Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What is a social network?

Photo: OLPL. Paying Gorky's fine of 600 pesos

When Gorky was detained in August, among the blogs of Cubans inside and outside of Cuba we established a social network: exchange of information, giving priority to news about the situation in Havana, etc. From here, we also established a much smaller network connecting the bloggers and prioritizing solidarity. I remember Lizabel Mónica called me and said it could be any one of us who were in the dungeon. If, when we left the protestódromo, a friend with a telephone hadn’t been there to take me on a bike to the home of another friend who had a computer, and I hadn’t had an email account from another friend, I’d never have been able to send out a message about the beatings and arrests. We didn’t know it, but we were a small social network.

What this is, more or less, is a completely independent group of citizens who are not active in the same organization, or who don’t belong to any (like me), and who for solidarity, conviction, or because it works for them and they like it, establish contact for mutual help.

The good thing is that it is NOT an organization and everyone can participate up to whatever point they consider comfortable and convenient. You don’t have to sign anything, write anything, take responsibility, protest, or take any risk you don’t want to take.

I do believe that in Cuba there are people who read the blogs, and I also believe that these people can help other people read the blogs. If you read me from Cuba, you have copies of the discs, pass them around in USB flash drives, renew your copy monthly with the person who gave it to you last month, and pass it on to your friends.

And always remember: You are reading Cuban voices because you like doing it, and that has no risk.

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