I wanna start off today with an outstanding contribution to our “Are you there, Democracy? It’s me, the Internet” project. I think it’s really important to make your answers unique to you, and ohsnapitslisa did just that. She talks about how in Malaysia, the government controls what you can look at on the internet, and I’m really curious to learn more about those experiences. So whether you live here in the U.S., or anywhere else in the world, I wanna hear more unique point of views on this topic. So record yourself on camera and post your videos HERE.
I also wanted to bring up the proposals for Round 4 of our Resident Curators initiative. MattConley and edwardtheninth talk about a whole bunch of specific ways that the Resident Curators are going to be involved in our community and our creative process. I encourage you all to go watch THIS VIDEO and tell us what you think about it.
And lastly, for anyone who came across a record, challenge, or project on the site and feels it should be highlighted - record your own Regularity video about it and post it RIGHT HERE.
A letter to David Cameron signed
by 50 politicians, campaigners and academics has warned of a “silent, growing
crisis in our democracy” as a result of the fall in the number of young people
registered to vote. In the 1950s around 96% of the eligible population were
registered to vote but this has fallen to 85% today with 7.5 million names
missing for the electoral roll including around a third of young people.
The change from block-registering households or university halls of residence
to individual electoral registration has been partly blamed for the most recent
fall of 800,000 names which have fallen off the electoral roll since IER’s
introduction, although this figure does include people who have died or never
The letter, which is signed by Bite the Ballot, the Electoral Reform Society,
Tim Farron, Natalie Bennett and Leanne Wood among others, says “There is a
silent, growing crisis in our democracy. The number of eligible voters missing
from electoral registers has grown dramatically. Reforms recently made to the
electoral registration process to combat electoral fraud have led to many names
being removed from the electoral register. Worryingly, many would-be voters
were turned away from the polls at the 2015 general election because they were
People who are poorer, less educated, younger and ethnic minorities are more
likely not to be registered leaving them unable to vote and therefore without a
voice in our democratic process.
I don’t vote for personalities , genders, shirt colors,pretty speeches or last names.
We(👶🏼)are voting for #berniesanders because his political beliefs represent the kind of political revolution I have only been able to dream about in past elections.
“If democrats recognize that Bernie Sanders is not just a slightly more left-wing fellow traveler of Clinton’s. This is not a contest to see who will lead the democrats, it’s a contest to see what kind of party the democrats are going to be in the coming decades, what ideology and what interests, causes, and issues the Democratic Party will prioritize. This makes it far more important than any other recent primary election. The last time a democratic primary was this important, it was 1976. Only this time, instead of Anybody But Carter or Anybody But Clinton, the left has Bernie Sanders–one representative candidate that it is really excited about. The chance may not come again for quite some time.“
A political reshuffle has taken place in communist Laos. Here, a dissident speaks out about the country’s regime and his hopes for democracy
The weather was mild in Vientiane on October 26, 1999. The rainy season was coming to an end and, as crowds gathered along the banks of the Mekong River in Laos’ capital for the annual boat race, the organisers and supporters of the Lao Student Movement for Democracy were amassing outside the presidential palace, a stone’s throw from the water.
“I don’t know exactly how many people we had, but we told people to wear a certain colour of wristband to show their support,” a spokesman for the pro-democracy group, who goes by the nom de guerre Soumaly told Southeast Asia Globe. “We saw thousands wearing those wristbands that day.”
They had planned to open a large banner bearing the words ‘Freedom for Laos’ in front of the presidential palace and then march across Vientiane. However, as soon as the sign was opened, the police moved in. The protest was stopped, most of the demonstrators fled and a handful of the organisers went into hiding in Thailand.
At least 100 demonstrators, however, were arrested. It is alleged that some were tortured and left without proper medical treatment or legal counsel.
Although the Lao Student Movement for Democracy’s 1999 protest ultimately failed before it even got off the ground, Soumaly believes it was still important. Here he speaks to Southeast Asia Globe about the demonstrations, his thoughts on Laotian politics and, in light of the recent Lao Communist Party congress, how democratic change could take place.
What were the effects of the 1999 protests and have there been similar protests since? We may not have succeeded with our initial goals, but we believe that we succeeded in telling the world that the current regime in Laos is inhumane and doesn’t respect human rights and oppresses its own people. There were a few protests after our movement that I know of and they also failed, but since I have not been involved with the planning I do not have information firsthand.
How many people were arrested during the protests and are they still in prison? We believe that about 150 people were arrested that day, and in the aftermath, and we still don’t know how many remain in prison because in our organisation we don’t know each other’s names, only on a need-to-know basis.
Do you think that most Laotian people support your efforts for change? Absolutely, but Laotian people cannot freely express themselves without fear of persecution or being made disappear by the regime like [in the case of development worker] Sombath Somphone.
Do you think that democratic change could come from the government? There will never be real change as long as a single authoritarian political party governs Laos. The new blood that will come to replace the old guard are just the children or family members of these old farts.
So must it come from pressure from the people – in other words, change from below? Absolutely, it is pressure from Laotian people and the world – you can see on social media that these days young people inside Laos and abroad are taking risks by starting to speak up, by making and posting videos critical of the oppressive regime and advocating for the abolishment of the current system – you can easily find these people yourself. Some show their faces and don’t fear the regime.
“It’s time we go ahead and have some progress on single payer. I’ve done what I can, I’ve sent him a couple hundred dollars. I tell you what, if the kids all get with him, we can get change to this Congress, and get some single heath payer and some wages and stuff in this country. He’s the future as far as I’m concerned.”
Today’s technology is changing pretty much every facet of our lives – even things as important as our Democracy. And especially with this being an election year here in the US, I think these changes are really worth having a conversation about, and making art about.
So, I wanna hear what you think. Record yourself (or interview someone else) on camera answering these three questions:
1. Is today’s technology good or bad for Democracy?
2. How might the technology of the future be BAD for Democracy?
3. How might the technology of the future be GOOD for Democracy?
Once we have lots of footage of different people answering these questions, we’ll use that footage to produce a bunch of short films. We could make a stylized documentary, we could dramatize somebody’s personal point of view, we could do animation, a song, who knows.
And now, I’m very pleased to announce that for this project, hitRECord will be partnering with the ACLU. The ACLU is a 100-year-old, non-profit, legal organization who is right at the forefront of figuring out how today’s laws should or shouldn’t adapt to today’s technology.
And, although this project isn’t about the money, as with every hitRECord production, if one of your contributions is used in one of the final short films, you will get paid. I just finished shooting a movie where I play Edward Snowden, which really got me thinking about all of this. And so I’ve decided to donate my acting fee from that movie to facilitate this conversation about technology and democracy. Some of that money will go to this production, and the rest will go to the ACLU.
That’s about it. I really look forward to hearing how you answer the three questions and seeing what kinds of short films we can make out of it.
So, thank you. God bless you. And God bless the Internet.