Using media, the RNC and protecting protestors
September 10th, 2008

via Mars and Jane Hamsher:

Twitter is a true definition of a tool that helps brings smart mobs together quickly and effortlessly. During the Republican National Convention, two groups: Coldsnap Legal Collective and Uptake took it upon themselves to keep the media updated in real time about what was happening during the arrests in St. Paul, protecting activists that who were protesting at the RNC.

Nothing that law enforcement did happened in secret, and ACLU lawyers and other observers were able to be quickly alerted to anything that was happening. When we first arrived we started following their bulletins in the wake of the weekend raids, and as more information came in verifying their reports it became clear that they were a highly trustworthy source of information.

Put together with the efforts of Uptake:

Meanwhile, the Uptake provided an army of video journalists with Qik cameras that broadcast live on the internet. You could track their whereabouts on a Google map, and they provided on-the-spot coverage of what was happening in real time. Really, I can’t recommend enough going to their main page and taking a look at what they managed to do yesterday. They also provided a lounge where visiting bloggers could have internet and video editing space, and that’s where we were headquartered yesterday. We were able to not only hear about what was happening all across the city virtually instantaneously, but see their reporters quickly diverted to anything that was happening and watch as their cameras went into action.

It was like a million ants scurrying around the city, passing back bits of information that formed themselves into a whole in a completely decentralized manner. Its very nature defied efforts to control and spin and propagandize.

It was the anti-Fox News.

While protesters have been around for ages, social media and smartmobs have opened the doors that traditional media has not been able to and shined the light in the dark interior. In doing so, they’ve helped protect the rights of Americans voicing their opinions. A remarkable thing to behold.

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