Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics November 27, 2012 - 11:25am

A week ago, two young Indian women were arrested and charged as criminals for nothing more than writing and 'liking' a Facebook post. The case made the news because of the fact that India has lately been calling itself "the world's largest democracy" but imprisoning innocent citizens solely for expressing their opinions is not democracy in the least. One of the women has sworn off social media for the rest of her life, and the other has publicly apologized and said she will never post anything controversial ever again. This is a tragedy.

I've written a petition via Change.org, encouraging Facebook's administration and Mark Zuckerberg to stand up in public defense of Shaheen Dhanda and Renu Srinivasan, the two innocents being traumatized for having opinions. Please sign the petition and pass it on to anyone you know who might be against police powers being brought to bear against individuals and their right to free speech.

It has been a week since I wrote this petition, and because of my lack of personal connections, and a disgustingly woeful amount of apathy in this world, only 19 people have signed it. Among those names, however, more than half are total strangers to me, one is from Germany, another is courageously from India, and one is the published author and blogosphere celebrity, The Bloggess. I'm at my wit's end because of the lack of concern and empathy out there. For years, I complained about world events, and for years, my woman told me to do something about what upsets me - so finally I wrote a petition. It is tearing me apart to see that my complaining to myself, my woman, and my cat is only minutely less effective. 

Again, PLEASE sign it and share it with as many people as possible: www.change.org/petitions/facebook-stand-up-for-users-imprisoned-for-stat...

Thanks for your time and attention.

JEFFREY GRANT BARR's picture
JEFFREY GRANT BARR from Central OR is reading Nothing but fucking Shakespeare, for the rest of my life November 27, 2012 - 11:31am

I was wondering the other day what ever happened to our good buddy strange photon.

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics November 27, 2012 - 11:35am

I went back to school, and am notoriously bad at multi-tasking. So, with school and indignation on my plate, I had my hands full.

Mess_Jess's picture
Mess_Jess from Sydney, Australia, living in Toronto, Canada is reading Perfect by Rachael Joyce November 27, 2012 - 11:35am

Strange Photon, are you a member of Amnesty International? You should take your cause to them as this is something they may already be handling. If not, I am sure they would become involved. 

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics November 27, 2012 - 11:39am

Jess, I'm not a member. In fact, I'm not overly familiar with much of what they do. I've heard of the organization, but that's virtually the extent of my knowledge regarding it.

JEFFREY GRANT BARR's picture
JEFFREY GRANT BARR from Central OR is reading Nothing but fucking Shakespeare, for the rest of my life November 27, 2012 - 11:39am

Good for you! There is no place on earth to tilt at windmills like the rareified air of college. Enjoy!

Mess_Jess's picture
Mess_Jess from Sydney, Australia, living in Toronto, Canada is reading Perfect by Rachael Joyce November 27, 2012 - 11:56am

If you're into social justice causes, look up Amnesty. You won't feel so distraught over the lack of empathy in the world anymore. And someone else does the hard work for you!

sean of the dead's picture
sean of the dead from Madisonville, KY is reading Peckerwood, by Jed Ayres November 27, 2012 - 12:00pm

or is it the lack of sympathy in the world?  maybe we could start a thread to discuss this...

also, I am going to check out this petition when I get home from work where I can give it the proper attention.  Thanks for bringing this to the attention of the group.

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics November 27, 2012 - 12:00pm

I just signed up after reading about them, thanks. In some ways, though, it is even more distressing that so many people can organize for these types of issues, yet this world is still such a cesspool of horrors.

Mess_Jess's picture
Mess_Jess from Sydney, Australia, living in Toronto, Canada is reading Perfect by Rachael Joyce November 27, 2012 - 12:03pm

Oh fuck me. Can we please never, ever discuss sympathy and empathy again?

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics November 27, 2012 - 1:18pm

Human rights shouldn't be an issue of sympathy ort empathy, because one way or another, it affects each one of us individually. So, if you have no sympathy6 or empathy, you should still give a damn.

