Channel SL News
Second Life Left Unity members were interviewed last night for Channel 4 News.
How many members are there in your group?
We have 60 members -and growing fast.
What other anti-fascist actions have you planned/executed?
We intend to continue lobbying Linden Labs to look into the conduct of FNSL members, and to take appropriate action. We intend to carry out a counter information and education campaign, amongst SL residents, to raise awareness of the real-world threat posed by this political ideology. We intend to offer the fullest support to residents who have been discriminated against and harassed, in-world by members of this group and we are currently in the process of building an information and support centre to further these ends.
Did you take part in the original protest in Porcupine?
Yes, our organisation was instrumental in rallying support for the original protests in Porcupine. They were brought to our awareness by a RL French citizen who had learned of the presence of Front National within Second Life and who wanted to bring the issue to wider attention. The protests were a joint effort between our group and another - anti fnsl.
How were you successful?
We have been successful in bringing awareness of a RL political problem to a brand new medium. In raising the profile SL's viability as a platform for political debate and engagement and in forging cooperation between residents of many nationalities. Engagement! Debate! Awareness!
Do you think you will drive the FN out of politics?
We do not as a group, seek an outright ban of FN from SL before their actions in-world merit it - because, as abhorrent as we may find their policies - we don't think an ideology can be extinguished merely by being conveniently pushed out of sight. We believe that now that this real-world political problem has been brought to wider attention amongst the SL community, it would be better for such an ideology to be combated within SL by means of a counter-information and education campaign, and that this would be more likely to have beneficial knock-on RL consequences in terms of fully utilising this medium to raise awareness of RL political issues and conflicts.
Are you active in real world politics?
The idea originated from members of the Scottish Socialist Party. It has outgrown this into a world wide left unity group comprising of activists, including union organisers, anarchists, socialists and people concerned with social justice from many countries and all walks of life and who are critical of the current world wide neo-conservative capitalist system.
Are you from all sorts of nationalities?
Yes, we are from all over the world - our sixty members represent most of Europe, and North and South America. We put our press releases out in four languages to reflect this multi-linguistic community.
What protest techniques do you have - apart from the balloon bombs? Did you use exploding pigs?
Our group has at no point advocated the use of weapons in the protests, in fact we do not tolerate the use of violent tactics amongst our members, as we believe it to be a counterproductive approach. The protesters who oppose FN in SL come from many disparate sectors of the SL and international community - those who used weapons as a means of protest were doing so as a means of expressing their own strong Anti-FN sentiments, and were not endorsed by SLLU.
Do you think Politics has a place in Second Life? Or should it be kept to the real world?
Second Life is only ever going to reflect the real people who drive it and create it; as such, it would be incredibly naive to say that politics has no place in this environment. We firmly believe that this kind of new media brings unique opportunities for making people more conscious of their common bonds and interests. In addition, initiatives such as our own, and the 'Camp Darfur' and 'World Development Movement' installations mean that this new media can open up dialogue around real life issues to people around the world.
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