Version 7 (modified by Hilary Goldstein, 9 years ago) (diff)


Here are the questions for the membership form:

Provide a brief description of your organization and the constituency you work with: *

May First/People Link is the largest progressive Internet Technology organization in the United States and among the oldest providers of Internet services in the world. With over 550 members, about 400 of them organizations, the organization brings to the Internet service industry an alternative approach: members pay dues, which are pooled to purchase equipment and pay maintenance costs, and all members share those resources by hosting their websites, email accounts and mail lists with us. An MF/PL member does not pay for any of these resources, no matter how many they use.

MF/PL has also revolutionized the concept of technical support as a "shared responsibility" of members; has organized and developed a special team of technologists who work on the organization's infra-structure; and we are a member-run organization with yearly membership meetings and an elected Leadership Committee making key strategic decisions.

Aside from our basic mission -- sharing and protecting members' Internet resources -- May First is active in many campaigns and activities principal among them the World Social Forum and the U.S. Social Forum:we are in the leadership bodies of both and provide extensive technology work and resources to both movements. We are also very active in the international Climate Change movement. MF/PL is a member of the Association for Progressive Communications and sponsors and does workshops in about a dozen conferences and events every year.

How do you see the intersection of social change and media justice?: *

Our work is primarily Internet focused. The Internet is among the social justice movement's most potent communication tools. The Internet has already played a critical role in combating disinformation, expressing new ideas, delivering truth and bringing committed people together.

Many commercial providers and corporate interests don't want the Internet to belong to everyone. For them, the Internet is a way of selling your products and services and that vision dictates their approach to your use of the Internet and the development of its technology. Corporations have attempted to block political email in the name "fighting spam," prioritize commercial traffic over non-commercial traffic, and otherwise limit the use of the Internet as a tool for distributing information vital for our movements for social justice. The Internet also has other critical challenges including varying levels of access across rural/urban, economic, racial and gender lines.

We believe it's important to develop the Internet, and Internet policy, in ways that empower progressive movements and communities to develop technologies and approaches to services and tools that both address the specific needs and enhance the communications and organizing potential of our movements and communities. We believe these principles are fully aligned with those of the media justice movement.

What strengths and experiences can you bring to the network?: *

As a membership organization we bring a collective energy of organizers who have already identified the Internet as a critical political issue and support the existence of an alternative and progressive communications infrastructure. We bring our technological experience and expertise to issues of free and open source software, collaborative democracy tools, and policy questions around technology and communications. We also bring our commitment and dedication to the principles of media justice.

What would you like to get out of being a member?: *

(I'm pulling this out of nowhere so edit away) Though much of our international work addresses serious questions about technology access and infrastructure, we have been less specifically involved in many of the day to day battles and debates over Internet legislation in the US that groups like MAGNet are actively working on. We would see one benefit of membership to be a deeper engagement in these conversations and efforts. And we are constantly looking for opportunities to connect with like minded, issue-focused organizations across the country -- both as potential members and/or collaborative partners. In fact, many members of the MAGNet community are already MF/PL members.