Eli Pariser

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Eli Pariser (1980-) is an American progressive activist who turned, at age 19, from traditional protests to Internet-based activism. He is Executive Director and acting board chairman of MoveOn.org Political Action, a board member, Campaign for America’s Future, and an adviser to J Street and the New Organizing Institute.

At an anti-International Monetary Fund demonstration in April 2000, he decided "All of a sudden, I realized that the scripted confrontation of attacking and antagonizing them wasn't going to get us anywhere. It changed the way I was thinking, tactically." [1]

After the 9-11 Attacks, he formed the antiwar online petition, 9-11peace.org, an online petition calling for military restraint and a multilateral response. Wes Boyd, who had formed MoveOn in response to the Bill Clinton impeachment effort, observed "Eli was in the same place as we were when we got started. We got in touch and said, 'Can we help?'" Boyd hired him to run the international programs of MoveOn, then aimed at preventing the Iraq War. At a February 2002 rally, sharing a stage with Desmond Tutu and Martin Luther King, III, he said "I don't want to be part of the Great Left Martyrdom story, where we simply say, 'We fought the good fight and we lost.' I don't want to be on the losing side."

Married in 2008, he used his tactical sense experience to propose, in 2003, a more serious relationship to his future wife, Lindsay Reinhardt.
You make your case, and you look them straight in the eye and say, ‘I’d like to ask you to support this campaign,’ ” he explained. “Then you don’t say anything after that until the other person talks, so the ball’s in their court.
Ms. Reinhardt was taken by surprise. “He laid out his plan for how great it would be if we were together,” she remembered. “Then he said nothing. Just silence.” [2]
In 2004, he sent an email to MoveOn supporters regarding the U.S. Democratic Party,
"For years, the party has been led by elite Washington insiders who are closer to corporate lobbyists than they are to the Democratic base. But we can't afford four more years of leadership by a consulting class of professional election losers. In the last year, grass-roots contributors like us gave more than $300 million to the Kerry campaign and the DNC, and proved that the party doesn't need corporate cash to be competitive. Now it's our party: we bought it, we own it, and we're going to take it back.[3]

References

  1. Alex Markels (May/June 2005), "Virtual Peacenik", Mother Jones
  2. "Lindsay Reinhardt, Eli Pariser", New York Times, 8 June 2008
  3. MoveOn, DiscoverTheNetworks