<$BlogRSDUrl$> The Cyberactivist

Behind the scenes of the fight for the protection of animals and workers and the preservation of the environment - my experiences as a Tyson slaughterhouse hanger/killer turned activist. Exposing the evils of factory farming, by Virgil Butler. If you have arrived here looking for the Tyson stories, view the early archives. Some of them are now featured on the sidebar for easy searching.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Cyberactivist Award Given to TRUE Patriots! 

I had a whole different post in mind to write this morning, but it can wait a day or so. This is much more important right now.

I have just been to a site you should know about. It is called Downingstreetmemo.com.

This site is simply a group of just a few people - the account I read was that there were only 6 of them, that they had really no funding or backing by anyone, and that they simply were speaking out and trying to hold Bushco accountable for his lies that are killing our military and Iraqis alike. They simply started out as a group of three readers of Daily Kos (whom I have read before several times myself - great site, dude!) and published their own website for the explicit purpose of publishing and calling attention to the famous Downing Street memo.

According to the account I read in Al Krebs' Calamity Howler (also the writer of The Agribusiness Examiner and who I have much respect and admiration for, and who further deserves his own cyberactivist award), which was a reprint of an article in the Wall Street Journal written by Christopher Cooper,
According to its operators, Downingstreetmemo.com was created by a Silicon Valley Web-page designer, a Chicago college student and a Canadian citizen certain they had stumbled onto the smoking gun that could drag the Bush administration down.

They were joined later by three other Daily Kos readers, including Bob Fesmire, husband of the Silicon Valley Web designer. Mr. Fesmire, a marketing executive for an engineering business, said he returned from a business trip to find his wife, Gina, obsessed with the leaked British documents, so he read them. "I said, 'This is it -- this is what's going to crack this whole thing open,' " Mr. Fesmire recalled. He was equally struck by the lack of interest in the documents, even among liberals.

The idea to target news operations came from Michael Clark, a Pennsylvania professor of ancient history and occasional poster to Daily Kos who didn't know the Fesmires before joining the effort. Mr. Clark said he knew nothing about running such a campaign but decided to contact three media outlets a day, including the likes of C-Span, the Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal.

On June 3, the group directed messages to NBC. On June 6, MSNBC did a segment on the Downing Street memo. On June 9, Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor of NBC's evening newscast, posted a request for a truce on his Internet blog:

"One more note to those of you who are part of the mass email project on the so-called Downing Street Memo: That's enough, we get it...it's an important story...and all you're doing now is taking up computer space. We're well aware of the story, we've covered it, and likely will again."

Well, after some great success getting media attention, they are now turning their attention on Congress to try and force them to actually do something about this mess and hold Bushco responsible for this quagmire we are in over there in Iraq.

A lot of people are having a hard time believing that this website is simply the work of a few concerned and determined citizens, one of them - Mr. Clark - willing to sacrifice his orchard for spending so much time on this, with no big organization backing them.

Kinda like me, huh? Just one little guy talking to the world, spreading the ugly truth that most people would rather avoid so that they can go about their lives in ignorant bliss. Remember that quote everyone loved so much that came at the bottom of the LA Times article that was picked up and run by so many sites everywhere? The one where I said, "One person can make a difference if you just don't shut up. If you keep talking long enough, people will hear you."

Well, with me, it is one (Well, really two. You cannot discount Laura's efforts at all. Without her this blog would never have happened, I wouldn't have come forward, and you wouldn't be reading this now. I sure wouldn't be going to speak at a major conference in a week! We are a team, and a very dedicated and determined one at that!) person, whereas with them it is now six.

But, do you know what my favorite quote in the whole article is?

It is by the group's spokesman, Bob Fesmire. Oh, you are going to just love this.

"It really is just six people, and I don't even know the name[s] of two of them," he said. "People find it hard to believe it when I tell them that for a $20 Web-hosting fee, you too can get something like this going."

Don't just you love it?

Free speech at its finest! Citizens speaking out for truth!

My friends, you have more than earned an award for cyberactivism from me.

Hopefully you will help change history. You have my full support. Keep up the good work. And, I repeat myself here, you ARE the TRUE patriots!
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