Friday, 8 February 2008

The revolution will be Facebooked

A guest post here from Julian, who was at Tuesday's anti-FARC protest in Auckland.
1_239802_1_16The internet is transforming the way people communicate and organise, and now Facebook (and one engineer in a Colombian city) is being credited with creating "the widest international demonstration in history." A Facebook group set up by Oscar Morales less than one month ago culminated in over 4.8 million people in Colombia and thousands more in 140 cities around the world coming together in a _44404146_streamap220rejection of the activities of Colombia's Marxist revolutionary group FARC.
Oscar Morales, an engineer based in Barranquilla, Colombia, reportedly launched the No More FARC movement with five Facebook friends. The group now has some 272,578 members, which networked to produce Wednesday's worldwide groundswell against FARC's programme of murder, mayhem and kidnapping.
_44404187_bannercali_ap300_44404151_spainap220 Those who recall how brigades of text-messaging youngsters helped overthrow corrupt Philippines president Joseph Estrada seven years ago might reflect on how modern communications have changed things for today's protesters (and the failure of a recent Filipino coup has other lessons). This is likely to change the way elections and even revolutions occur in the future.
The photos above show the hundreds of thousands of anti-FARC protestors in Colombia's capital, Bogota, in Cali (below right), and Spain (left). [Pictures from BBC News.]
Colombians living in Auckland along with some New Zealanders joined the global protest in Queen Elizabeth Square at dawn on Tuesday.  The National Anthem of Colombia was sung and speeches were made (in English and Spanish) demanding liberty from the activities of the FARC. Photos below…..FARC_off_002
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