For Immediate Release
On OneWebDay, Americans Come Together to Support the Internet
Virtual and In-person Activities Planned Nationwide to Celebrate the Internet and Its Effect on Democratic Participation in this Election Year
NEW YORK - On the third
annual "Earth Day for the Internet", communities across the country are
holding events to learn about and advocate for that marvel of modern
infrastructure, the Internet. It happens in the United States and
around the world on OneWebDay, Monday, September 22, 2008.
"Earth Day was the
model when I founded OneWebDay in 2006," says Susan Crawford, a
professor of law specializing in Internet issues at the University of
Michigan. "In 1969, one man asked the people to do what
their elected representatives would not: take the future of the
environment into their own hands." By 1972, the United
States had a federal agency devoted to protecting the environment, the
E.P.A., and today a worldwide citizens' movement has put the
environment front and center politically. According to Crawford,
"peoples' lives now are as dependent on the Internet as they are on the
basics like roads, energy supplies and running water. We can no longer
take that for granted, and we must advocate for the Internet
politically, and support its vitality personally."
The Internet has
also become the means by which citizens around the world build
movements to hold their elected leaders accountable and support those
who represent their interests; it is also increasingly the medium
through which citizens interact with their governments. The theme of this year's OneWebDay is online participation in democracy, coinciding with the U.S. elections.
The online hub for OneWebDay 2008 is www.onewebday.org.
There, anyone can: plan or find out about activities in their
community; learn ten things individuals can do to support the web;
contribute their own stories; read posts from 100 OneWebDay
ambassadors; and learn about Internet advocacy groups.
Events around the Country
New York City is
the real-world epicenter for OneWebDay 2008. Gathering in Washington
Square Park at Noon will be some of the Web's great visionaries,
including: Sree Sreenivasan (Columbia Journalism & WNBC-TV); Tim
Westergren (Pandora); Lawrence Lessig (Stanford Law); Craig Newmark
(Craigslist); Dharma Dailey (Ethos Wireless); City Councilmember Hon.
Gale A. Brewer; John Perry Barlow (Electronic Frontier Foundation);
Andrew Baron (Rocketboom); S.J. Klein (One Laptop Per Child); and the
founder of OneWebDay, Susan Crawford, among others. That same day, the
city's seniors will take to the steps of City Hall under the auspices
of Older Adults Technology Services of New York. The Saturday before
OneWebDay, experts in online journalism, collaboration and activism
will conduct free workshops and demonstrations for anyone looking to
hone their cyber skills (http://www.onewebday.org/
In Washington, DC,
Internet experts and advocates will join members of Congress and FCC
Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein to "bury" an e-democracy time capsule
and discuss the state of the Web. Focused on the Internet as an
interface between citizens and governments, the event features
presentations on government transparency, online tools for
participatory democracy and the problem of broadband accessibility (http://timecapsule.onewebday.
San Francisco will
witness a massive volunteer effort, coordinated by the Mayor's
Department of Technology, to bring residents in public housing online
with wireless Internet and donated computer equipment with the help of
Free the Net and Meraki wireless (http://www.sfconnect.org).
Chicago hosts a
seminar sponsored by the Future of Music Coalition to educate musicians
and label owners about the intersection of music, law, technology and
policy, to help prepare musicians to participate in the issues that
affect their livelihood (http://www.futureofmusic.org/
community technology activists will convene a town meeting on "The Next
President, the Internet and the Disconnected City," concurrent with a
town meeting in Cincinnati and featuring representatives from both the
McCain and Obama campaigns (http://www.onewebday.org/
description of events in the U.S. and worldwide, including in India,
Tunisia, Australia and Europe is at the OneWebDay Wiki at http://www.onewebday.org/base/
OneWebDay, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization. It has a Board made up of online luminaries (Doc Searls, David Weinberger, David Isenberg, Mary Hodder), business people (Kaarli Tasso, Allison Fine, David Johnson, Rick Whitt), a NYC PR person (Renee Edelman, Edelman), and a former state AG (Jim Tierney, Maine). Its president is Susan Crawford, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School. She is committed to working on this holiday for the next 7 years.