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics November 28, 2012 - 4:02am

I gotta say, I'm shocked and disappointed that in a writing community, there would be such a lacklustre response. This thread has been up over twelve hours, during which many other threads were commented on by many people - telling me that there is a large audience reading these discussion topics. The petition garnered only one name in that time.

Apparently it isn't just my friends and family who don't give a damn when it doesn't directly effect them. Apparently, the whole world, even the writing community is the same. With such self-centeredness in this world, all us writers should slit our throats with our pencils.

Boone Spaulding's picture
Boone Spaulding from Coldwater, Michigan, U.S.A. is reading Solarcide Presents: Nova Parade November 28, 2012 - 5:42am

I signed. I slopped a little hot coffee on my genitals out of disgust at the lackluster response in the writing community. Or, it was an accident.

(writers fictionalize)

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters November 28, 2012 - 6:11am

With such self-centeredness in this world, all us writers should slit our throats with our pencils. 

How about this...

"This petition asks Facebook's corporate leadership, as well as notable figures like Mark Zuckerberg, to stand up publicly for Shaheen Dhanda and Renu Srinivasan."

If you can tell me what the fucking good this would do, I'd probably care more.  But as it stands, I really don't see that this is helpful.  But thanks for being all judgey.

 

Matt Attack's picture
Matt Attack from Richmond, Va. is reading As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner November 28, 2012 - 6:45am

I gotta say, I'm shocked and disappointed that in a writing community, there would be such a lacklustre response. This thread has been up over twelve hours, during which many other threads were commented on by many people"

 

I appreciate the concern for freedom of speech, however I would say in India overall, this is a very minor issue. When you have 500 million living in poverty, malnourished. Lack of basic rights for women including, but not limited to: honor killings of their daughters (or at best throwing acid on them) 40% illiteracy and near brink of nuclear war with their neighbor to the North, I'd say this is small potatoes. I am not negating your effort, but I would just recognize in India it is not a top concern. Civil Liberty issues are gaining more concern here in the states if you really want to fight/write for something and there are better ways of drumming up support for these issues. 

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated November 28, 2012 - 7:21am

I signed it, because sure why not, but I'm with Avery on this. It won't matter. M.Z. (I don't know his middle name) won't care, and even if he did I don't think he has a realistic option for helping these ladies.

Sadly democracy doesn't imply basic protection of human right. As for empathy or sympathy that has a thread, lets keep it over there. http://litreactor.com/discuss/empathy-vs-sympathy-mean-of-words

Utah's picture
Moderator
Utah from Fort Worth, TX is reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry November 28, 2012 - 8:35am

I thought that thread was about meat.

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics November 28, 2012 - 8:54am

Avery, it will do just as much good as any other petition, so if you're against all petitions then fine, so be it. And not sure how what I said judged you. It's not on me if you feel bad for not caring enough to spend the 60 seconds it takes to sign that petition. It may or may not do anything, but its chances of helping are still more than doing absolutely nothing. I am not judging you, or anyone else for that matter. If I were, you'd know it.

Dwayne, I ddn't bring up either sympathy or empathy here, others did. I was just saying this type of thing doesn't require either of those things for people to care or be affected by it

Matt, you're absolutely right, India has tons of serious concerns, and free speech isn't at the top of that huge list. This is why I felt compelled to write the petition and bring this issue to the minds of others around the world who can afford to put some effort into addressing the issue on their behalf.

To all, sorry if I came off as 'judgey' I am just in the midst of an awful few months, and the one time I stop bitching about soething that upsets me in the world, I find out that bitching is only slightly less helpful than anything else. Feel free to just ignore the whole thread if you have issues with what I am trying to do.

H.I.Marcuson's picture
H.I.Marcuson from Toulouse is reading a book on spelling November 28, 2012 - 9:05am

@Strange photon   Why choose this battle? If you seek a cause I imagine you can get far more bang for your time invested buck helping those nearer to you. Working on allievating the suffering of those distant to us is generally how we in the first world feed and keep our blind spots.

I'm not saying that what is happening to them is right. Just trivial when compared to other problems your far away brothers and sisters face such as... well take your pick.

Disease

Starvation

Slavery

etc.

I'm not promoting ambivalence. Just asking if your sure your not just righteously distracting yourself.

