This video shot by ConservativeHome from a helicopter on Sunday shows a massive protest against the closure of key hospital services in Grant Shapp’s constituency:
Grant set up Hospital SOS and it now has cross-party support locally and thousands of supporters (it took a thousand just to form that sign). This rapid mobilisation of grassroots groups is getting easier and easier to organise with the internet. A couple of weeks ago I cycled into a huge routeless cycle protest blocking the roads in Westminster, it was entirely organised through a campaign website and on Facebook. Flashmobbing often brings thousands of strangers together at very short notice to do an unusual act in a public area, such as a pillow fight or silent rave.
The catalyst for this is the ease with which anybody can film something and put it on YouTube for the world to see, these events are full of people holding cameraphones and camcorders.
Very aptly, I’m off to a Bebo conference on Politics 2.0 this morning. Joe Trippi, the author of "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Democracy, the Internet and the Overthrow of Everything" and the campaign manager for Howard Dean’s famous internet-driven presidential campaign, will be speaking.