Wonkette posted Rik’s machinima of the protest – without attribution 🙁 – and generally made fun of us, called us hippies, etc. As Rik pointed out: “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.” And as I replied: “there’s also no such thing as a kind word from Wonkette.” In other words, I’m honored to be on the receiving end of their snark.
Unfortunately, this post wasn’t nearly as funny as most Wonkette entries, but it’s a start. I see we’ve caused them to create a new category for politics in Second Life, so we’re clearly having some kind of impact, 😉
First, you can now hear my interview with the pods & blogs show on the BBC HERE! I’m not sure how long this audio will be available, so listen now…
A lot of reporters have been asking me for statements about the march so to save us all time, here it is. Use at will (with attribution):
I was thrilled with the event. The owners of Capitol Hill reported that we had 126 people attending, which is a lot in a world where it is technically difficult for more than about 40 avatars to gather in one space at one time. Our group SL Netroots had envisioned doing something small and symbolic until last week when we realized that we had clearly touched a nerve in the Second Life community. The turnout was amazing, especially considering we did very little to promote the event, and everyone there was engaged and having a great time.
The fact that a normally apolitical population like SL residents responded so enthusiastically shows how widespread the opposition to the Iraq War is. People who heard about it told their friends or blogged about it, and spread the word themselves. We simply facilitated that by linking to our wiki and making it easy for people to share the information. Most of the participants were from all across the country, and a few came from other countries – including Iraq! I think this reinforces the idea that most Americans agree with world opinion in opposition to the war.
SL is a very creative medium, and events like this help to develop it as a outlet for activism and political expression, as well as a place where people can find and participate in a community of like-minded advocates. This person-to-person connection is as “real” as any other. This is movement-building. Although we can’t vote in Second Life, we can raise awareness and connect people and show our strength. We will continue to do so!
We had over 80126 avatars in attendance which is pretty muchexceeds the limit of what Second Life can tolerate (SL Capitol Hill is TWO islands mashed together). We had people from all around the country and a few from around the world, I think we broke Second Life, and I was interviewed by BBC radio!!!!
Lots more links and pics to come. Now back to my first life…
Thanks to Errcheck Hicks, Effulgent Brown, Rik Riel, Kiwini Oe, TROI Timtam, Drew Frobozz, and everyone who participated in any way!!!
After I left, an Iraqi refugee who is living in Jordan came by and shared his experiences. Several people reported that it was a touching and apt closure to the event, really bringing the problems back home to a personal scale. I got the transcript of that and will try to post it later.
You know, some of us just thought this peace protest in Second Life would be a fun thing to do, but we really hit a nerve in the community. I think we’re going to make a big splash at 5pm EST today (Monday)!
In the past few days I have met tons of anti-war residents of Second Life, as well as several in-world reporters and machinimatographers who want to cover the march. The creators of SL Capitol Hill will be on hand to support us as well.
Our weekend of peace in Second Life is already going great! The latest plans and SLurls are at the RootsCampSL wiki.
First of all, errcheck Hick’s workshop today was great and was attended by at about a dozen avatars. We now have a groovy sign you can carry that changes textures with a click, and that includes sign waving/pumping fist animation.
Tomorrow, errcheck will lead a talk on “Deconstructing Fascism” including his experiences with the recent protests against French white supremacists who have set up shop in SL. This and a Peace Party with a live DJ will be at Conscious Lounge.
On Monday at 2pm we will have a march on SL Capitol Hill! The creators of SLCH are very supportive of what we’re doing and will be on hand to make sure everything runs smoothly. Protesters should meet at RootsCamp first, where we will have a teleporter that will send people to the right spot. Then we will march around a circular path and wind up on the steps of the capitol building. At this point, we will probably pass a megaphone around so folks can say whatever is on their mind, and/or watch a streaming video of today’s march in DC. (Suggestions?)
We have already had some great blog entries about the protest:
I have been amazed at the amount of excitement there is about the demonstration on Monday. People have been dropping in to RootsCamp all day asking about it. The March will be filmed by some machinima makers, so it’s especially important to get people there.
On a less happy note, errcheck pointed out to me that the SL Netroots group has been joined by one of the right wingers that have active with the Le Pen camp. Nothing bad has hapenned yet, and I don’t think he has visited RootsCamp, but we need to be cautious, especially since most of the stuff at RootsCamp has relatively open permissions.
Several people have sent me links to the Second Life parody GetAFirstLife.com. I think it’s very funny if you use SL, otherwise you might not appreciate the humor.
Apparently the parody site challenged SL to send a cease-and-desist letter, but instead they sent a letter declining to sue.
“Linden Lab objects to any implication that it would employ lawyers incapable of distinguishing such obvious parody,” [Second Life’s attorney Ginsu] Yoon wrote. “Linden Lab is well-known for having strict hiring standards, including a requirement for having a sense of humor, from which our lawyers receive no exception.”
– Blogger gets ‘un-cease-and-desist’ note – Yahoo! News
Come to our weekly meeting this Thursday at 3pm EST (noon SLT) to help make this effort a success! We need lots of support and want to see a lot of people come to Progressive Island on Saturday so please help spread the word.