ricardo dominguez on 17 Feb 2001 16:57:35 -0000

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Re: <nettime> Task Force Communities - The Resistance

Hola all,
Here is the call for “The Resistance” as it appeared on the Hacktivism List:

will protestors get arrested for carrying palms...?


Soft Skull, with the Help of Upoc.com, Creates Ground-breaking New
Hybrid of Technology and Political Action!

Revolutionary media organization Soft Skull today announces the launch of
"The Resistance" a community group on Upoc.com, the site that creates
community through simple text group messaging to wireless devices. "The
Resistance" is set to become an essential communication tool at upcoming
protests against Bush´s inauguration on January 20th, in Washington D.C.
Historically, this will be the first time a group of protesters in the
street will be able to communicate with each other using new wireless,
group email technology.

According to the description at
all wireless device users can now join a group that broadcasts and
provides a platform for "Updates on breaking-news, community activism and
forms of political action in New York City and beyond." The description goes
on to point out, "The cell phone had historic importance at last year´s
protests against the WTO in Seattle. Mobile devices empower spontaneous
social, cultural and political community. Use of The Resistance will
debut at the protests against the Inauguration of Bush in Washington, D.C.
January 20, 2001."

Soft Skull´s founder and CEO Sander Hicks today said,

"Unlike the wired internet, wireless group messaging is human
interaction in a kinetic, exterior world. This is communication blended with
wisdom, it´s new technology combined with the spirit of adventure, real
life, action, movement, and spontaneity."

Hicks and Soft Skull are currently working with radical political
Coalition Direct Action Network with plans to join an estimated 10,000
others to
protest what many feel was the unfair election of George W. Bush.

"When we´re on the ground in DC, we´ll be able to communicate en masse
and report to each other what´s going on, and where. When I heard that the
authorities in DC have made groups of more than 25 illegal, that struck
me as unconstitutional, paranoid and wrong. I want the people taking a
stand for real democracy to be able to communicate and organize," said

The group was launched at 3:30, yesterday, 1.8.01. Only two hours later, 10
people had signed up to receive messages.

"This is a wing-doozer of a wireless group, watch out," said Casey Van
Maanen, Senior Manager, Business Development at Upoc today. "Soft Skull
Is an ideal grassroots case for the Upoc platform, having the kind of
Devoted following and intelligent content so crucial to any community."

To join the group, you only need a cell phone, or any other wireless
device, such as Palms, Visors, or 2-way pagers. Anyone can see the
group´s description and sign-up page at:

About Soft Skull-

Soft Skull won "Outstanding Independent Press of the Year" this past
June at the Firecracker Alternative Book Awards. Soft Skull´s hip-hop
Activist title, "No More Prisons" by William Upski Wimsatt also won the FAB
Best Book: Politics. Soft Skull was the subject of media celebration last
Year for its controversial decision to republish "Fortunate Son: George W.
Bush and the Making of an American President" by J.H. Hatfield.

About Upoc-

Upoc is a mobile communications platform for the creation of group
messaging using any wireless device. Incubated at Ericsson Cyberlab and
founded by Gordon Gould, former President and COO of Silicon Alley
Reporter and Digital Coast Reporter, Upoc has Assembled more than 40 =
Professionals in wireless technology, branding, market research, new media
alliances and ad sales from respected companies such as MTV, iTurf,
Organic, Time Magazine and France Telecom.


Plus some thoughts from EDT for "net.congestion" that we are not able
to attend:


Greetings from Austin, Texas. The Electronic Disturbance Theater
(EDT) has a preliminary proposal for net.congestion regarding Wireless
Streaming Media.

For quite some time, Ricardo Dominguez and I have been discussing the need
to develop the Tactical Uses of Wireless Streaming Video. We have
considered this need both in the rural third world context - such as in
southern Mexico where groups like the Chiapas Media Project have been
training indigenous people to make their own video - and in the urban first
world context - as related to the work of the Independent Media Center
(IMC) last fall at the anti-WTO protests in Seattle and just recently at
the anti-IMF and World Bank protests in Washington, DC.

In both of these cases, the use of radio, video, and Internet is present.
In the particular case of the IMC, streaming media is present. However,
there was little, if any, real-time application. What I mean is this. In
both Seattle (November)and in Washington (April), many people armed with
video cameras (digital and non-digital) and tape recorders were in the
streets capturing images and sounds of the protest. They then returned to
the IMC base, where they downloaded, encoded and posted to the IMC web
site. So, they did deploy streaming media, but there was a delay. The only
instance in which the IMC engaged in live-stream was the on-site radio
broadcasts that went out over the air and over the net at the same time.

There are examples of the Tactical Uses of Wireless Streaming Media. I'm
sure you can think of some. But it seems that overall we can say that this
is one area in need of development. The problem, of course, is largely
related to bandwidth. The mobile digital video cam operator can easily walk
through a street protest with a camera connected by IEEE Fire Wire to a
high speed laptop in a backpack. But getting the signal out is the

Transmitting digital video over a wireless modem from a laptop will
produce poor results. Perhaps transmitting video that has been reduced from
30 frames per sec to 10 frames per sec and that has been compressed is
feasible. But live streaming video takes up too much space. One suggested
solution is to use a radio relay, or more precisely to use a micro-UHF
signal to transmit from the mobile digital camera/computer (outside) back
to a local hub (inside) that is connected directly to a T-1 line. In a
report from Seattle, I read that law enforcement officers had been using
mini-cameras that transmitted the signal to a hotel where image data of
protesters was catalogued.

In quickly reviewing the text about net.congestion that was sent out over
nettime, I didn't notice any mention of Wireless Streaming Media. If that
is correct, then I think that we can offer to develop a portion of the
program in this area. For sure, we can deliver a presentation that delves
into the theoretical possibilities of the Tactical Uses of Wireless
Streaming Media. We can draw on existing examples and project and forecast
what is possible. Better would be if we could bring together a concrete
model and demonstrate a prototype of the mobile streaming media street
reporter. Perhaps what we could do is put out a specific proposal calling
for people with more technical knowledge to create a prototype.

Anyway, this is why I call this a preliminary proposal. I think you have
some idea of where we are heading with this. Let's talk about this a little
more. And we in the EDT will discuss it also. I think we can work out

- Stefan Wray

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