Corruption scandals have rocked Carinthia, a state in southern Austria, all summer. With politicians tarred by bribery and kickback allegations, citizens had lost faith in elected officials. But the conservative leaders of the local government repeatedly refused to give up power or hold new elections.
Angry Austrian citizen Daniel J decided to do something. He took to the Avaaz Community Petition site to rally his fellow citizens, asking the federal government to intervene, hold new elections and restore democracy. Over 19,000 people soon signed up in support.
The next challenge was: how to get even more people's attention? Answer: dozens of Austrian Avaaz members brought their mops to the capital, Vienna, to "mop up corruption" and show the federal government just how serious they were about cleaning up their democracy and restoring the rule of law in Carinthia. This, along with the strong numbers behind the petition, finally got the government's notice, and the issue will now be discussed at this week's federal cabinet meeting.
Here's a video of the "mop-up" delivery. It's in German with English subtitles, but don't worry, language is no barrier to its power:
Daniel's decision to start a petition has already had a huge impact, and it's a reminder of how powerful online petitions can be to get action on local, national or international issues. And now any of us can start one...