Thursday, July 01, 2004

I don't mean to be the fly in the ointment...

...but is anyone else leery of online petitions at this point?

The Alliance for Justice has mounted an online campaign to call for Attorney General John Ashcroft's resignation.

No one can argue this is a good cause.

But an online petition?

I mean, we live in the age of the Patriot Act. How long before Mr. Ashcroft himself gets his grubby hands on those petition lists...and then how long before the black sedans show up at your door in the middle of the night for a one-way trip to Guantanamo Bay?

Okay, I exaggerate...slightly. Or do I?

I just don't feel like in this political climate, it is prudent to call up Ashcroft and volunteer as an un-American, un-Patriotic, enemy of the state.

Now, I don't mean that activism is bad. I just don't know what a petition can accomplish.

I'd far rather see people write their local and national media, raise awareness of what's going on, and try a little satyagraha.

I also worry that online activism (petitions and such) keep people complacent, instead of going out into the world and rolling up their sleeves and *doing* something. Are all of these well-intentioned petitions the soma of our time?