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<nettime> NYC tactical radio
Bruce Sterling on Mon, 17 Feb 2003 20:43:31 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> NYC tactical radio

*Interesting "tactical media" NYC angle here.

*I wonder how long it will take before people begin
routinely referring to the USA as an Iron Curtain
country with state-restricted official news agencies.


------ Forwarded Message
From: Dave Burstein <dave {AT} dslprime.com>
Date: Sun, 16 Feb 2003 21:58:09 -0500
To: dave {AT} farber.net
Subject: Technologies of the New York march


Three technologies played a crucial role Saturday.

* I was surprised old-fashioned radios were everywhere, some 
smalltransistor models and some boomboxes. The police contained most of 
thedemonstrators, myself included, up to a mile away from the 
speakers,without any way to hear the event. WBAI-FM, New York's community 
radiostation, suspended all other programming and carried the event live. 
Thatproved to be the only way most could hear.

* The web was crucial for the organizers of the march. I remembertraveling 
20 hours in crowded car to get together to organize an eventyears ago; many 
political people I know now do most work by email.

*  Wireless phones coordinated the field people trying to keep the demoin 
some order, despite twice the expected attendance and policeregulations 
that were very counterproductive, creating a false security.Howard 
Rheingold in Smart Mobs tells remarkable stories of how the anti-Estrada 
movement in the Philippines was pulled together by cellphone text messages.

Resurgent community radio brings the issues of "media concentration" at the 
FCC into sharp relief. While WBAI reported from the left, Rupert Murdoch's 
New York Post had a front cover with doctored photos of the French and 
German U.N. ambassadors with a weasel replacing their heads. I hope that 
even many of those who believe that war opponents are weasels can agree 
with me that a country is better off with media that covers both opinions.
  Concentration in an industry like vitamins of telephony leads to higher 
prices; in broadcasting, the stakes are whether our democracy hears diverse 

     These freedom of speech issues carry over and may become the next 
battleground over the fast internet. The technology is ready to deliver the 
third internet, fast enough to watch. But it looks like most homes will 
only have a choice of two providers, one cable and one telco. They have a 
financial interest - and active plans - to restrict your reliable internet 
connection to less than the meg or so required for TV quality video. (That 
includes those advertising 1.5 meg but designing a network that makes that 
false advertising much of the time.) Instead, SBC, Comcast, Nortel, and 
Cisco talk at industry events about revenues they expect to gather from 
"content delivery" - a toll on the internet that will effectively limit 
     With four comments on the march already posted, I would have saved 
that thought for another time. But your last posting

"they proceeded to attack and destroy the Starbucks"

was very different from the crowds I spent several hours among. All I saw 
were peaceful marchers, singing and chanting slogans.  With probably 
200,000 people, many of them young and desperate to stop a war, I'm not 
surprised some broke windows and signs. But people like that were perhaps 
one in a thousand.

Dave Burstein

------ End of Forwarded Message

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