KomenWatch

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The re-energised US left has much to teach its dismal European counterparts

Title: The re-energised US left has much to teach its dismal European counterparts

Author: Adam Price

Publication:  The Guardian (London)

Date: February 13, 2012

… The most recent progressive home-run – the high-profile reversal by the cancer charity Susan G. Komen of its decision to de-fund the abortion advice charity Planned Parenthood (imagine Marie Curie doing battle with Marie Stopes) – has followed a familiar pattern of Twitter-enabled people power. In what politico.com has predicted will become the “textbook case on the political power of social media”, Komen executives were clearly overwhelmed by a half-a-million-a-day tweet tsunami, 80 to 1 against the decision, that engulfed them.

The killing off of the internet censorship bills Sopa and Pipa in January, despite big-battalion backing by the entertainment industry, and Bank of America’s binning of a proposal to charge for debit-card usage at the height of the Occupy Wall Street protests, were similarly internet-fuelled successes. The US left, it seems, has gone from retreat to re-tweet in just a few short years.

The progressive revival may be tech-enabled, but it’s far from tech-driven. The real social web these movements have created is a web of values, a vision that somehow connects with people at an emotional level, joining the dots between the personal and the political to create a sense of shared purpose – though often using new digital tools. It wasn’t a thinktank report – that staple tactic of the European left – that won the battle for Planned Parenthood but people like Linda from Las Vegas, a breast cancer survivor, who became an overnight YouTube sensation, when she literally bared her scars to demonstrate her anger at Komen’s small-mindedness…

Link to Full Article

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