Tools of the Speed-Elite: Radical New Media Activism
The last decades saw a huge increase in the blending together of traditionally more local forms of activism-whether environmental, anarchist, democratic, feminist, or anti-racist-and the trans-national reach of new media technologies. This enmeshment has proven to be particularly productive between alter-globalist activisms and Internet technologies, and has given such activism an enormous potential to reach out for like-minded folks in other parts of the globe. Such opportunities for reaching out, compelling many activists to globalise left-wing and emancipatory activities while critiquing corporate globalisation, have encouraged many intellectuals to theorise and co-develop the possibilities of emancipation through the new communication technologies. Initiatives like the Independent Media Centres, the Association for Progressive Communications, GreenNet, and all kinds of ‘temporary autonomous zones’ and new media activist conferences sprang up as fast as the now infamous techno-bubble engulfed and globalised many local economies.1 In tandem with these activist developments, a host of academic and journalistic writing has appeared that largely celebrates new media and social media activism as successful forms of subversion of or resistance against neo-liberal globalisation.