(eng) Civil Disobedience Training On-Line

Joey Manley (jmanley@tesser.com)
Thu, 28 Nov 1996 03:53:03 +0100

World-Wide Web Civil Disobedience Training

On Thursday, November 27, 1996 ACT UP/NY (The AIDS Coalition to Unleash
Power), Free Speech TV, and DIVA TV (Damned Interfering Video Activists)
will broadcast a 30 minute civil disobedience training over the
Internet. This will be one of the first uses of the Internet's video
and audio capabilities for the education of political activists. The video
and audio broadcast can be seen on the web sites of Free Speech TV
http://www.freespeech.org) and ACT UP (http://www.actupny.org). Visitors
to the site will need a sound card, and the RealAudio player (available for
free at http://www.realaudio.com) or the VDOLive player (available for free
at http://www.vdo.net/download/) to participate in the netcast. The program
will be archived at both sites indefinitely.

ACT UP, an activist group famous for its direct action against government
inaction and drug company profiteering involving AIDS, is widely
acknowledged as re-energizing civil disobedience tactics in America. From
its inception in 1987, ACT UP continually held 5 hour training sessions for
its members. DIVA TV filmed one of these sessions and edited it into a 30
minute video, which was originally broadcast on cable tv. The video describes
how to do civil disobedience and what must be planned for it to take
place safely and successfully. Free Speech TV has now digitized the video
and is hosting its stream broadcast.

"This is what the web should be for," said Stephen Shapiro, one of ACT UP's
Internet organizers. "Free speech means more than hawking
commercials or being a talking head; it is fundamentally about encouraging
greater participation in government and urging us to create social change
when there's injustice."

"The technology to do this is still evolving," said Joey Manley, Web
Editor for Free Speech TV. "But we see the net as a way to avoid
distribution bottlenecks and corporate and/or governmental restrictions
often placed on this kind of material. People in Kuwait and Singapore watch
our netcasts regularly, as do folks in Russellville, Alabama and Boise,
Idaho." Free Speech TV, the non-profit cable programming service, began
daily netcasts from it website earlier this year. In addition to AIDS
Community TV, it regularly netcast programs include Dyke TV, Political
Playhouse, and People's Video Network. "Free Speech TV has always been
about empowering as many people as possible to speak to as many other people
as possible," Manley said. "That happens to be the Internet's greatest

In addition to the civil disobedience training, the three groups are also
broadcasting weekly episodes about the fight to end AIDS. These netcasts
are posted every Thursday and archived indefinitely.
"The future has already arrived; it's just not evenly distributed yet."
--William Gibson

Joey Manley
Free Speech TV Web Editor