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I'm spending the summer in Madison, Wisconsin and this morning went 
down to the State Capitol to participate in a demonstration in 
support of "Healthy Wisconsin, " legislation that would extend 
government funded health insurance to nearly everyone in the state, 
and which could be a step towards a single-payer system.

As we were assembling inside (for interesting historical reasons, it 
is possible to hold quite noisy demonstrations inside the Capitol 
Rotunda in Madison-not something they permit in most places), a rally 
was setting up outside organized by the Ministerial Alliance Against 
the Digital Divide, a Chicago based group based in the black 
churches. The literature they were distributing points out that 75% 
of African Americans and 74% of Hispanics with incomes below $30,000 
are not on line. "Children in economically disadvantaged communities 
attend schools without enough computers or high-speed modems and with 
teachers who aren't trained. High-speed access costs more money, and 
without the ability to pay, these Internet users are left behind."

I briefly talked with a couple of the organizers (one of whom joined 
our health care demonstration for a while). Their focus is on 
grassroots mobilization to hold governments and corporations 
accountable and to demand public and private investment "particularly 
in minority communities [their term] and those that are economically 
disadvantaged." I don't know much about the group, but this kind of 
organizing, with a political focus on making demands on the wealthy 
and powerful, is the kind of activity that I think constitutes 
genuine science for the people.

If you want to find out more, check out their website: http://maadd.org.

--PG