RealNews

Mobilizing Online Against War

The Pentagon is proudly displaying its technological superiority as it ramps up for a possible war with Iraq, but antiwar groups too are engaged in a high-tech mobilization to protest a U.S. military intervention. Hundreds of Web sites — many cross-linked to sympathetic groups in a grassroots effort to drum up support — are urging Americans and people worldwide to take action. Site visitors are urged to download antiwar posters, sign online petitions and send chain e-mail letters to friends and lawmakers. The Internet is allowing antiwar groups to communicate nationwide and across the globe in ways hardly possible during any other conflict in American history. Last month, Moveon.org (www.moveon.org) and the Win Without War coalition (www.winwithoutwarus.org) organized a “Virtual March” on Washington, asking Americans to call their members of Congress and inundate Capitol Hill with e-mail and faxes. The groups claimed more than 85,000 people participated in the online protest. On March 15, groups opposed to a war with Iraq are planning protests in several U.S. cities, including Washington, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Over the next several days, washingtonpost.com will survey the antiwar movement’s use of the Internet to spread its message, looking at how national, religious, student and other groups are conducting their organizing campaigns. On Friday this feature will look at online campaigns employed by groups supporting President Bush’s policy on Iraq. Full Story

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