Forum on Participation and Politics Online

Forum on Participation and Politics Online

Yesterday, I attended a forum on democracy, politics and participation online hosted by OneWebDay at NYU Law School. The forum was part of Internet Week in New York. I have uploaded the entire panel discussion as a podcast for you to experience yourselves.

The Panelists:

Baratunde Thurston – Comedian, Pundit; Web Editor, The Onion

Andrew Rasiej – Founder, Personal Democracy Forum

Jay Rosen – Professor, NYU Department of Journalism; Founder, New

Moderator: Allison Fine – Author, Momentum: Igniting Social Change in the Connected Age

Photos of the Forum on Flickr.

Avaaz: Burma campaign update

This is an email I received today from They are on a staff retreat right now in the South of Spain, but it seems like they are keeping busy with this Burma campaign and trying to get ads placed in newspapers. I can’t wait to see what the ads look like. Hopefully, they will make a splash.

Dear friends,

Our emergency petition to stop the crackdown on peaceful protesters in Burma is exploding, with nearly 500,000 signers from every nation of the world. But the situation in Burma remains desperate, with reports of hundreds of monks being massacred and tortured. Burma’s rulers have also killed and expelled international journalists, cutting off global media coverage of their cruelty.

China is still the key – the country with the most power to halt the Burmese generals’ reign of terror. We’re delivering our message this week with a massive ad campaign in major newspapers, beginning Thursday with a full page ad in the Financial Times worldwide, and in the South China Morning Post. The strength of the ad comes from the number of petition signers listed – can we reach our goal of 1 million signatures this week? The link to sign the petition and view the ad is below, forward this email to all your friends and family!

China continues to provide key economic and military support to Burma’s dictatorship, but it has been openly critical of the crackdown. Now we need the government to match words with actions. Our ad paints a powerful moment of choice for China in its relationship with the world – will it be a responsible and respected member of the global community, or will it be associated with tyranny and oppression?

People power, on the streets of Burma, and around the world, can triumph over tyranny. Our strength is in our numbers, spread the word!

With hope and determination,

Ricken, Paul, Ben, Graziela, Pascal, Galit and the whole Avaaz team.

For the best local reporting on the situation in Burma, try these links:

Stand with the Burmese Protesters



After decades of military dictatorship, the people of Burma are rising – and they need our help. Marches begun by monks and nuns have snowballed, bringing hundreds of thousands to the streets. Now the crackdown has begun…

When the Burmese last marched in 1988, the military massacred thousands. But if the world stands up and supports their struggle, this time they could succeed. We’ll send our petition to United Nations Security Council members (including the dictatorship’s main backer China) and to media at the UN, while also alerting the Burmese to our support:

To Chinese President Hu Jintao and the UN Security Council:

We stand alongside the citizens of Burma in their peaceful protests. We urge you to oppose a violent crackdown on the demonstrators, and to support genuine reconciliation and democracy in Burma. We pledge to hold you accountable for any further bloodshed. (Sign this petition)

Amnesty’s letter-writing campaign to George W. Bush:

Ask President Bush to urge the UN Security Council members, especially the Permanent members like China, to immediately deploy a UN Security Council mission to Myanmar (Burma). This mission should act to resolve the human rights crisis and avert the risk of further violence and bloodshed. The Council should also consider the possibility of imposing an arms embargo and to address the dire human rights situation in Myanmar. The peaceful mass demonstrations taking place compare in scale to those in 1988, when security forces broke up massive pro-democracy demonstrations with deadly violence, killing thousands. (Take Action)

Stop the Clash video wins a Progressive Source Award

Avaaz’s video, “Stop the Clash of Civilizations,” has won the people’s choice for the Best Awareness-Raising Video category of the Progressive Source Awards. If you haven’t watched it already, check it out on YouTube.

Thanks to everyone for voting for us!

Live Earth Concert


Yesterday I headed over to Giants Stadium in New Jersey with the Avaaz/Fenton crew to attend the Live Earth concerts. Seeing Bon Jovi perform on their home turf was a religious experience! Check out more of my pictures on Flickr. Below: inflatable pig from Roger Waters’ set.