DefendThePress.org

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Sarah Olson is a journalist who published an exclusive interview with Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, the highest-ranking member of the military to refuse to deploy to Iraq. Now, the Army wants Olson to be their witness in the lieutenant’s upcoming court martial. The Army is trying to turn speaking to the press into a crime — and wants to have a reporter participate in the prosecution of political speech.

Hauling journalists like Sarah Olson in front of a military court to testify against their sources silences debate, and creates a chilling effect on reporters willing to write the tough stories.

Journalists should not have to deal with potential fines, legal bills and jail time for serving the public interest.

CLICK HERE to read more and to take action!

All this talk about escalation and withdrawal

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I got this from a friend in Belgium.  The English translation has some issues, but you get the point.  Pardon my French, but this whole Bush plan for more US troops in Iraq is totally foutu!

What's with all this sexual imagery of "withdrawal" and "escalation."  Or as Condy Rice called it, "augmentation."  C'mon folks, this is a WAR here, we aren't talking about breast implants or lip injections.

Join the Global Peace March

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Hundreds of thousands of Americans will march to their capital city Washington DC on Saturday 27 January. It could be the rebirth of the US peace movement. People round the world – let’s join the march with our own global internet protest! Last week, our ad told decision-makers in Congress how strong world opposition is to Bush’s escalation in Iraq.
http://www.avaaz.org/en/global_peace_march/

This Saturday, Avaaz supporters at the US march will carry banners and country placards announcing how many of us from each nation are joining the marching. Every signature will be counted on the banners! Let’s raise a global voice for a real plan to end this war. Let’s make those numbers big. Time is short. Join the global peace march and tell your friends today!

http://www.avaaz.org/en/global_peace_march/

Petition: President Bush’s plan to escalate the war in Iraq is not supported by the Iraqi people, the international community, the Iraq Study Group, or the vast majority of Americans.

We urge the new US Congress to block the military escalation in Iraq and demand a diplomatic solution and a real plan to end the Iraq war.

http://www.avaaz.org/en/global_peace_march/

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2 Brilliant Articles About The New, Net-based New Left

Micah Sifry posted links on 19 January to 2 excellent articles about the "New New Left," its relationship with the Internet, and how it compares to the "Old New Left" of the 1960's and 70's:

Start with Matt Stoller's brave effort at a comprehensive explanation of the rise of the net-roots entitled "What is this New Movement?", and then turn to Mark Schmitt's amplifications and clarifications.

These two articles are a must-read for activists, anybody interested in the the relationship between technology and social change, and anybody who wishes to understand the MoveOn-phenomenon and the context for new, up-and-coming groups like Avaaz.org, who want to make the MoveOn organizing model global.

The effectiveness of online petitions and emails to decision makers

From Click Here for Change: Your Guide to the E-Advocacy Revolution (pg 16-17):

A study conducted by the Congressional Management Foundation found that not all tactics for reaching out to legislators carry the same weight and that Internet communications, while easier to accomplish than other approaches, do not necessarily mean less impact. When legislative staffers were asked to rank the impact of different communication methods on the decision making of congressional members, they clearly indicated…that online and offline communications— particularly individualized emails or letters—do indeed have influence.

The study confirmed a principle that the receipt of 50 thoughtful email messageswritten in constituents’ own words would be more effective than 300 identical form messages, even if delivered via postal mail.  Moreover, congressional staff overwhelmingly felt that large numbers of email messages, which are easier to organize and respond to, are preferable to an unwieldy onslaught of faxes that are difficult to respond to and consume costly office supplies.

A key message of this study is that a mix of online and offline approaches, which are both targeted and strategic, provide a more robust approach to advocacy than a single approach. The key is to balance activities in the online and offline worlds that reinforce the campaign’s core strategy.