Reds in cyberspace

By Scott Marshall, in People's Weekly World,
16 September, 1995.

The People's Weekly World has been available for over a year now on the Internet. Each week articles are posted for reading in several newsgroups including alt.activism, and alt.society.labor-unions.

Newsgroups are like electronic bulletin boards on the Internet where messages, articles, and letters are posted for all to read. In fact, some of these newsgroups are read by tens of thousands of people every day. Alt.activism is one of the top newsgroups in terms of numbers of readers.

These Peoples Weekly World articles, in turn, are picked up by others and reposted to an even wider audience on mass electronic mail (e-mail) mailing lists, on smaller networks in different countries or on campuses. Articles are also stored on large computers that maintain archives of interesting materials so people can access them over phone lines to browse for information. Literally, in this way, the articles from the Peoples Weekly World become available to millions of people around the world.

The People's Weekly World has been on the cutting edge of using this new communications medium for the left. While it is still true that most of the working class does not yet have access to the Internet, every day thousands of new working class users are going on line.

Due to the rapid increase in computer technology in all areas of the work place, many have access through their job sites. Still thousands more are getting access through services like America Online, Compuserve, Prodigy and the new (built into the new Windows95 operating system) Microsoft Network.

Now we're taking a bold step into some of the newer technology on the Internet. In the last Cyber.News column I described the explosive growth of the World Wide Web (WWW). It is a graphical way of finding and viewing material on the Internet that is easier to use and much more fun to look at. Web pages, as they are called, can contain pictures, graphics, even video clips and music sound tracks.

Turn your Web browser (computer software used to access the WWW) to the following address:

It's an exciting experience.

Here you'll find all kinds of information about the Communist Party, its activities and ideas. You'll also find a beautiful online edition of the

People's Weekly World, including articles from the current edition of the paper each week and an archive of past weeks articles.

Check out the 'Other Resources' link also. By clicking your mouse on a link you can find other valuable Web pages full of information and news useful for activists. (A mouse is the little pointing device that all computers have grown in the last few years.) One highlight is a link to the Detroit Journal, the Web page of the striking Detroit newspaper workers.

There is another exciting cutting edge use of the Internet for the left that we are pioneering. In a joint project with the Communist Party of Canada, the Communist Party USA is helping to establish the Rednet. Rednet is an e-mail network that allows for the rapid exchange of articles, speeches, announcements and ideas between Communist and workers parties, and their press around the world.

This initiative and its potential has prompted quite a few parties to establish computer connections to the Internet so they can participate. The Rednet is already helping many papers, including the People's Weekly World, get faster information and an exchange of articles to help improve international coverage. Though the Rednet is only in its infant stages, it offers great possibilities for action and unity in international affairs.

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