A normal morning in Dalston, London. The visionOntv crew are slaving away over their laptops, as usual, on a Sunday morning, when I notice a very angry tweet from Jeff Jarvis, a professor of journalism in New York. Clicking on the hashtag I discover a torrent of impassioned truth-telling, of rude and direct passionate truth-telling, because the tag, which is "#FuckYouWshington", is the portal to a deluge of public fury.
"My dream is a virtual chant rising up in volume hour upon hour; FUCK YOU WASHINGTON!" Jarvis said originally, in a twitter post, before one of his followers (@boogerpussy) suggested turning it into a hashtag "#fuckyouwashington" (without the spaces and capitals). And, almost immediately, it turned into a catch-all hashtag, which people started using to share their thoughts about the media, the wars and other social issues.
"#fuckyouwashington making it easier for a kid to go to war than it is to go to college, making it easier for a kid to die than get a job" (@labgrrl)
"#fuckyouwashington for turning politics into sport, more important for your for your team to win than for the country to do what is right" (@alienrasta)
"#fuckyouwashington for telling us you don't torture and continuing to do it". (@LiberalPagan)
Sitting in Dalston we have a brief discussion about the equivalent hashtag for the UK. Deciding, we tweet:
"#fuckyouwestminster we need to take the social media conversation to the streets, UK joins #fuckyouwashington".
The results are instant.
"#fuckyouwestminster for scapegoating benefit cheats while claiming for moats and porn" (@realsociology)
"#fuckyouwestminster for selling off out public services for peanuts so your mates can make big profits at our expense" (@casi_insurgente)
"#fuckyouwestminster for cutting the taxes of corporations while rising VAT hitting the incomes of working families the hardest" (@jjarichardson)
"#fuckyouwestminster for unleashing uniformed thugs on defenceless students" (@ravensrod)
Though it wasn’t so much Jeff Jarvis' tweet, it was more Dave Winer's ☮ tweeted reply that set me in motion.
“Political action on twitter is meaningless. Shut off the computer, @jeffjarvis, get on amtrak, and camp out on the mall in dc. (@davewiner )
Get off the computer and onto the streets.