Flashmobs with a purpose

Xeni Jardin posts via BoingBoing about the impromptu protests in Spain yesterday, where thousands gathered in the streets demanding answers from their government about this week’s deadly terrorist attacks in Madrid. Bloggers in Spain tell BoingBoing the gatherings were decentralized flash mobs, organized primarily by short text messages sent via weblog forums, online in chatrooms and through Internet-capable mobile devices.

“Around 6PM local time in Madrid, an estimated 3,000-5,000 protesters gathered spontaneously in front of the headquarters of Spain’s ruling Popular Party (Partido Popular, or PP), located on calle Genova. Participants shouted slogans against media manipulation, and carried signs asking, “Who did it?”. Flashmobs spread by SMS throughout the country, with parallel gatherings quickly emerging in other cities.

The protests occurred one day before general elections take place in Spain. Government representatives denounced today’s gatherings, describing them as illegal assemblies — but because they were organized in a decentralized manner using mobile technology, there was no single responsible party against whom punitive action could be taken.”

Also of interest, from the same site, is the fact that “the events of 9/11 and 3/11 share a number of unsettling connections: the Madrid attacks took place exactly two and a half years after those in NYC, and there were precisely 911 days between the two.” Strange coincidence? Maybe, but growing evidence suggests not.

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