Nonviolent action around the world – 13 February 2010 (Part 2)

February 13, 2010
Singapore Democrats

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MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA
The barricades to freedom in Iran
By: Azadeh Moaveni, Daily Beast, February 12, 2010
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad overshadowed opposition protests by declaring Iran a nuclear state Thursday. But Azadeh Moaveni says reformers should also beware of strong global foes-from exiled Iranians to Western pundits, Arab states to Al Jazeera.

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Iran on the brink
By: Melik Kaylan, Forbes, February 12, 2010
Iran’s turning point might come this week or in a month when the Nawrouz (Iranian new year) celebrations kick in, and no amount of nuclear enrichment claims will change things in the long run. On Bahman or Revolution Day (Feb. 11) the regime appeared to have won the numbers game against protesters, having bribed and bused in street-loads of pro-government supporters and stifled opposition turnout.
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In Iran people chant : “Referendum, referendum, this is the people’s slogan”.
By: Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, Palestine Think Tank, February 12, 2010
The coup d’etat government of Iran must step down and the constitution must be rewritten according to the wishes of the people. That is what the people of Iran are demanding on the 31st anniversary of their 1979 revolution.
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International broadcasters condemn Iran over ‘jamming’
By: BBC News, February 12, 2010
Three major international broadcasters have strongly condemned Iran for its “deliberate electronic interference” in their broadcasts. The BBC, Deutsche Welle and Voice of America said the jamming began on Thursday as Iran marked the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.
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Latest updates on demonstrations in Iran
By: Robert Mackey, NY Times, February 11, 2010
On Thursday, The Lede is tracking news of demonstrations in Iran posted online, as the country officially celebrates the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. Readers are encouraged to share any first-hand accounts of the protests in the comments thread below…
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Iran on 22 Bahman: Ahmadinejad “wins ugly”
By: Scott Lucas, Enduring America, February 11, 2010
I guess it was inevitable that – to post a dramatic headline or to make artificial sense out of the complex and messy politics of events – the open-and-shut, Victory-or-Defeat results would already be declared. Britain’s Sky TV, known best for its across-the-wall sports coverage, puts the onus of loser on the opposition: “The danger for Iran’s anti-Government Green movement is that after yet again failing to mobilise huge numbers on a key day, it will lose momentum….The Government looks to have maintained its firm grip on the country.”
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Iran: Hundreds of new protest videos flood YouTube on anniversary of revolution
By: You Tube, February 11, 2010
Hundreds of fresh protest videos from Iran are appearing on YouTube today, as pro-reform protesters take to the streets in Tehran on the 31st anniversary of the Iranian Revolution. This marks yet another outbreak of protests since the disputed election last June.
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Iran cracks down on Gmail access
By: Matthew Shaer, Christian Science Monitor, February 11, 2010
Iran began blocking access to Gmail on Wednesday – a move intended to stifle the same Internet communications that made the “Twitter Revolution” possible. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that the Iranian government would soon shut down Gmail in Iran altogether, and replace the popular email platform with a government-run service.
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Iran social media facing serious obstacles
By: Rebecca Harrington, Huffington Post, February 11, 2010
Citizen journalists faced serious obstacles in Iran today. News outlets are reporting that during the lead-up to the 31st anniversary of the Iranian revolution, the Internet was slowed and many social networking sites — especially ones that chronicled last June’s election protests — were blocked.
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Iran accused of blocking opposition communications
By: BBC News, February 11, 2010
The US has accused Iran of seeking a “near-total information blockade” to silence anti-government protesters. The allegations came after opposition supporters clashed with security forces as Iran marked the anniversary of the 1979 revolution.
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Iran’s leader shifts spotlight from protests to nuclear step
By: Alan Cowell and Michael Slackman, NY Times, February 11, 2010
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran confronted opponents at home and abroad on Thursday, one of the most momentous days of his country’s political calendar, sending security forces onto the streets to break up opposition protests and taunting Western adversaries by claiming advances in Tehran’s nuclear capacity.
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Iran: Video shows protests in Isfahan on 22 Bahman
By: LA Times, February 11, 2010
Reports of opposition protests are coming in from other parts of the country. This video clip is said to show opposition supporters demonstrating in Iran’s third-largest city, Isfahan, which is located around 240 miles south of Tehran.
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Nobel winner: Stop Iran catastrophe
By: Al Jazeera, February 11, 2010
Shirin Ebadi, Iran’s Nobel peace laureate, has said her country faces a catastrophe that could undermine security in the whole region if government repression of the people is not stopped.
