UPDATE: Activity on Twitter and tweets coming from Madison have been explosive today. We are not only seeing very high tweeting near the State Capitol, but the rest of Madison has seen a drop in tweeting as what we can only assume is an emptying out as people move towards the protest sites. Track in real time here.
It is truly strange how today seems to be the day when political power tired to crush collective protests. In the first part of the day the Egyptian Army stormed Tahrir Square by surprising hoping to end the sit in going in their. Later in the day the GOP in Wisconsin took a surprise move by reversing itself and saying that the end of collective bargaining was not fiscal in nature.
Bexxaloon Hussein Washington
RECALL WI GOPers CONTRIBUTE via @ActBluehttps://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/wiscrecall?refcode=dt#p2 #WIUNION #ashwednesday
If either governments in Cairo or Madison feel that sudden surprise action will demoralize opposition and cause protests to break up, they clearly have not grasped anything that has been happening over the last months.
As we posted earlier, the action in Tahrir Square lead to a massive surge in tweeting in and around the Square. Protests flooded Twitter with calls to re-organize. We anticipate the situation for the Army in Cairo will become much more difficult as it faces a new and renewed protest movement, one that is become convinced of the meme that recent attacks on Coptics and Women were carried out by thugs in an familiar pattern of divide and conquer.
We saw essentially the same event in Madison with Twitter levels reaching about 90 when the surprise move was made by the Wisconsin legislator. Levels continue at 70, which is extremely elevated for Madison and levels we have not seen for a city of that size.
Base upon that and our review of the contents of hashtags on Twitter related to the protest we anticipate that the protests against Walker and the GOP in Wisconsin will continue, and potentially even get larger. That protesters are using Social Media right now to communicate, motivate, form community, and make determination.
One thing to remember about Twitter is that it is global. If someone says something in a bar about standing up to the government it might easily pass without action with any serious lose of face to the individual saying it. But a global forum like Twitter is probably more likely to form a sense of obligation and bond between participants. And from what we are reading in Twitter today we anticipate the movement is likely not to end until a recall.