portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article announcements portland metro

actions & protests | technology a21 bush protests

Protest SMS Alert Network

During the Day Of War protests, we set up a network for people to report and get notified of current events at the protest, live, as they were occuring. We are going to set up something similar for the A21 Bush Protest. People can text message with reports of what's going on, and these reports will be distributed to the group along with reports from the police scanner, etc. This will help people keep informed of what the police and different groups are doing, and hopefully allow better tactics during the protests.
To read more about this service, or to sign up, visit  http://protest.cocksalad.com/

Here's the text of the webpage:

What is this?

If you sign up for this service you will receive live updates about protests occuring during Bush's visit to Portland.

What will I get?

Probably just things like "PEPPER SPRAY ON 5TH AND OAK". Possibly other things. It's hard to say, I guess. Mostly we're hoping for "tactical" messages about where people are gathering, what direct actions are occuring, etc. If you're curious, here are the messages sent during the day of war protests from this service (in reverse chronological order, so start reading from the bottom).

How will it work?

People (you!) send emails from a protest using a wireless device (cell phone, pager, ???) to  report@cocksalad.com. A dispatcher who is at home during the protest reads your message and distributes it to the entire network. (A dispatcher is used so that multiple alerts don't go out about the same thing, and to make sure that the network doesn't get abused.) Ideally you would be able to call a number and talk to someone instead of sending an email, but no one affiliated with this service wants to give their phone number out. Volunteers?

Is it safe?

As safe as I can make it. The email addresses will be deleted immediately after the protest, but you'll have to trust me on that. This website does not and will not log any information about visitors (aside from the information you submit), but if the police were dedicated enough, they could probably subpoena cell phone companies after the fact and learn who was recieving the emails. It's unlikely they'd recieve a warrant to do so, though. Also, police may sign up to recieve the pages. There is nothing we can do about this as we have no obvious way of distinguishing police pager numbers.

I will never, ever, ever email you or page you aside from the day of the protest (not even a test email).

Anything else?

If you want this to work, it is imperative that you send updates from the protest! If you don't know how to send email from your cell phone, call your carrier and ask! Otherwise, call someone who is home and ask them to send the email. If we don't get updates from the protest, we have no way of keeping you up to date!

Questions?

If you have any questions, you can email  angry@cocksalad.com. If your carrier isn't listed below, please email and let me know your carrier, and I'll try to get it listed. Thanks!