"Wakey-wakey." The Economist, 15 Feb 2007.Electronic activism is stirring a lot of citizens into life, whatever leaders think.
"WHATEVER might unite or divide them, George Bush, Vladimir Putin and the other leaders of the G8 nations will have a fresh topic for small talk, and perhaps serious talk, when they meet in Germany this summer.
They and their underlings will all have been bombarded with e-mails from every country in the world urging them to take faster action over climate change—in a campaign mounted by Avaaz.org, a new web-based protest movement which aspires to be the biggest and broadest such organisation in a crowded field.
The newly founded movement claims to have nearly 1m members already, after pooling resources from three of the world's most successful mobilisers of e-protest: America's Moveon.org (which gave important help to some Democrats in last year's congressional election), Res Publica (an American-based, but globally-minded advocacy movement which often reflects the “religious left”) and Australia's GetUp.org.au, which has used billboards and sky-writing as well as e-mails to campaign for things like refugee rights and the release of an Aussie (arrested in Afghanistan in 2001) from Guantánamo Bay.
As television viewers in Berlin, Delhi, Paris and Washington, DC will have noticed in recent days, Avaaz.org has chosen global warming as the focus of its first big campaign. ..."