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text messages for critical masses

text messaging as protest tool
I've seen this kind of thing used at some portland events. I think it's a really super idea. I've always advocated someone link this up to a police scanner somehow. During the war protests a long time ago, I'd have a headset tuned to KBOO which was a great way of finding out where the action was. But I'm sure having 1 earbud and a wire going into my jacket made me look like a total undercover cop.




In the history of political protests, police have long had the technological upper hand when it comes to monitoring protesters' movements and actions. But a new tool is giving activists at this year's two major political conventions a chance to stay one step ahead of the police.

Known as TxtMob, the new service from the Institute for Applied Autonomy was unveiled last month at the Democratic National Convention in Boston. There, TxtMob allowed more than 260 subscribers to automatically blast text messages to the mobile phones of every other subscriber.
no one in particular 13.Aug.2004 15:49


I ran a similar thing for the day-of-war protest. There were several people listening to the police scanner sending reports and every major media source was subscribed (probably the cops, too, though none that I could tell for sure).

Worked fairly well, I guess, though I don't think it changed the shape of the protest much, but it did help spread the word around between different groups about who was doing what (e.g. when Critical Mass was on 405).