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US Senators push for human rights sanctions on Iran
By: VOA, February 11, 2010
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators has introduced legislation to punish Iranian officials responsible for human rights abuses against their own people.  The announcement came on the day that Iran marked its 31st anniversary as an Islamic Republic and its president declared the country is now a nuclear state.
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Oxfordgirl vs Ahmadinejad: The Twitter user taking on the Iranian regime
By: Matthew Weaver, The Guardian, February 10, 2010
As the resident of a quiet village in Oxfordshire with a plummy accent to match, she makes an unlikely revolutionary. But she has become a key player in the unrest that is shaking Iran and is such an irritant to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that she has been subjected to a propaganda campaign by the regime’s henchmen.
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Iran’s anniversary: The opposition tries to thwart a crackdown
By: Andrew Lee Butters, The Time, February 10, 2010
Thirty-one years since the downfall of the U.S.-supported Iranian dictatorship of Shah Reza Pahlavi, the Islamic Republic has developed a formula for celebrating the anniversary of the revolution. The government buses in massive crowds from all over the country, who then parade down Tehran’s avenues, which are decorated with patriotic-themed paintings by schoolchildren, while crack military units perform maneuvers and politicians make rousing speeches laced with anti-American rhetoric. But this year, Iran’s opposition movement wants to change the script.
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Iran, beacon of liberty?
By: Reuel Marc Gerecht, NY Times, February 10, 2010
On Thursday, the birthday of the Islamic Republic of Iran, we will see whether the democratic opposition movement has been driven underground by the increasingly brutal harassment from the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Iranian society has become like molten rock under high pressure: more eruptions are inevitable. And if the dissidents can take to the streets, they will.
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Iran touts nuclear advances amid reports of protests, arrests
By: Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE, February 11, 2010
Iranian opposition leaders are reported to have come under attack and their supporters have clashed with security forces, as Iran marks the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.  The incidents came as tens of thousands of government supporters marched in the streets of Tehran and other cities to mark the day.
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Israeli attempts to silence Palestinian nonviolent movement on the rise
By: Heidi Schramm, Palestine Note, February 10, 2010
When asked was why the United States had not condemned Israeli and Egyptian human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories, the president responded by reiterating his commitment to a two-state solution, and then saying, “As a first step, the Palestinians have to unequivocally renounce violence.” The implication of his statement is that Palestinians are unwilling to renounce violence. Unfortunately this sentiment has long been a part of the American approach to Israel and the Palestinians; but, at a time when the vast majority of the Palestinian movement for freedom consists of nonviolence, it is not where American policy toward Palestine should begin.
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Iranian revolution: Post-election unrest reveals cracks in the Republic
By: Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE, February 10, 2010
As the Islamic republic prepares to celebrate its 31st anniversary on February 11, many Iranians — including former revolutionaries — are coming around to the idea that their revolution has failed. And, as the country’s Green Movement prepares to use the occasion to continue the protests they began after the country’s contentious presidential election in June, the prospect of renewed violence by the state against its citizens could further the idea that the Islamic republic has essentially devolved into a dictatorship.
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On eve of Iran anniversary, talk of compromise
By: Scott Peterson, Christian Science Monitor, February 9, 2010
As Iranians now brace for the 31st anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution, they know that eight months of pro-democracy protest and the regime’s violent reaction have transformed the relationship between rulers and ruled. Analysts say that Iran’s legitimacy crisis has now come to a head, with both sides incapable of defeating or intimidating the other – a paralysis that could continue, or yield compromise.
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Iran’s revolution devoured by its own children
By: Saba Farzan, WSJ, February 9, 2010
“We were born during the war with Iraq, when there was not enough milk powder for us as babies; when we finished high school, the Basij, the regime’s paramilitary thugs, received preferential admission to the universities; when we graduated there were no jobs for us in this ruined economy and when we fall in love, we are not even allowed to hold each other’s hands in public.” This is how young Iranians born into the country’s clerical dictatorship tend to recount their bitter lives. Without ever having experienced what freedom in all its facets means, the world somehow expected these young people would silently continue their suffering under this regime for the rest of their lives.

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EAST ASIA
China alarmed by security threat from internet
By: Sharon LaFraniere and Jonathan Ansfield, NY Times, February 11, 2010
Deep inside a Chinese military engineering institute in September 2008, a researcher took a break from his duties and decided – against official policy – to check his private e-mail messages. Among the new arrivals was an electronic holiday greeting card that purported to be from a state defense office.
