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I wasn't a subscriber at Daily Kos when this drive started. Then, I got an email from a secret Santa who decided I deserved a lifetime subscription to Daily Kos. That note read:
Thank you for your contributions to the Daily Kos community, and for your activism in support of women in the DRC.

I write about human rights and the environment because it's my passion. I can't say why. While human rights and ecojustice sometimes doesn't get as much recommend attention as posts on Republican blunders and important domestic politics, this forum is still powerful place to raise these topics.

That is because one of the primary thing that brings us all together here is a want for the world to be better.

I hadn't realized how visible Daily Kos is until I started writing seriously about human rights and the environment. Since then, I've been contacted by several NGO's in response to my posts in EcoJustice Africa, a series I wrote with boatsie, citisven, blue jersey mom, and Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse. Once, after writing about conflict minerals in a 2009 eco blogathon, HEAL Africa contacted me, and I've been volunteering for them as much as I can ever since. I've gotten hate mail after posting about climate change. I even got hate mail from a genocide denier after posting something about the 1994 war in Rwanda. Someone at the Center for Victims of Torture wrote and complimented me about posts I'd written about waterboarding. I've also had reporters ask me questions because they were writing stories somehow related to a diary I'd recently posted.

These experiences are not unique. People notice these posts because it is Daily Kos. I've spoken with many Kossacks when they get contacted by people who lurk at this site. A lot of the DK eco writers get hate mail, too. Others get contacted by NGOs or political organizations. Sometimes it's personal. IGTNT writers commonly hear from military families who see the tributes and are comforted that ordinary people care about what they are going through with our protracted wars.

My point is that Daily Kos matters because it is such a visible forum. The attention that bloggers get here speaks to the megaphpone Daily Kos provides for us -- pooties and all. It is a tremendous privilege to have a large audience. It is also a great equalizer. That audience gives us the power to affect the narrative.

And so it is for my friends in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The main stream media in the US largely ignores them, and it is far too easy to focus on a negative story. There are plenty of awful things happening there. Perhaps the worst violence in the world is going on right now in eastern Congo. But that isn't the whole truth.

If posting on Daily Kos gives some traction to a postive story about the political activism in DR Congo, that helps to attract resources and attention to the good things that are happening there. They are doing amazing grassroots work on women's rights, conflict resolution, and uniting the country under a modern legal system. Organizations like HEAL Africa work with the American Bar Association to enforce modern laws and prosecute people who break them. And yes, they are convicting people for rape.

Daily Kos isn't just an ATM for political campaigns. You can write here to keep a fragile story alive without digging into your pockets. That makes a real and positive difference in people's lives.

In DR Congo, a lot of artists are trying to be heard by the west. There is a serious human rights and social justice movement happening in eastern Congo.

And this is Emma Katya Katondolo performing with Maisha Soul:

The people in Congo and people everywhere need their voices heard. Daily Kos is a visible forum to share important ideas that would otherwise slip away or get deliberately buried by those who want to maintain the status quo. It is here that we can shout from the rooftops.

And that is why it is absolutely worthwhile to subscribe to Daily Kos. If the Congo story doesn't convince you, think about the Keystone Pipeline protests in DC or the early days of OWS. Daily Kos was an integral part of what kept those stories afloat when the main stream media looked the other way.

You can buy a subscription for yourself or a friend on our subscription page. If you would like to make a donation to the site, you can do so on our donations page.

Originally posted to rb137 on Fri Dec 23, 2011 at 10:00 AM PST.

Also republished by EcoJustice, Inherent Human Rights, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, and Daily Kos.

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