Civic activism and information: the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street and beyond

Is social struggle, whether aimed at toppling an oppressive regime or radically changing the political agenda within a Western democracy, now inextricably linked with internet freedom? If so, how did opposition movements ever succeed in the past? How exactly does new media transform disillusionment and a sense of injustice into effective, coordinated activism? Is there a common conceptual thread to the Arab Spring, the Indignados and Occupy Wall Street?