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[liberationtech] Online advocacy campaigns effective?

James Davis davis at
Thu Mar 19 10:12:16 PDT 2009

Does anyone know if there is evidence that these sorts of online 
campaigns have been effective. Clearly many more signatures can be 
obtained, but if I was a politician, I would require 100x the number of
signatures I previously required to pay any attention, since I know they
are so much easier to obtain. The campaign is being run through an 
aggregation web site that runs many related campaigns.

In this case it was sent to me by a Burmese woman I met, not as spam, 
but I can imagine it might be possible to get 1M signatures for just 
about anything by simply spamming the entire world with it. Also of 
interest in this case is that I got the email from someone currently
living outside of Myanmar. Another person I met living *in* Myanmar 
certainly can't use gmail, and in my experience gets his email addresses 
shut down at roughly the rate he can open them, so I've now lost touch.

I wonder if there is an
easy way to make an online email service with permanent email accounts 
which is practically impossible for a government level IT policy to
shut down or track?


Dear All,

Pls, help me to sign in


Thanks and best,


Dear friends,
Burma's peaceful pro democracy activists are calling on UN
Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon to secure the release of political
prisoners. Stand with them -
Sign the petition


Burmese pro democracy leader and *Nobel peace prize winner, Aung San Suu
Kyi, has spent 13 years detained by the Burmese military junta.* She and
thousands of fellow monks and students have been imprisoned for bravely
challenging their brutal regime with calls for democracy. This week a
glimmer of hope has risen for their release, and it's time for us to
stand with them.

Risking danger to speak out for their jailed friends, *Burmese activists
this week demanded the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and all political
prisoners and called on the world to help.* As the global economic
crisis makes aid flows more essential, Burma's generals are becoming
more vulnerable to international pressure, but *we need a flood of
petition signatures to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon to make this a
top priority.* Follow the link to sign the petition, and forward this
email on to make sure she and her fellow prisoners are freed:

*The Burmese organizers have set a goal of 888,888 signatures.* The
number 8 is powerful in Burmese culture, and the ruling junta is
extremely superstitious - such a large and significant number might have
a special influence on them. But this issue isn't in the headlines, so
to build our numbers we need to forward this email and persuade our
friends to help.

Aung San Suu Kyi is the international face of the struggle for democracy
in Burma. She has been detained over and over again since 1988. She is
now under house arrest and is allowed no contact with the outside world.

But growing international *pressure is working* -- In December, 112
former Presidents and Prime Ministers from 50 countries sent a letter to
the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urging him to press for the release
of all political prisoners, and 20 political prisoners were released in
February after a United Nations envoy visited the country.

*Sources now say that the military regime is fearful of this unified and
massive online call to the UN* -- over 160 Burma exile and solidarity
groups in 24 countries are participating in the campaign. But it will
take all of us and all our friends signing this petition to get Mr Ban’s
attention. Avaaz has done it before for Burma – we can do it again.
Click here to stop the arrests and brutality:

This is one of those times where if enough of us act we can truly make a
difference. Let’s join the courageous Burmese democracy activists in
jail and in hiding and help end this violent repression.

In hope and solidarity,

Alice, Ricken, Pascal, Graziela, Veronique, Iain, Paul, Luis, Paula,
Brett and the whole Avaaz team

For more about the Global Campaign visit:

For more about Burmese political prisoners visit:

Article on torture in Burmese jails: 

Some prisoners release after UN envoy visit February 2009: 

Letter from former presidents: 

For more about Aung San Suu Kyi visit:



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