherings. At the moment flash mobs are a performance art form, organised through internet and mobile phone technology, allowing ordinary people to participate. It is only a matter of time before flash mobs are utilised effectively as part of a swarm protest strategy, or to counteract incursions on free speech and protest.

Already there has been discussion in geek circles about using the idea of flash mobs in protests, including at Sydney Indymedia, and as part of a swarm protest strategy as put forward on the why-war.com website.

The concept of Flash Mobs can be seen in Science Fiction and the critical mass cycling phenomenon. Probably the most noteworthy of antecedents has been the Situationists as psychogeographers who encapsulated the idea of the flash mob as the dérive, who created 'situations' for cultural subversion. The Situationists, as avante garde artists and itellectuals, used revolutionary theory, and the work of The Futurists, the Dadaists, and the Surrealists before them, to explore cultural subversion, and "put forward the slogans of unitary urbanism, experimental behavior, hyper-political propaganda, and the construction of ambiences" (Guy Debord 1957). The revolutionary upheavals in France in May 1968 can be at least partially attributed to the actions of the Situationists. Read more by and about the Situationists on the Bureau of Public Secrets website.

Use of email, websites and mobile telephony played a significant part in mobilising people for the Seattle protests that shut down the WTO in 1999. SMS messaging played a key role in organizing a mass opposition movement, People Power II, that eventually toppled former Phillipines President, Joseph Estrada, in January 2001. According to The Feature, in March this year the city of San Fransisco was shut down by Direct Action against the War utilising "smart mob" technology ,including SF Indymedia, SMS and mobile telephony, digital video and photography, and pirate radio.

The first Flash Mob was organised in Manhattan in May this year. The short history and updated developments of Flash Mobs can be read at the cheesebikini? blogsite, run by Sean Savage, which also contained some principled advice: "Don't be a sheep! Consider the consequences before following any flash mob instructions. Avoid purchases during, after, or on the way to a flash mob.."

Savage said the phenomenon empowers citizens in a world controlled by "Big Government and Big Corporation".

"This interests people - even if it's frivolous, totally for fun, and doesn't have a label attached to it - because they see something can still happen from the grass roots without any help from the government and corporations," said Savage, a computer system designer and analyst at Stanford University. (Australian IT)

Other sites to visit include:

# www.smartmobs.com
# flashmobs.info
# flocksmart.com
# flashmob.com
# flashmob.co.uk
# Flash Mobs: a new social phenomenon? - News in Science on the Australian ABC
# or try Google News for media reports
great article 13.Aug.2003 13:22

many minds in one head

This sounds like a wonderful form of expression. Peaceful presence could develope into a beautiful representation of community. It is a good and healthy to walk in your beliefs. The empowerment of expressing your views and insights in mass, should lead to spirtual growth.
Thank you for sharing this information

another great protest idea! 13.Aug.2003 14:35

gettingjiggywithmypants

i have a protest idea i would like to post on here and see what people think of it. Around the time Pres. Bush is due to arrive in Portland lets all get on the runway and not let his damn plane land!? If he has to circle for awhile or divert to Seattle then that would make a strong statement to the mainstream media that he is not wanted here. I've got my wire cutters ready if infiltration requires obstacles ect... i just need more bodies out there to shut down air traffic. Also, does anyone know what kind of charge that might bring in multonomah county? I would like any info. thanks.

yours truly,
will smith.

Ummm 13.Aug.2003 23:52

Established Flash Mobster

Don't know what kind of charge that'd bring but knowing Portland police and general view on "homeland security" you'd probly be beaten or shot by the cops/secret service and then held as a terrorist.

brilliant 14.Aug.2003 10:28

if only...

despite it's risks .... if two hundred or so people got involved in preventing airforce one from landing the message would be loud and clear( with a impact like that of the rosa parks) we have to remember that we aren't alone in our feeling ... all over the country the president is greated with thousands of protestors... it isn't fair that he can fly around on our dollar to earn more special interest money .... any way we can eliminate the democracy gap ...if your going to be arrested why not for something like stoping the resident from landing??? instead of getting busted for just being on a public street when the elites have declaired it theirs at our expense?? but the key here is numbers...... it would take a couple of hundred for success.... . and of course the authorities would be raising hell and you'd probably spend time in a federal prison .... but if two hundred citizens were sent to prison because they objected to W flying around on tax dollars to raise special interest money wouldn't the true colors of the regime shine through? wouldn't the abuse of power be in the open? it could only work with large numbers and you'd be declaired unpatriotic (you'd be just overly democratic) you'd be viewed as a terrorist by many and a martyer .... . but theres one simple truth as a whole "the movement" as a whole is not ready to dive in this deep.

what about the roads? 15.Aug.2003 13:02

**

The tarmac might be a better statement, but there are only so many ways that W can get from the airport to downtown, (or anywhere else,) and these outlets could probably be blocked with less penalties, if more people. This would also spread the police forces thin. On the flip side, it spreads protestors thin too and leaves us more susceptable to brutality, but there will be more demonstartors than cops and I assume that there aren't all that many roads out of the airport. (Unless W decides to take the MAX.....but I see this as somehow unlikely....)