My 2005 research An Introduction to Activism on the Internet was featured in the November 27 “Recommended Reading” column of the Wall Street Journal. Katrin Verclas, executive director of the Nonprofit Technology Network, picked thirteen on- and offline resources for leveraging technology for social change. About my document, she says:
“John Emerson’s guide covers strategies and techniques of electronic advocacy using email, the Web and other new media to bring about social change. It provides a great overview and analysis of campaigning methods.”
See for yourself at http://backspace.com/action. Thanks, Katrin!
Last week, the New York Times ran a sober photo essay on the ghost bikes that Visual Resistance and Time’s Up! have been installing around New York City since June 2005. The bikes are public interventions, a grassroots action in the spirit of graffiti memorial walls. The bikes are painted white and chained near the site where a cyclist was killed by an automobile, along with a plaque with their name and the date they were killed. Several are plotted on this map.
The bikes were inspired by a similar project in St. Louis, and have since appeared in cities across the U.S. and the U.K.
A 2005 report on bicycle fatalities from the New York City police, parks, health, and transportation departments reports that between 1996 and 2005, 225 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles. Between 1996 and 2003, 3,462 NYC bicyclists were seriously injured in crashes.While the annual number of serious injuries has decreased, deaths remained steady during the 10-year period.
The statistics show a failure of urban design and policy — 89% of crashes occurred at or near intersections, 92% of bicyclist fatalities resulted from crashes with motor vehicles — as well as the absence of personal equipment: 97% of the bicyclists who died were not wearing a helmet. 74% of the fatal crashes involved a head injury.
While it’s clear that helmets save lives, something else is broken in NYC: of the 3,964 transportation-related deaths in New York City between 1996 and 2005, only 6% were cyclists. Almost half the deaths (49%) were pedestrians.