Monday, January 21, 2013

Aaron Swartz Presente


Save the Internet
Margie Bernard

 The Internet is an electronic tool enabling instantaneous communication with others around our globe. Thus, for instance, the Zapistitis in Mexico were able to put their case before the world in their own words. With laptop computers provided them by supporters in Los Angeles, they were able to send frequent messages of the repressive tactics of the Mexican government to suppress their insurgent, indigenous campaign for land reform in South East Mexico. They were able to inform the world of human rights abuses B murder, torture and false imprisonment B  against their community by the Mexican government. Their plight reached the home and office computers of human rights organizations and activists who, in turn, mounted campaigns of support and stayed the hand of the military.

 Now, however, governments are planning to censor this free exchange of information. Using various guises to protect national security= the United States and British governments are in the process of enacting legislative means to shut down websites they regard as subversive. For more information go to www.electrohippies.org. Then join with others to prevent these Big Brother= efforts to stifle free speech. 

The above is an article I wrote in August 2000. Since that date the original Electrohippies Website has morphed into http://www.fraw.org.uk

Within my orbit of  economic democracy and human rights activism,  the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle in November 1999  marked for me the first inkling of how powerful an organizational tool the Internet could be. During this fourteen-year period since we have witnessed how the Internet can and has provided an unfettered, current time voice for various insurgent human rights and national liberation movements around the globe; i.e., the Arab Spring. 

I never met Aaron Swartz, yet we were Internet comrades in-arms engaged in on-going effort to preserve and protect the right to free and open access on the Web. It was in this light that I became one of the thousand signatories of his instigated on-line petitions to prevent the US Congress from passing two draconian censorship laws -- SOPA and PIPA which, in this segment of  Democracy Now! program of 14 January 2013, we can hear Aaron himself discuss the importance of defeating these Internet censorship measures. http://www.democracynow.org/2013/1/14/freedom_to_connect_aaron_swartz_1986

To honor Aaron's memory, we must continue the aim of keeping the Internet free of government censorship whether it be that of China or the USA or X Country.


1 comment:

Margie's Thoughts said...

The correct link to the current electrohippies website is: http://fraw.org.uk