Letter to the Movement / Citizens of Romania (#1):
“Why an ‘open space’ web-site / platform would help the movement”
Dear Friends –
The movement is growing but we are in a moment where our ability to share information effectively, to help get our message out, to help support people in becoming involved, in seeing or imagining themselves how they can contribute, and enabling good, easy communication between activists and engaged citizens across Romania and internationally really matters.
AT THE MOMENT we have been using Facebook very effectively and we havewww.rosiamontana.org as a main reference site. Thousands of activists and concerned citizens supporting the movement have felt and are expressing the need for something more. This Letter #1 seeks to: 1. Identify the need; 2. Share some ideas that could help us address it; 3. Ask YOU specifically if you can help create this site / platform to support Salvati Rosia Montana.
1. THE NEED, THE OPPORTUNITY, WHAT WOULD HELP
Four key things have been identified for a site that would profoundly help the movement. It could be:
i. A place where great documents, materials, pamphlets, posters can all be collected and put together so that people can find them easily and not have to search across many pages on FB. This should include: in Romanian, Hungarian, English, French, German, Spanish to start, and possibly also other languages if people can translate (there are many people able and willing to support the movement with this, so if we have a site up this could be managed easily and much more rapidly and effectively then we’re having it done now).
ii. A place where people can easily and openly communicate and share together on different topics / lines that can help build the movement. Some people might want to discuss and share ideas on ‘strategy & actions’ (how to develop the movement further and in a healthy direction). Others might want to share and have a space / forum they can discuss and exchange together on:
– how to reach out to and involve more people in the movement
– how to positively and constructively engage media and journalists 1. in Romania and 2. Internationally
– using arts, music, theatre and dance in your community / city to inspire and engage people for ‘Romania with dignity, jobs and self-respect’ or ‘Salvati Rosia Montana’
– research & materials development (to help write/develop great materials and to collect superb publications, reports, analysis and materials out there)
– coordination groups/action groups/discussion groups for different towns/cities so people can discuss and share information to help them organise
– and any other possible topics that would be relevant for people to be discussing and sharing on
These should be ‘open forum’/ ‘open space’ with people able to share and post ideas and discuss them together, and where people could ‘click’ support for ideas to show those they feel really resonate or could help the movement. These ‘on-line’ forums should also be complemented with on-site forums in each town/city/area. This technology is pretty easy, and has been developed for many movements and citizens’ engagements.
iii. A place where we can very easily upload information on ‘activities’ and ‘events’ taking place so people can ‘at a glance’ find what’s happening in their city, town, community, and also be inspired by what’s being done elsewhere
iv. A place where we can load great photos, videos, do it yourself guides, etc.
PHILOSOPHY / CORE IDEA AND HOW IT COULD HELP THE MOVEMENT
A) What’s important to be clear is: the idea is not to create a site which would ‘tell’ people what to do (a top-down organisation). The exact opposite. The site would be a ‘PLATFORM’: an enabling ‘space’ where people can come together and discuss more easily, and have a ‘one-stop’ source of information and useful materials to help to make it easier (and more effective) for them to get involved – and to be a democratic space where we can share information, ideas, inspiration, and discuss together.
B) A key philosophy and pillar of strategic thinking behind this is that: we need to support our ability to reach out to our broader societies, many of whom do not use the internet. The point isn’t to ‘put all our focus on a site’, but to create an ‘enabling space’ where it makes it easier for us to i. find what we need instantly and ii. share our ideas, successes, challenges and find support with each other.
C) This is important because: there are literally thousands of people asking ‘how can I get involved’ and a space like this could bring great information, inspiration and examples which i. they could use or ii. could inspire them to develop their own ideas. Having good materials gathered together (and available in several languages), will also overcome the difficulty that hundreds of people are asking ‘where can I get good information on this’ because media or potential supporters want it (there are some excellent materials already gathered on rosiamontana.org and other sites but they are all ‘static’ and depending on someone uploading them. A platform/open space site could be built to enable people/activists to upload great information directly – decentralising, democratising, and making it much faster and more effective).
2. HOW COULD IT BE DONE?
It could either be done by developing / enhancing the existing www.rosiamontana.org or by creating a solidarity / complementary site, closely connected, but that would be designed as a forum / platform model (using wiki technologies or building from easy to use platforms such as ning sites such as the Peace and Collaborative Development Network (PCDN) – which provides an easy to use platform/basis for people to add information, connect and link together, create different forums/discussion/work groups, post ideas, share videos, pictures, etc. and make it easy to find everything:http://www.internationalpeaceandconflict.org/)
I know absolutely nothing about site development and how to do this, but I know that Romania is one of the leading IT countries in the world and I know that there are hundreds of people supporting Salvati Rosia Montana who could help the movement but setting something like this up overnight.
It would be helpful though to not create 20 different sites like this and to duplicate efforts. If there are people / designers / programmers who can create something like this, it would be good if they: 1. Communicate together; 2. Create an ‘action group’ that takes it upon themselves to create this
3. CAN YOU DO THIS? Or DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO CAN?
The last two weeks have seen an amazing ‘rising up’. A breathing. A finding of dignity, courage, hope, passion, joy, dedication, determination and engagement. From the history of movements and ‘eruptions’ around the world though, we know this can far too easily collapse as well. RMGC/Gabriel Resources Ltd has extremely bright, capable, dedicated people committed to putting forward a project which will make their shareholders rich and be devastating for the country – and for those who need jobs in the region, as there are much better economic alternatives that can help create sustainable, real jobs and use the gold/wealth in Rosia Montana to support the people in the area and the country, not a misleading foreign corporation. To move forward..to build a real movement that will be dynamic, vibrant, and able to GROW; to build a movement that will be successful; to build a movement that will build upon all of the amazing energy, inspiration, creativity and passion that has come forth…we need to help put in place some of the ‘support’ foundations that can help with that. This is a ‘Do it Yourself’ (DIY) / ‘Do it Together’ (DIT) movement. There’s no person guiding, leading, or with the time, energy or capacity to do everything that’s needed to help it, to make it succeed. It’s a movement that needs: YOU.
If you have the skills, technology, understanding/knowledge to be able to set a site like this up and/or help create the site (or host it or whatever else is needed): please step up. If not: if you know a friend or friends who can, please speak to them. If you are an IT site designer/creator or a web-company that does this, you can also help out by quickly getting it set up – and then helping to improve it as needed.