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Tikkun Intern -- Jorge Cino
Jorge Cino
Jorge M. Cino was a web editor intern at Tikkun Daily. He loves to talk about storytelling, social justice, philosophy, and religion.

A Promise and a Threat: WikiLeaks’ “Anonymous” and the Shaping of Online Protest


by: on December 21st, 2010 | 15 Comments »

About two months after Malcolm Gladwell’s notorious (and notoriously dismissive) proclamation, “The revolution will not be tweeted,” we find ourselves in the middle of the Wikigate scandal. There is a metaphysical lesson in there, I’m sure.

Now that WikiLeaks — legitimately or otherwise — has leaked a massive amount of confidential information, and now that different agencies of control — legitimately or otherwise — are trying to punish its founder and indirectly intimidate those who might attempt something similar in the future, a different kind of battle is being shaped: the battle over who gets to control the digital space. From our point of view, this mean means: who gets to voice their opinion online and how will online protest techniques be shaped? How can we make them have the largest impact possible? In the near future, protesting online will become as important as following causes or donating money, and social media will play a big role in shaping how those protests are expressed, as well as their effectiveness. This is something that progressives need to keep an eye on.


ESRA – Now Available in Spanish


by: on November 30th, 2010 | Comments Off

Dear Tikkunistas,

It is with great pleasure that we bring you the Spanish translation of the Environmental and Social Responsibility Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, or ESRA. Written by Rabbi Michael Lerner and Peter Gabel, and developed in collaboration with the Network of Spiritual Progressives, this Spanish version was translated by José Luis Sanchez (and proofread by me).

We hope this enables more people to get excited about the ideas of the ESRA. Please pass this post or the entire text around to any Latino organization or individual you think might want to get behind it. Also, remember that we are looking for people who can translate the ESRA into Hebrew, Arabic, French, Italian, German, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, and other languages. If you know anyone with these language capabilities who would like to do it, please ask them to contact Rabbi Lerner at rabbilerner@tikkun.org. We are interested in translating other Tikkun articles and NSP materials as well.

Por favor, circule este documento y procure el endoso de consejos municipales, legislaturas estatales, senadores y congresistas federales, partidos políticos y organizaciones cívicas, religiosas y profesionales.

Por favor, firme y endose la Enmienda de Responsabilidad Ambiental y Social (ESRA)a la Constitución de los Estados Unidos.


Debating Social Activism In the Age of Tweeting, Blogging, and Facebook-ing


by: on October 26th, 2010 | 1 Comment »

“[Social media] makes it easier for activists to express themselves, and harder for that expression to have any impact.”

This provocative assertion was made by Malcolm Gladwell in his New Yorker piece, “Small Change,” published earlier this month.

To sum it up quickly, Gladwell’s article is centered around what kind of activism social-media outlets are really motivating. Specifically, he talks about Twitter and Facebook, and omits -though it is public knowledge- that he doesn’t use and doesn’t like Twitter. But we’ll let that slide. The article first relates the story of four African-Americans who, in 1960, were refused service at a restaurant in Greensboro, NC, for having sat down on seats that were reserved for “white people.” The episode sparked a massive and violent student protest which “became a civil-rights war that engulfed the South for the rest of the decade – and it happened without e-mail, texting, Facebook, or Twitter.”

By the end of the article you’ll see that he clearly thinks that Internet-based social activism is effective only when it requires 1) less effort, 2) less personal involvement, and 3) less hierarchical organization than when it does not. Following this logic, we could say that it’s easy to retweet someone else’s message about a rally happening somewhere, and it’s easy to like it on Facebook and say you will be attending the event, but when it comes to actually making phone calls, and printing out flyers, and organizing meetings, or putting our personal freedom at risk, our motivation to participate quickly fades. Problem is, Gladwell explains, that real, radical social movements have always required high-risk actions and close ties among their members, not to mention a strong organizational component. Gladwell concludes that social media today is useful only for small-scale, low-involvement social participation.

Several social-media critics have responded toGladwell’s claims, includingTwitter co-founder Biz Stone himself. Most of them disagree with Gladwell’s assessment. Some smart readers do too.They criticize Gladwell for making an unfair comparison between “Twitter activism” and the Civil Rights Movement, and they say that Gladwell is making a big mistake by dismissing the entire spectre of possibilities of social networking. His view, they say, is anachronistic and unrealistic. The world doesn’t function and doesn’t organize itself the same way it did in the 60s. The enemies are different. So are the players.


America Meditates 2010: 30 Cities Throughout the Continent Meditate for Peace


by: on October 21st, 2010 | 1 Comment »

America Meditates 2010 - Lima, Peru

The international nongovernmental organization The Art of Living — founded in 1981 by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar — held a massive meditation ceremony last Sunday under the motto: “America Meditates — Because Peace Is Contagious.” Joining in for a synchronized meditation session were over thirty cities throughout the American continent, from Buenos Aires to New York City. Last year, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s event gathered over 20,000 people:

The aim was to soothe the suffering of people post a period which has seen economic challenges, political turmoil and natural disasters. Comfort, a sense of belonging and responsibility toward the community, and a positive approach were the natural outcomes when thousands of people united in an atmosphere of peace and calm. Some of the experiences of people: “Thank you for coming to my city and share this wonderful experience with us,” and “We need this kind of events in my country. Please keep doing them.”

Before or after the event, I could not find any information pointing to meditation sessions being scheduled in any West Coast city. Did any Tikkun readers hear about/participate in the event?

Here are some videos from last Sunday:


Coming (and Being) “Out” as a Spiritual Path


by: on October 11th, 2010 | 1 Comment »

For those of us who have come out of the closet, National Coming Out Day – which is being internationally celebrated today – is a good reminder of the spiritual journey each of us have undergone since the fateful day we decided to say, “Enough. I am who I am, and from today onwards I will live by it.”

The idea that coming out is a defining spiritual moment in a person’s life is not something you’ll find in mainstream LGBT discourse. Understandably so, of course: those who control religious discourse in America and elsewhere have done a tremendously effective job at turning gay people against organized religion. Ask a gay guy if they believe in God and an overwhelming majority of them will say, “I don’t think so,” or “No, I don’t.”