And that doesn't include the number of people who were reached only by email. The Not One Damn Dime (NODD) email probably reached another 40 million people and recruited another 4 million participants. Subtracting out some overlap, our estimate is 5 million to 8 million participants.
We're trying to better estimate the number of participants via a survey run by Bentley College. Please spend ten minutes answering the survey so we can have some solid answers for the press on our numbers. And please ask other participants to respond at http://www.NotOneDamnDime.com/Bentley/
You can see below the number of people who responded online to commit to participating - 16,000 as of Jan. 20. Their reasons for participating are laid out in our blog.
Our goal was to raise awareness on two issues:
Contrary to many objectors' opinions, NODD never had any economic goals. A boycott cannot have any economic effect in one day -- they require weeks or months. If shutting down small businesses for one day had a real economic effect, this week's snowstorms would have caused bankruptcy filings by the dozens. NODD was a POLITICAL protest that used an economic boycott as a method and a symbol.
Pete Smith is a communications professional from Minnesota who has long been concerned with encroaching corporatism and its effects on government and media. He is especially concerned with corporate media's suffocating effect on the national dialogue.
"In America today," he says, "money talks while the government and corporate media systematically silence and ignore those who dissent."
He finds the war in Iraq to be especially galling.
Smith sees the Internet as the one medium where corporate control has yet to completely unbalance news coverage and quash dissent. He is especially fascinated by its ability to deliver a message to tens of millions of people in a hurry.
He wrote "Not One Damn Dime" on December 7th and sent it to a handful of friends the same day. "I remember it quite clearly," Smith says. "It was just after breakfast on December 7th, 2004. Cold. Dreary. The election had come. The election had gone. It looked like our long national nightmare was going to go on another four years, and I was still feeling a bit fragile. So I sat down at the computer, opened Outlook Express, and dashed off a quick email to 80 million people around the planet...."
For readers with an insatiable curiosity, Pete has answered the FAQ questions that we posed on the NotOneDamnDime.com website:
Q. Who made up NODDD?
A. I did. In my home office. After breakfast on 12/7/04.
Q. What organizations are backing you?
Q.Isn't this internet-based protest a form of not really doing anything?
A. There is a deep well of pent-up frustration at work in America today. There is also a deep-seated sense of futility. Corporate media won't cover protests (case in point, the minimalization of the D.C. protests on Inauguration Day). From the beginning, main stream (corporate) media has given those who oppose the Bush Administration short shrift. If there is anyone who is not really doing anything, it is corporate media. That said, if this Internet-based protest does nothing more than foster a sense of community among those who disagree with the war in Iraq, it will have done something really important.
Q. Why do you care about this?
A. I'm a political junkie, as well as a media junkie. I resent the way the electorate, the politicians and the press were manipulated in the run-up to the war in Iraq. I especially resent the Democrat's acquiescence and the media's failures. More than 1300 Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqis are dead because the Democrats and the media would not stand up and say "bullshit."
I care because there seems to be an assumption among the media moguls that the people - the "great unwashed," if you will - are stupid, gullible and easy to manipulate. Internet protests like this prove them wrong.
I care because I am a Vietnam veteran (non combat). I volunteered to go. My contemporaries, the men who drummed up the war in Iraq did not.
Q. Why an economic protest?
A. In America, money is the only thing that talks.
Q. Why spread it by the Internet?
A. There was no other way.
Q. Why keep your identity secret?
Many people complained about the economic effect of a general boycott on small business. We will pick a protest method on April 15 that more directly targets political leaders instead of targeting small business. We will also design a protest method that allows for counting the number of participants more readily, while still an easy-to-do protest.
But mostly we need YOU. Your participation in Not One Damn Dime Day was the reason the press noticed. Your forwarding the email to your friends and colleagues made it impossible to ignore. We're asking the same thing for April 15 -- . With millions of us acting together, we can take back America from the corporations and the politicians!
DamnDime RedCent Posted Date HomePage HomePage Comments ---------- -------- -------- -------- Wed Dec 22 116 49 36 Wed Dec 29 318 101 55 Mon Jan 3 550 236 107 Tue Jan 4 1,031 298 169 Wed Jan 5 1,136 190 185 Thu Jan 6 1,107 228 187 Fri Jan 7 1,195 233 190 Sat Jan 8 1,216 170 241 Sun Jan 9 1,665 284 247 Mon Jan 10 3,888 466 603 Tue Jan 11 17,762 468 3,066 Wed Jan 12 >13,893 >401 >1,258 Thu Jan 13 Viewership counter broken Wed Jan 14 >8,598 >309 >861 Sat Jan 15 Viewership counter broken Sun Jan 16 >6,901 >321 >918 Mon Jan 17 14,771 676 1,516 Tue Jan 18 24,331 921 2,372 Wed Jan 19 46,708 1,508 4,831 Thu Jan 20 41,306 1,684 3,985 Fri Jan 21 8,851 355 506Symbol ">" indicates the viewership counter was partially counting that day (due to a broken counter or in-progress day), and the daily total is an unknown number greater than the numbers shown.