query: cell phones and organizing

colist-admin at comm-org.utoledo.edu colist-admin at comm-org.utoledo.edu
Fri Nov 2 15:12:01 CST 2001

[ed:  please feel welcomed to copy COMM-ORG with your 
responses to Linda's query.  A quick thought from me below.]

From:  Linda Bosma <bosma at epi.umn.edu>

I'm looking for some feedback on use of cell phones by community 
organizers, in
particular for neighborhood organizing.  As more people own and 
use cell
phones, are they becoming necessary for organizers?  Are they 
essential to be
accessible, or seen as pretentious?  Do they connect us to the 
community or
alienate us from it?  Anyone have any thoughts about this? 
Linda Bosma
bosma at epi.umn.edu
University of Minnesota

[ed:  while Linda's query is focused on day to day use, the best 
examples I know of cell phones in action have been during protests 
against global capital.  In those cases, and it seems especially in 
Washington DC in 2000, the cell phone was a crucial piece of 
organizing technology to organize decentralized actions on the 
streets, being to communicate things like police concentrations, 
vulnerable intersections, and other tactical information at the street 
level.  Cell phones were also used by Seattle protestors who were 
able to get the word out about being secretly held on buses for 
hours without food, water, or toilet facilities.]
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