Monday, October 23, 2006

Threats Against a Blogger

Creek Running North, to which I have linked several times, is down. Its owner, Chris Clarke, who is an environmentalist and progressive activist, has had his dog threatened. From prior experience, Chris does not expect the police will be of any help. In a comment on Pharyngula (you'll have to scroll down), he writes:
"My blog is one of the least important things I do. Becky and Zeke are up top, and quite honestly Zeke's impending demise makes him edge Becky out, as he's edged me out in Becky's priorities. In descending order after that: a few good friends, my longer-term writing projects, political activism, my day job, hiking, my blog. I appreciate the fact that my blog has fans. But really now. My effective speech takes place at my day job and doing politics. I am not one of those people who has confused writing a blog post with political activism."
About the only thing I disagree with in that is the last sentence. If you have an audience, blogging can indeed be political activism. Although it probably won't influence decision-makers directly, it may well help awaken your fellow citizens. Chris' blogging has done this to me more than once.

This whole situation has made me think about threats to bloggers, particularly in repressive societies. The Committee to Protect Bloggers has shut down, although the people behind it are doing related work. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has some information on bloggers' rights, but it appears to be mostly written for US readers and toward avoiding civil lawsuits and other relatively mild consequences. Is there anything else out there, in the US or elsewhere?

Good luck, Chris, and I hope the creek starts running again soon.

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