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Live from Netroots Nation

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Live from Netroots Nation

Posted by Laura Heaton on August 14, 2009

Live from Netroots Nation

Day 2 at Netroots Nation is well underway, and the afternoon workshops are getting started now, following a morning highlighted by speeches by Governor Howard Dean, Senator Arlen Specter, and Representative Joe Sestak.

If you followed me on Twitter yesterday, you probably have a sense of one of the moments I was most fired up about.  There were some excellent panels about converting online activism into concrete actions, and about the integration of blogging and traditional media. But what got Zack (@zbrisson) and me (laura4Enough) on our feet simultaneously applauding and tweeting were President Clinton’s remarks about Secretary Hillary Clinton’s recent trip to Africa, particularly her determination to visit Goma in Congo’s eastern region to highlight the shocking prevalence of sexual violence.

“I think Secretaries of State should go to the places of human misery in the world,” Bill Clinton said. I strongly agree. Secretary Clinton is setting a very admirable example of how US leaders should use their influence and media spotlight to draw attention to conflicts that rarely make the front page.

I heard some people criticize the former president for mentioning eastern Congo in such a negative light, but given the level of human suffering in the region, I found his remarks to be frank and refreshingly free of diplomatic gloss.

This afternoon, we’re making the rounds to the following panels:

Global Solutions for Global Poverty, featuring Ray Offenheiser, Anita Sharma, Matt Yglesias, and Mark Leon Goldberg (Gayle Smith unable to attend)

Crowdsourcing: What Happens When We’re All Experts? featuring Jim Gilliam, Josh Levy, Gina Cooper, Tracy Viselli, and Sarah Granger

Online Tools and Online Organizing for Real-World Action, featuring Michael Silberman, Natalie Foster, and Matt Ewing

If you’re at Netroots Nation, we’re cruising around with Enough tee shirts and brochures to hand out. Let’s meet up and talk about the role of traditional and new media in drawing attention to the world’s most dire human rights abuses.