Dispatch 09/13: YouStink is what people-power smells like; Stay safe out there (privacy + security); Aussies stop immigration sweeps

In collaboration with Mobilisation Lab, here is a recent roundup of grassroots-powered movement news from around the world. To receive the Mobilisation Lab Dispatch directly each week, please sign up here. If you have ideas for reports that should be in future Dispatches, please contact me here.

Stay Safe Out There! Operational Security for CampaignersJason Tashea recently spoke with security experts and online privacy leaders in this 3-part series examining the threats campaigners face and implementable solutions.

Find out more about tools you can use to protect yourself and your data, how you can shift your organisation’s online security culture, and ways to understand how much risk you’re facing from hackers, governments or thieves.

Mexican spambot attacks are a real pain for activists according to this report in Wired that details how Twitter bots are thwarting protest hashtags by flooding news feeds with garbage and propaganda. Who brought the bots to life? The smoking gun points back to the Mexican Federal Government.

Melbourne citizens kibosh Australian Border Force’s planned sweep of foreigners: Australians rapidly mobilized a flash protest against “Operation Fortitude”, a dubious plan to control the immigration papers of passersby in the Melbourne’s central business district. The citizen operation, which drew hundreds to shut down transit at peak hours, led to some rapid backtracking from the Border Force. As is often the case these days, many memorable memes were generated along the way.

Dear Lebanese government: You Stink. Sincerely, the people. Sparked by the mismanagement of a landfill site, a Lebanese grassroots protest movement has now snowballed into a fully-fledged popular uprising in a matter of weeks.

The government’s bungling on garbage has become a metaphor for state incompetency and corruption of the Lebanese government and a spontaneous citizen movement has emerged with “You Stink” as their rallying cry.

The speed of this movement closely mirrors that of the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011-2012. While the first few You Stink protests drew hundreds, an August 23rd gathering drew around 100,000 protesters and was met with violent repression at the hands of authorities. A follow-up protest August 29th saw over 200,000 in the streets and a series of international solidarity protests followed in cities across the world including New York, Paris, Munich and Montreal.

Mobiles x Mobilisation: Join colleagues and peers from around the globe in Berlin from October 27 – 29 to connect, collaborate and sharpen mobile campaign skills. We’ll close gaps in our mobile engagement strategies for social change, and we’ll invite inspiration from the front lines of mobile innovation—via industry leaders, trendsetters, and researchers. Find out more and pre-register now.

#BlackLivesMatter organises around the media. A recent Guardian feature details the pervasive and tactical use of social media by young black Americans organising #BlackLivesMatter. Online channels are leveraged to get around biased and racist mainstream media narratives and to create “a sense of emergency” around police killings in the U.S.

The article also highlights Mapping Police Violence, Samuel Sinyangwe’s powerful data mining project, that crowdsources reports of police killings in the U.S. and shows that black people were three times more likely than whites to be killed by police in 2014.

Bottoms up in Puerto Rico as civil sector organisations, artists, writers and other citizens are tackling the damage wrought by the country’s financial crisis, fully expecting the government to ignore them. It’s not about creating a political organisation to lead but a platform and network for everyone to participate in practical problem-solving.


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