Fuck. I read what I just wrote and it sound like I'm trying to provoke. I'm not, and I'm sorry if my point of view pisses you off. I'm with JGB on this one. Good luck though.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated November 28, 2012 - 9:02am

@Pho - I didn't say you brought it up.
But yeah you sounded super judgmental. I just wrote it off as the internet making everyone sound about 3 steps closer to being a horrible jerk the real life, so it is cool as far as I'm concerned.

@Utah - No, for some odd reason some folks like to start threads about things besides meat. No joke.

@Matt - I think that all is linked.
Indian Gov. Worker 1 "What do we spend money on? Roads? Schools? Defense from the nation that seems to want a war and shares a disputed border?"
Indian Gov. Worker 2 "Forget that noise, we got to stop these girls from getting uppity!"
Indian Gov. Worker 1 "Brilliant!"

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters November 28, 2012 - 9:03am

"Forget that noise, we got to stop these girls from getting uppity!"

Most awesome thing Dwayne ever said.

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics November 28, 2012 - 9:08am

H.I., I just chose this because censorship is one of my biggest irritants, and without everyone, everywhere, feeling free to express themselves, none of these other issues would truly be addressed in an effective manner.

The timing of this incident with a lot of other things happening in my personal life just brought about a perfect storm because I didn't want to be just another voice in the crowd on an issue that everyone is talking about all the time. I wanted to be a voice for someone without one, and whether that was foolishly naive of me or not, I still want to help Shaheen and Renu beat their charges.

By enlisting Facebook, I felt that a huge corporation that has a hand in the lives of a billion or more people would be the perfect public representative for these two women's defense. Since the 'crimes' were committed using Facebook's program, I thought they might have a vested interest in seeing their users are free to enjoy the positives that social media can offer.

Yours was not a provocative response, and I totally understand why you'd wonder about those things.

 

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics November 28, 2012 - 9:11am

Love the dialogue, Dwayne! I just might use that in some posts I make for the petition elsewhere, if you don't mind, of course.

Also, I sent a 'thank you' to you via Change.org. I want to make sure messages I send to signers actually get to them somehow, so did you get a notice about it in your email, or is it only within Change.org that the messages get distributed?

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated November 28, 2012 - 9:13am

I think equal rights are important and I try to summarize the message people have when they talk. So that is what I hear when poor countries spend what little money they have to oppress women.

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics November 28, 2012 - 9:13am

Sounds about right to me.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated November 28, 2012 - 9:16am

I didn't get one, but that one takes a while. I'll recheck later and let you know. Yes feel free to use it, just credit me. I need all the buzz I can get, lol.

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics November 28, 2012 - 9:24am

Great, thanks. I like to send personal thank yous to anyone who signs, but I wasn't sure if the messages make it outside the site, because if not, those who only made an account with Change.org to sign that one petition might not ever come back and check their on-site inbox. Let me know.

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics November 28, 2012 - 9:27am

Oh, and H.I., one more thing: as much as I know this will likely disgust others to read, I think starvation and disease are needed at this point in history when the planet is grossly overpopulated. Plus, I have no problem with slavery as a tool for advancement of infrastructure and economy, I just don't think slaves should be chosen by race, gender, nationality, ethnic backgorund or any other demographic differentiation. I think criminals should be utilized as slave labor.

So, those are other reasons I didn't choose something else that's wrong with the world when I decided to write a petition. Yes, some may see me as a monster, but I'm ok with that.

Utah's picture
Moderator
Utah from Fort Worth, TX is reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry November 28, 2012 - 9:30am

I think criminals should be utilized as slave labor.

But then you're just using free labor to steal gainful employ from illegal aliens!

Matt Attack's picture
Matt Attack from Richmond, Va. is reading As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner November 28, 2012 - 9:34am

To all, sorry if I came off as 'judgey' I am just in the midst of an awful few months,"

Maybe we just lost sight of something important. Instead of being snarky or cynical or just being shitty and complaining you at least did something about your concerns. Good on ya. Don't let people make you feel bad about being passionate

 

@Matt - I think that all is linked."

Um, what? 

