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The unsupressable wave

February 27 2011 | Activism,
by Jim

A few years ago I was at a water quality conference in Indonesia. One session involved local journalists and during the Q&A session I stood to ask what I thought was a safe question "Do you report the local water quality in your papers?" They looked at each other and didn't answer. Finally one of them shared that water quality was considered a State secret and could not be publicly shared. I asked what the punishment was if a person shared that information. They looked at each other again and one of them replied... "hanging." I turned around to the diplomats in the audience near me and addressed them directly. I remember telling them that it would be increasingly impossible to suppress information... especially public safety information. Technology is simply too prevalent. This all came back to me when I saw the video to the left about Libya. The internet is down, penalties are as severe as I can imagine and still... critical information is getting out. Of course these are completely different situations and yet they speak to the increasingly impossible idea of suppressing information. Surfrider's mission is "... protection and enjoyment of oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network..." The definition of activism is being redefined in real time. It's important for us to understand these shifts and embrace them to maximize impact on our mission... for the protection and enjoyment of oceans, waves and beaches.
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