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Internet Activism

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IN 10 YEARS the Internet has remade activism. Instant transglobal connection has created a nimble, creative legion ready to launch a cause at the drop of an
e-mail:

Meet up: What began as a place where people could talk about puppies and kittens quickly evolved into a gathering spot for political activists. Meetups today serve millions of people who once bowled alone (www.meetup.com).

Move on: Before “shock and awe” stunned Baghdad, Washington policy makers pondered the shock of thousands of people worldwide instantly mobilized to march against the war in Iraq. The Internet recruited an anti-war army; e-mail keeps volunteers engaged (www.moveon.org).

Women, unite: Women have proved they know Craigslist from Emily's List. Women's engagement with politics online has reached the point of serious discussion about a presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice in 2008 (www.feminist.org).

Make news: Everyone is a journalist, as blogs and fledgling news outlets scoop entrenched media (www.indy­media.com).

Fund your agenda:
For every “Pioneer” who raises $100,000 for an inside track to shaping law, there are 4,000 individuals adding $25 to their credit card bill for nothing more than a “thank you” e-mail.

Respond to Disaster: The Internet gives private responders instant access to donors. The Internet gives relief agencies a tool to mobilize and recruit. Feeding a hungry child is now as easy as giving to a politician—and probably more satisfying.

Courtney E. Martin is a writer, documentary artist, and teacher who's working on a new book. Barbara Sehr is YES! Online Editor. Email Signup
10 Most Hopeful Trends
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