Ende Gelände is the radical environmentalist movement against climate change and here they are blocking a strip mine.

Protesting is a core German competence. There is deep institutional knowledge of how and why to do this. At the drop of a hat and with a lot of organizing infrastructure, it is possible to get thousands of people to join something like this.

YouTube hatchet job on the CDU

A collective of the largest German YouTubers have just before the European elections launched a campaign against the CDU and it’s a joy to see.

The CDU which is usually fully ignorant when it comes to digital issues has taken this broadside seriously. That by itself was a huge mistake. Most serious institutions would and should brush off something coming from new media.

Whether this will have an effect is hugely unclear. The core CDU audience is disconnected and apathetic but they do get a lot of votes from other segments as well and there they could be slightly vulnerable. In any case, the series of fumbles that the CDU has embarked upon while trying to address this has only served to give the boycott movement wings.

What’s interesting about the YouTubers is that they break with the German institutional consensus which is white, male and old. That group of people has a certain set of opinions and interests which has made sure that Germany has become increasingly backward. The YouTubers are young, (judging by their names and handles) diverse and not all male. And most importantly they have reach and fewer entrenched interests.

https://www.tagesspiegel.de/politik/neues-video-von-rezo-mehr-als-70-youtube-stars-rufen-zum-boykott-von-cdu-und-spd-auf/24379566.html?fbclid=IwAR2jbOBkIBldbxKy6HN45qqt9N8CotfCYP-4h1mBosolneeTcknxFxgTjCY

“Everyone else, money manager big or small, met with him virtually, over Zoom. When Yuan flew to New York for the IPO, it was just his eighth work trip in five years.”

Zoom is the real deal and the story behind its success is immensely inspiring.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/alexkonrad/2019/04/19/zoom-zoom-zoom-the-exclusive-inside-story-of-the-new-billionaire-behind-techs-hottest-ipo/#4e292eaa4af1

Dutch Public Broadcasting Goes Fake News

Geert Wilders, leader of the PVV —the far right Dutch Freedom Party— had his campaign start today for the upcoming parliamentary elections in Spijkenisse, one of his traditional strongholds.

The eight o’clock news of the NOS (the Netherlands’ state broadcaster) opened with this and their reporter Michiel Breedveld on the scene in the video below said it had attracted ‘an unbelievable crowd of people’.

Other reporters who were on the scene today (1, 2) said the number of people Wilders had attracted was somewhere between 80 to 200 and that the ratio of supporters and press was about 1:1.

Salima Bouchtaoui: ‘Spijkenisse this Saturday morning. Lots of press. And lots of police. Few people.’

Haro Kraak: ‘There were at most 150 supporters of the PVV, probably fewer. And at least as much press, probably more.’

There seems to have been so much press that this was what it looked like most of the time.

This incident is oddly reminiscent of Trump’s inauguration where the actual number of people present was much lower than was claimed by the administration.

But the crucial difference is that Trump was the liar. Wilders could spread the lie that his campaign start ‘had the most people ever’ but why should he if the state broadcaster does it for him?

Update: Dutch newspaper the Volkskrant (a newspaper I’ve given some grief before) calls the NOS’s coverage bad and harmful.

Update: De NOS have posted a rectification on their single page hard to link they use for this.

It’s not the opening of the evening news, but it will have to do. Notably they say they have used ‘wrong words’ to describe the event and they still put the number of supporters at several hundred.