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Hack the Union locally: Building an activist movement from scratch

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”, Margret Mead.

This sentence comes to mind if we think back what happened in Austria in the last year. After years of deep sleep the net political scene in the tiny alp republic emerged out of it’s cave. Around the issue of data retention a group of young, idealistic people started to gather tried get attention on topics of their concern. After a series of miserable failures, many adversities and doubts, things finally started moving. Now the working group on data retention can show a citizen initiative on their cause with over 100.000 supporters, nearly 2% of the austrian population, and the biggest constitutional complaint in the countrys history under way.

Two out of many activist will try to draw conclusions in this talk. It targets net-citizens in countries without established citizen-advocacy groups for internet politics. They aim to explain what worked, and what
didn’t focusing on the minimal set of infrastructure, people and tools you need to kick ass.