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autonome a.f.r.i.k.a gruppe:
Protest in the virtual marketplace - the online demonstration against Lufthansa in 2001

A new text of autonome a.f.r.i.k.a.-group is now available in English language. You can find this text on the Webpage of the Re:Activism-Conference Website (Budapest 10/2005).

"In June 2001, German activists staged an online demonstration against the involvement of the German Airline Lufthansa in deportations of asylum seekers. This protest was conceived as an adaptation of established forms of street protest (demonstration, blockade) to the 'virtual urban space' of the internet. Using floodnet-type software, more than 10000 activists attacked the Lufthansa website and disturbed the e-business activities of the airline, just after the e-business website of Lufthansa went online and only days before a major shareholder meeting. Not only in terms of the number of persons involved, but also in terms of media coverage before and after the event, it was possibly the most successful action of this type ever in Germany.

We analyse this action in view of its context and pre-requisites, and in view of the experiences of organisers, participants and by-standers. What were the criteria of 'success' or 'failure', what were the legal repercussions (still contested at the moment these lines are written), how did the protest represent itself to its participants? We argue that, in trying to adapt and reproduce forms of street protest within the 'virtual' setting of the internet, activists had in fact to create a new communication network, both virtual and real, where the action could be announced, discussed, visualised and self-represented. In conclusion we discuss to which extent the success of this action was dependent on earlier media discourses on the internet ('Internet-Hype'), and ask whether this success can be reproduced in the present-day situation."

Full Paper

More information about the panel, where this lecture have taken place.

twoday.net AGB

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