Facebook is a weapon of mass construction

For those of you who think “Facebook Activism” is only good for whining about the company’s latest invasions of your privacy, or expressing support for Stephen Colbert’s “presidential race,” check it:

Over 270,000 Facebook members, mostly Central American youths, have joined a group called “One Million Voices Against FARC,” which was established one month ago. The group leaders organized a rally, using Facebook as a means to gather support both within Columbia as well as globally. This past Monday, between 500,000 and 2 million Columbians marched in the streets, with thousands joining them in over 133 countries worldwide.

FARC, which in English stands for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia-People’s Army, considers itself to be a guerilla movement for Columbian communism. Most of the rest of the world, including Columbia, prefers the term “terrorist organization”. The movement is specifically geared toward halting the ubiquitous kidnapping tactics employed by FARC, claiming that thousands have been wrongly imprisoned by the group for over a decade.

Nevertheless, some Columbians feel that the movement may serve only to polarize the country. Though they acknowledge the importance of standing up to unethical practices such as kidnapping, protesting FARC itself is a bit more nuanced. From The Christian Science Monitor:

“While few Colombians support the Marxist insurgent army that has been fighting the Colombian state for more than 40 years, many people are uncomfortable with the message of Monday’s rally. They would prefer a broader slogan against kidnapping and in favor of peace and of negotiations between the government and the rebels to exchange hostages for jailed rebels. The leftist Polo Democratico Party said it will hold a rally in Bogotá in favor of a negotiation but would not march. Some senators say they will march against Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, and other participants say they will be marching in favor of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.”

The group’s discussion board is probably the best insight into the myriad issues and sentiments the struggle evokes amongst Central and South American youth, reflecting struggles against racism, classism, and corrupt governments. Thanks to Claire-bear for keeping her finger on the pulse of Free Speech Radio!