But then you're just using free labor to steal gainful employ from illegal aliens!"

I wish to subscribe to your newsletter. 

sean of the dead's picture
sean of the dead from Madisonville, KY is reading Peckerwood, by Jed Ayres November 28, 2012 - 9:38am

Oh, and H.I., one more thing: as much as I know this will likely disgust others to read, I think starvation and disease are needed at this point in history when the planet is grossly overpopulated. Plus, I have no problem with slavery as a tool for advancement of infrastructure and economy, I just don't think slaves should be chosen by race, gender, nationality, ethnic backgorund or any other demographic differentiation. I think criminals should be utilized as slave labor.

So, those are other reasons I didn't choose something else that's wrong with the world when I decided to write a petition. Yes, some may see me as a monster, but I'm ok with that.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

EDIT: that was a joke, right?  I mean, I'd hate to think I've been sitting here feeling guilty about not signing a petition about someone's right to post on facebook when I should have been feeling self-righteous and superior to the poor and enslaved.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated November 28, 2012 - 9:50am

It came in.

JEFFREY GRANT BARR's picture
JEFFREY GRANT BARR from Central OR is reading Nothing but fucking Shakespeare, for the rest of my life November 28, 2012 - 10:23am

If you look down and to your left, you'll see the shark.

sean of the dead's picture
sean of the dead from Madisonville, KY is reading Peckerwood, by Jed Ayres November 28, 2012 - 10:29am

^^^As long as it's already been jumped, I'm cool with that.  And I'm pretty sure it has been.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated November 28, 2012 - 10:31am

@Matt - If they spent their money better it might help towards fixing all those problems, instead of spending it to imprison those ladies. 

fport's picture
fport from Canada is reading The World Until Yesterday - Jared Diamond November 28, 2012 - 6:42pm

Get a group together and log into nation state.com and take up a

couple of countries and see how you do collectively managing a population.

always remember the best government is the least and

to let the population govern itself.

that's a very complex piece of advice though it seems simplistic

 

ps. I'm away from my computer ATM while on vacation and an iPad simply

does not replace a workstation with  50 linear inches of screen real estate.

I can write I just cannot expound.

 

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics December 1, 2012 - 9:34am

Not being judgey, or pointing fingers at anyone, just really depressed at the moment, and a big part of that is the lack of even a shred of success with this petition:  change.org/petitions/facebook-stand-up-for-users-imprisoned-for-status-updates

Only half a dozen of my family and friends signed this thing, which is the same amount as those from LitReactor who signed, so I can at least be grateful to those of you who did even if you think it won't do any good.

fport's picture
fport from Canada is reading The World Until Yesterday - Jared Diamond December 1, 2012 - 12:01pm

Final advice: honest to god, I have done a little bit of activism over the years, enough to have a file kept on me by an alphabet agency; on doing something about a cause.

You can go and work directly with people doing the scut work and learning the ropes perhaps subjecting yourself to the same dangers.

You can embark on a learning process and get the meta view of how the world works with each class of economic, military or social instrument as it is used in each context. Then perhaps you can have a go at grasping the levers of power in a more effective manner.

I also offer an anecdotal view of two people that had a discussion online in a forum that was a precursor of the modern Internet forums on a service called the WELL, one was Mitch Kapor and the other was Stuart Brand, they talked about much the same issues, as you have raised and pondered, with the other participants of that forum. The outcome was an organization called the EFF. 

Thirdly you could compose a warning missive populated with archetypical characters of the world to come if things like this are the norm going forward. Often new technologies are the Wild West for a period until the powers that be lock it down because of its effect on the order of things.

 

Boone Spaulding's picture
Boone Spaulding from Coldwater, Michigan, U.S.A. is reading Solarcide Presents: Nova Parade December 1, 2012 - 12:39pm

@ Photon - it is a good cause. It was good to include it here. It is not the most important issue in the world but that is a ridiculous "reason" to not advocate for something that is important to you. 

The issue was brought to attention. Even if the internet petition was not signed, all sorts of ripple-effect happen whenever someone advocates for a cause. 

None of your action was, or is, wasted. 

Good work. Period.