Dispatch 09/02: High stakes activism in Mexico; Taking on harassment with Heartmob 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.

(Very) high stakes community activism. Vice offers up a chilling account of how anonymous activists in Mexico are using social media to resist control of their communities by powerful narco gangs. Not for the faint of heart!


A new mob is saving the Internet from online harassment. Known for their creative work fighting street harassment around the world, the folks at Hollaback! have just launched Heartmob, a space for reporting online harassment and supporting those experiencing it.

When fighting climate deniers is not enough. The climate movement needs a force multiplier to grow around this core belief: “our only hope of solving the climate crisis is trusting, investing in, and dedicating ourselves to the next phase of building a people-powered movement from the ground up” writes Cam Fenton in Waging Nonviolence. Useful read on building the kind of power needed to keep fossil fuels in the ground.

Why some #hashtags become movements (it’s the people power). Writing in The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Derrick Feldmann argues that progressive campaigns can accelerate growth and awareness through digital networks but only gain real traction when they give participants more power and create deep interpersonal ties through hyper-local happenings.

Hackers, netizens, digital rights activists and power. In Freedom technologists and the future of global justice, John Postill analyses the intersect of politics and technology in the context of Iceland, the Arab Spring, Spain and more. Postill asserts that digital access and the freedom to communicate and organize are intrinsic to social justice but threatened worldwide. (tku Nick Buxton for sharing)

Turning trolls into crowdfunded activism is the goal of TrollAid, an initiative begun by Calais Action, a community of people supporting refugees. The group posts a link to TrollAid in response to every troll-ish anti-refugee Facebook post they receive.

Students test their powers of persuasion on gun control. Communications students tasked with making videos that change the viewers position on gun control illustrate the difficult task of changing people’s views and how we often misjudge what arguments work best. (ht Mark Hanis)

We’re loving on NetPosi, a recently launched podcast about activism and technology put together by @drewSaysGoVeg @andredelrio @barontennyson.Head on over and check out the Drew’s conversation with Amnesty’s Milena Marin about microtasking human rights activism.

Step into your place, propaganda poster, 1915Finally, we offer up The Poetry of Propaganda, a recent edition of This American Life diving into the odd yet often compelling world of (mostly) government truth-stretching. It’s a fun listen that covers the globe from Colombia to Philadelphia to China and beyond.

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