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!
Rik Riel and In Kenzo put together Video of “Avatars against the War” Peace Demo in Second Life. It doesn’t exactly show the narrative of the whole event, but it has some great looking avatars breaking it down as we danced for peace. (I have some more video that I will share with them.)
There are now a bunch of pictures on flickr, and they’re not all by me! Although this one is:
I have been been contacted by many members of the (surprisingly-large) SL media corps, but I haven’t seen any of those stories come out yet. I’ll post links when I get them….