Re: HateWatch Press Release: Activism vs Hacktivism

From Pan <>
Date Mon, 06 Sep 1999 02:57:51 -0400
References <>

[: hacktivism :]

pete wrote:
> My reasons for this are pretty simple. "Free speech" and all of the other
> civil liberties BULLSHIT (there is nothing civil or liberating about the
> KKK) 

Our forefathers made it very clear that no man should be denied his
rights or infringed upon because of his affiliation with a group.
Likewise, they felt strongly against outlawing groups based on the
actions of individuals. There are ways to voice disapproval of hate
groups without violating these principals. There are creative methods
that can achieve reasonable results without denying another's right to
free speech.

The KKK comes here (Ann Arbor, MI) every couple years to hold a rally.
They have six hooded representatives who speak at city hall. Various
people have attempted in various ways to show dislike for the Klan and
the rally. One group in particular has made it's presence known. The
National Women's Rights Organizing Coalition started as a group to
defend abortion clinics. After a period of time, they were discouraged
from showing up by clinic staff. This was because N.W.R.O.C.'s tactics
included hurling projectiles and starting violent confrontations with
anti abortionists. In an effort to provide the group with a new enemy,
N.W.R.O.C. organizers turned their attention to the cause of "racism".
This included showing up at KKK or White Supremacist rallies and
starting confrontations. Just as the KKK recruits it's followers from
the young and idealistic, so does N.W.R.O.C. Some of their slogans
demonstrate their philosophy: "Shut down the Klan by Any Means
Necessary" and "No Free Speech for Fascists" (seriously!). They make
every attempt to prevent neo fascist groups from speaking. This has led
to two riots. Real Riots... bottles, rocks, tear gas, riot gear. Our
city sustained over 1.7 million dollars in damages and police costs. It
has not prevented the Klan from coming. It has not done a thing to help
fight racism.

 OK, now to the Hacktivism. In an effort to voice disapproval of
N.W.R.O.C. and their tactics,  a culture jamming campaign was started
against them. This began with reworking their sidewalk chalkings (from
"The KKK are the real Criminals" to "N.W.R.O.C. are the real Criminals"
and from "Fighting Racism is not a Crime" to "Throwing bricks at people
is a Crime"). Eventually, it led to full out digital (yet perfectly
legal) warfare. A copy of their most popular flyer was downloaded from
their web site. It was reworked in jammer fashion, posted to another
site and distributed around town. This culture jam was successful. Many
people responded to the flyers. Many people responded to the version on
the web. They were made to think, without destroying the Klan's or
N.W.R.O.C.'s free speech.


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