Dispatch 10/23: Activism in Northeast Asia, #Idlenomore crowdfunder and more

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.

Kayaktivists heard round world with digital storytelling
Thousands of people in Seattle and Portland took to the water and put their bodies in front of Shell’s Arctic drilling plans earlier this year. In Creating Global Impact with Digital Storytelling, Nithin Coca writes for MobLab about how activists and campaigners are using livestreams, social media and storytelling techniques to turn local voices into a worldwide call for action.

Social networks power new activism in Northeast Asia. “Young people across Asia are shaking off decades of public apathy and showing themselves as the new face of democracy,” writes University of Singapore’s Dr. Tai Wei Lim. He credits networked technologies for enabling recent political movements in the region. “The rise of student activism and the tools that empower them,” he says, “are likely to shape the future of political discourse, social activism and democracy in North-east Asia.”

Crowdfunding + government shaming. Native Canadian activists #IdleNoMore have brought a tech twist to a poverty and housing crisis. Their Indiegogo fundraiser, which aims for a modest $15,000 US, intends to do what Canada’s federal government won’t: fund the building of one bare bones housing unit. #IdleNoMore’s campaign is as effective at shaming the government, which is obligated to provide housing, as it is raising money for basic needs.

Last call for Kairos Fellowship. Our friends at OPEN-US extended the Kairos Fellowship application deadline. This is a paid six month hands-on training program for US-based emerging digital campaigners of color. We are thrilled to see this program in action! Please learn more, apply and spread the word with your networks.

Corbyn’s U.K. Labour leadership gives hope for ‘a new kind of politics.’ Socialist candidate Jeremy Corbyn’s surprise ascendance to Labour party leadership has sparked a parallel people-powered movement, named Momentum, that draws on the aspirations and organizing tactics of social movements. If Momentum gains ground, we may be seeing the emergence of a British hybrid pairing of social movements and traditional politics reminiscent of Spain’s Podemos or Greece’s Syriza party.

Lebanon’s ‘YouStink” movement may not be a revolution, but… Public reaction to a prolonged garbage crisis and widespread corruption in Lebanon is powered by diverse groups of protesters mobilising a failed political and economic system, says Maymwna Saleh in a recent Mint Press News article. Local voices are pushing back against associations with previous Arab Spring uprisings. “This is what radical capitalism looks like when applied absolutely,” says the American-Lebanese journalist and lecturer at Al Maa’ref University in Beirut.

Translation: Homeland is a watermelonHomeland is a watermelon. That’s the English translation of this Arabic language graffiti that activist artists spray-painted on the Berlin set of the American TV show Homeland. Artists hired by the show took liberties with their spray paint to make a statement about its portrayal of Muslims. In addition to being a watermelon, some have called the show racist.


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