Yes, MySpace can do good things

These days, it’s fun to rail on MySpace for all its problems. Journalists love a juicy story after all. So today’s juicy story is that teens in multiple cities around the country have walked out of class to protest the new immigration policy proposals.

It started with a posting on MySpace.com. E-mail and text messages spread it like wildfire. And with the help of old-fashioned paper fliers, a mass student protest materialized in an instant.

Gustavo Jiminez, 16, conceived the rally Sunday morning while browsing the popular Web site. He saw a California girl’s posting about legislation to make it a felony to enter the country illegally or to help illegal immigrants.

"They’re making my family – making immigrants – look like criminals," the Duncanville High School junior said. "They’re putting us down as a statistic, as a number. We’re not a number; we’re here to help."

In what some Internet users are calling a "Net-roots" effort, a 24-hour blitz of activity by youthful organizers inspired as many as 4,000 Dallas-area students to walk out of school Monday and assemble at Kiest Park and City Hall, protesting the legislation that would crack down on illegal immigration.

[…]

"I thought 100, maybe 200 people would show up," 16-year-old Miguel said.

Instead, 4,000 students showed up, Dallas school Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said, though police estimated the crowds at City Hall and Kiest Park at 1,600 people.

See naysayers… MySpace can do good things.

(Yes, I understand that parents might not consider their high school student walking out of class a "good thing".  And yes, I understand that an argument can be made that the political understanding of high school students is fundamentally flawed due to their age and general lack of experience. But it’s hard to argue with teens getting engaged in politics and the world around them)