Online grassroots campaigns have moved beyond mass emailings of protest
dates and petitions. New “social software” makes it possible
for groundbreaking sites like Moveon.org
to foster online advocacy groups and facilitate online petition-signing.
Moveon’s ActionForum software allows visitors to the site to propose
issue priorities and strategies; others will see and respond to those
suggestions, and the most strongly supported ideas will rise to the top—meaning
that the site’s users, and not just the site creators and owners,
have a voice in choosing the focus and direction of the organization.
and Action Network
users can follow links to tools that offer pre-written messages to their
own political representatives and the media protesting the war in Iraq.
At the Digital
Divide Network activists can submit organizations and initiatives
for inclusion on the site. Long-established organizations such as Amnesty
Rights Watch, and Greenpeace
are also taking advantage of evolving Internet software to empower their
Sites like Moveon.org and the social software which enables the kinds
of grassroots, online mobilizing that is taking shape have prompted observers
to label networked international activism the new
Grassroots Mobilizing Web Sites
Starting out as a campaign focused on convincing the U.S. congress to
drop impeachment proceedings against President Clinton, Move On has had
several incarnations, most recently a formidable anti-war organization
that boasts two million members. In recent months, Move On has generated,
often in days or even hours, online anti-war petitions with hundreds of
thousands of names, raised millions of dollars for pro-peace politicians,
and launched primetime television and radio commercials. MoveOn has taken
the organizing power of the internet to an entirely new level with its
creative strategies, such as facilitating a candle light vigil, a virtual
march on Washington and a virtual primary. As Move On becomes a major
player in U.S. politics, it has bolstered the presidential candidacy of
the anti-war candidate Howard Dean, and thus, many would argue, helped
move the Democratic Party leftward.
Members can submit their own feature stories, initiatives and events for
publication and list organizations on the site.
This site has a virtual
volunteering section with links to online volunteering opportunities,
such as helping with web-site design, developing fundraising strategies,
translating, and other work which can be done from home with a computer
for a wide range of social justice organizations.
E The People
E The People calls itself a public forum for democratic and deliberative
discussion—a digital town hall for the nation. In cooperation with
over 1,000 sites around the Internet, e.thePeople promotes diverse discussion
and political action, with pages dedicated to conversation, polls, and
Vote No War
The site offers pre-written messages to political representatives and
the media protesting the war in Iraq, and allows visitors to email or
to print addressed letters to these parties.
An online environmental activism community, Action Network helps activists
to send personalized fax and email messages to key policymakers. Action
Network matches activists with their elected officials in an effort to
strengthen the effectiveness of campaigns by ensuring that elected officials
will only hear from their own constituents.
Save Our Environment is a collaborative effort of U.S. environmental advocacy
organizations. Using the power of the internet to increase public awareness
and activism on today's most important environmental issues; the site
allows visitors to generate letters addressed to government representatives,
using pre-written text which can be completely or partially altered.
Helps generate messages and letters regarding various environmental issues.
Venture Collective is a non-profit, grass-roots venture fund focused on
systemic social change; of, by, and for the people; not for-profit but
for common benefit. Our mission is to enable global citizens to turn small
donations into significant funding for enterprises that promote large-scale
Act For Change allows individuals to speak out on urgent issues of the
day found on our news site such as gun violence and environmental degradation.
We give you a direct link to the decision-makers who can make a difference
on these issues-free of charge.
Seattle Community Network
The Seattle Community Network (SCN) is a free public-access computer network
for exchanging and accessing information. Beyond that, however, it is
a service conceived for community empowerment. Our principles are a series
of commitments to help guide the ongoing development and management of
the system for both the organizers and participating individuals and organizations.
Gopetition.com is an Australian owned petition hosting service provider.
The site is non-partisan and we have no political affiliations. Anyone
or any group can use gopetition.com to have their voice heard. The site
promotes the effective organization and distribution of petitions to relevant
decision makers. No fees are charged to our users to create a petition.
NetAid employs a range of tools and activities to raise awareness and
empower everyday people to become committed activists for the world's
TakingItGlobal (TIG) is about encouraging young people to believe in themselves
and their ability to make a difference in the world. We create environments
where people are exposed to new thinking, a diversity of voices, and new
opportunities. Driven by youth, our goal is to foster a sense of leadership
and social entrepreneurship through the innovative use of technology,
creating meaningful experiences for young people around the world.
Trade Justice Movement
Justice Movement Action Exchange allows visitors to search and post
notices about groups and events in their area.
Articles on Online Grassroots Mobilizing
Boyd, Andrew “The
Web Rewires the Movement”
Perrone, Jane “Virtual
Protesters Bombard Washington”
Hazen, Don “Moving
On: A New Kind of Peace Activism”
Tarman, Glen “Digital
Activism, the WTO and International Trade Rules”
Thompson, Elizabeth and Lertzman, Renee “Networking
Townsend, Eric J.S. “E-Activism
Connects Protest Groups”
O’Brien, Rory, “Global
Civil Society Networks Online”
Weiksner, Michael “Translating
talk into action: Dean's remarkable e-fundraising success”