Madison revived the concept of street protests, strikes, and solidarity actions that had seemed to be all but extinct, replaced by the passive point and click activism of the Internet age and cautious top-down, D.C.-centric labor leadership. As labor fought for its life in Madison, I worked feverishly to document the revival of the in-your-face direct action, civil disobedience, and organizing that had built the labor movement in the 1930s.
Yes, activism has suffered from it becoming point and click passiveness for many. But I’ve always felt that the purpose was to organize online for the action that happens offline. That is what the Dean for America campaign along with MoveOn started. So in that sense Wisconsin has righted online organizing as a tool that you combine with the offline effort.
One cannot deny that the Internet did play a huge part in mobilizing people. Twitter feeds helped spread news and I’m sure Facebook played a part. Then you have all the bloggers contributing to the narrative. I’m sure I saw a number of Youtube videos and live streaming videos from Ustream during the height of the protests in Wisconsin.