Sit-In Action Help

To take part your web browser must be capable of displaying frames. You must also have enabled javascript in your browser preferences. Most current browsers are by default enabled for both.

What is the action?
  • The action page sends multiple, fast and repeating querries to the target websites. If there are enough numbers of people running the action at the same time, the massive traffic load causes their servers to drastically slow-down and/or, hopefully, crash. The 'Not Found' or 'Service Temporarily Unavailable' or similar messages returned by the target site are expected because we're asking them for pages that do not exist on their site (e.g. 'freedom', 'respect', 'human rights', 'accountability', 'free speech', etc.) This shows that we're reaching their server.

  • If you see messages saying the server is 'too busy' or 'not available' or 'cannot be found' it means our collective action is having the desired effect. Even if you do not see these messages, you can be sure that the server admin is going to take notice of the action; in other words, they're going to know that we're sitting in on them.

  • The original concept and templates of electronic sit-in were courtesy of Electronic Disturbance Theater, successfully used in many of their campaigns. This action is organized by Sirens of Solidarity in collaboration with OpinionWare.

To use the sit-in action page:
  1. The action page runs automatically when it loads, but it takes 40-60 seconds to load depending on your connection speed. The frames at the top part of the page may initially load very slowly. This is a delay to allow the browser to call all the objects on the page. But once all frames are loaded the reload speed will increase. The status of the page is displayed in the upper 'status' window.

  2. You are going to see lots of error messages saying "Not Found, the URL /democracy (etc.) was not found on this server". This is by design and expected. Afterall, we don't really expect to find democracy, equality, human rights, free speech, justice, ... under the current regime in Iran, do we? Obviously not for women, as their actions show.

  3. CONNECTION SPEED: In the 'speed' box on the right side in the bottom part of the page you see the speed at which the action page is reloading the frames in the top part. It automatically runs on the assumption that you have a slow dialup connection. If you have a fast dialup connection then click on the 'CHANGE SPEED' button to increase the speed of the operation. If you have a high speed connection - T1, ISDN, etc., as you might at a company, university, an internet cafe or even at home - then click on 'CHANGE SPEED' again to set the page for it's highest speed of operation.

  4. The 'slow dialup' setting submits requests to each page every 6 seconds. The 'fast dialup' setting submits a requests every 3 seconds. The 'high speed' setting submits requests every second. The faster the operation, the better!

  5. Okay, now just sit back and relax, or open a new browser window and do anything else you need to do, BUT LEAVE THE ACTION WINDOW OPEN IN THE BACKGROUND, THE LONGER THE BETTER.

  6. SPAWN: If you are using the pages and you find that the computer is making effortless connections, and you have the system resources available in your computer to take the extra effort, then click on the 'Spawn' link. This runs another copy of the sit-in pages in another window. After clicking 'Spawn' redo steps 3 again in the new page to set the appropriate speed.

  7. Again, if at any point you start to get a lot of time-out messages, or messages saying the server is probably down, then the servers are beginning to grind to a halt! If it gets to be annoying then close down and try again later (see final step below).

  8. When you've had enough, just close the browser window that is displaying the action page. That will end your sit-in session.

  9. DOWNLOAD: If you've got a few minutes, you can download the action files and run them directly from your own harddrive. This will help reduce the load on our server. We promise there are no viruses attached to these files. All you need to do is uncompress the zipped archive which will give you a directory with a bunch of files in it. Open the one called index.html in your browser and you'll be on your way to a pleasant sit-in. Have fun!

Last modified: 18/JUN/2009