Monday, March 29, 2004
After Madrid train bombs, SMS countered official PR
A Spanish citizen wrote this extraordinary letter to Tom Tomorrow about the Madrid train bombing of March 11. In part, it said:
[After the bombing] many people began to ask "who did it?" . . . and "we want the truth before voting" [but] The Government stuck to the ETA [Basque terrorist] hypothesis trying to avoid this probable electoral damage . . . Government-controlled public and private televisions, radios and newspapers broadcasted once and again "it was ETA", but each minute less people was buying it . . . In a matter of hours, Spain was bipolarized, with thousands seeking information in Internet and sending it via SMS to their friends. IMHO, the Government went mad and commited suicide in this moment. They agreed there were "Islamic clues" but said once and again it was ETA although the mass crime was claimed three times by Al-Qaeda and there were several tapes (two or three, still unknown) with Islamic messages claiming "Operation Trains of Death" in Madrid and threatening "Smoke of Death" in Italy and "Winds of Death" in the USA. Millions began to think they were being lied, with the blood of 200 Spaniards still warm. SMS messages with the truth spreaded very quickly (I received about 50 from about 40 different sources). In workers' districts through the country, people began to protest beating pans in the windows and shouting "they make wars, we suffer them", "we are not puppets" and "Spain is not to be lied".Read the entire letter here.
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