This was in response to a post titled “Slacktivism and Narrow-mindedness” by Carlo Ople of the Blas Ople Resource Center, in his blog New Media Philippines.
I wrote about this in an article that came out in the Manila Times last month. (http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2009/june/18/yehey/opinion/20090618opi5.html)
Frankly, “proponents of physical rallies” have no qualms with the use of New Media tools in any campaign. The problem is when the people’s participation ends there, for change can never be achieved solely in front of your desktop. A number of examples have been cited in the article if you are interested.
As per my fellow commenter Sheila Tan’s limitations, migrant activists in fact find ways to air their grievances, and not only limited to the web. I suggest you to get in touch with fellow migrants and organize your own mobilizations. The activist group Migrante has chapters all over the world who have done this regularly, and even in the most creative ways, for example.
In fact, the efforts of the Stop Con-Ass Now facebook cause all amount to a Facebook EB, does it not? It goes to show how a physical mass-up of people is still what we aim to achieve in tapping new media as a tool to address con-ass and cha-cha. Let’s face the truth – if the Arroyo regime doesn’t consider a few thousands on the street a threat, what more to a group that doesn’t physically materialize? Virtual actions alone will net virtual gains alone.
As the old saying goes, “kung gusto, maraming paraan, kung ayaw, maraming dahilan.” We must remember that we use New Media, not as the action that will stop chacha or conass itself, but as the means for patiently and tirelessly explaining, persuading, and convincing the people why we need to go out of our comfort zones to step up our action against the Arroyo regime.
Like you said, the key is to integrate efforts, and this goes for both the proponents of physical activism and online activism. There is no need to consider any of them a novelty different from the other.
Who knows, if the 2nd people power was bolstered by SMS, maybe our 3rd would be bolstered by Facebook, eh? Here’s to the success of the campaign against con-ass and cha-cha!