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China: Cancel Obama meeting with Dalai Lama
By: AP, February 11, 2010
China urged the United States on Friday to immediately cancel plans for President Barack Obama to meet with the Dalai Lama next week, warning the move could further hurt ties. Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu issued the remarks hours after Washington announced Obama would meet with the Tibetan spiritual leader at the White House on Feb. 18.
China activist’s appeal rejected
By: Al Jazeera, February 11, 2010
A Chinese court has rejected a prominent dissident’s appeal against his 11-year jail term for subversion. The appeal by Liu Xiaobo, a writer and a former university professor, was turned down after a brief legal hearing in Beijing.
Tibet: Beijing cuts off Canadian university after Dalai Lama honor
By: Epoch Times, February 11, 2010
With 600 Chinese students, the university is concerned about the future. The Chinese regime’s vehement opposition to any form of recognition of the Dalai Lama has had repercussions for the University of Calgary (U of C), which awarded the exiled Tibetan leader an honorary degree during his visit to Calgary last September.
Tibetans make Gandhi proud
By: Tenzin Dorjee, Global Post, February 10, 2010
Last year around this time Tibetans decided to observe the traditional New Year – or Losar – as an occasion of mourning for those killed in China’s crackdown in 2008 following the Tibet uprising. On Feb. 14, Tibetans will again greet Losar with an air of defiance – many are planning not to celebrate while others will embrace cultural traditions as an act of subversive resistance.
Heavy jail sentences for Chinese rights advocates
By: RSF, February 10, 2010
Reporters Without Borders condemns the long jail sentences that judges in Chengdu (in the southwestern province of Sichuan) have imposed on two human rights activists and netizens in the past 48 hours. A three-year sentence was upheld for Huang Qi yesterday while Tan Zuoren was given a five-year sentence at a hearing today during which police arrested and manhandled nine Hong Kong journalists.
Chinese artist-dissident lauds Google plan to stop censoring
By: Owen Fletcher, IDG News Service, February 10, 2010
A well-known Chinese artist and activist voiced strong support late Tuesday for Google Inc.’s plan to stop censoring results on its China-based search engine. Ai Weiwei, who wrote an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal, gave Google the most visible support it has received for its plan from an individual Chinese activist.
China: Quake activist gets five years
By: RFA, February 9, 2010
Authorities in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan have handed a five-year jail term to activist and writer Tan Zuoren for subversion after he planned to release an independent report assessing the widespread collapse of schools in the devastating 2008 earthquake.
China: Urumqi’s winter of discontent
By: RFA, February 8, 2010
Chinese authorities in the troubled northwestern region of Xinjiang are scaling up security measures, recruiting new personnel and increasing checks and searches ahead of the Lunar New Year festivities next week.
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ARTICLES OF INTEREST
Twitter doesn’t start a revolution, people do
By: Luke Allnutt, Christian Science Monitor, February 8, 2010
In an op-ed for the “Christian Science Monitor”, Luke Allnutt, Editor-in-Chief of RFL/RL’s English-language website, discusses how connectivity and the spead of Internet access can be beneficial to the spread of democracy, but can also be used for organized manipulation, disruption and violence.
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NEWS IN OTHER LANGUAGES
Iran: “Nous, opposants, nous sommes retrouvés au milieu des pro-Ahmadinejad”
By: Le Monde, February 11, 2010
Voici le témoignage que nous avons reçu d’une habitante de Téhéran, N. Z., 46 ans, qui a tenté de rejoindre ce matin le rassemblement organisé par l’opposition, mais en a été empêchée.
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Iran: Internet dans la ligne de mire du régime
By: RSF, February 11, 2010
Reporters sans frontières dénonce une nouvelle offensive des autorités contre Internet à l’occasion des célébrations du 31e anniversaire de la Révolution islamique. Comme avant et pendant chaque rassemblement d’opposants, les autorités tentent de perturber l’accès à la Toile.
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NOTICES
Foundation for Future’s  program for promoting democracy and human rights
By: Craig Zelizer, Peace and Collaborative Development Network, February 9, 2010
Foundation for Future is an independent, multilateral nonprofit organization working for the promotion of democracy and human rights by strengthening civil society organizations in the Broader Middle East and North African countries and G8 nations. Under its grants program, it offers financial and technical support (through an open competition) to NGOs, academic institutions, professional associations etc under program priorities such as rule of law, independent media, empowerment of women, civic education and engagement of youth.
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IN PAST NEWS
Palestinian nonviolent resistance has strong roots
By:  Edith Garwood, Amnesty USA, January 28, 2010
Remarks made by Bono, New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof and President Barack Obama stating they hoped Palestinians would find their Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) or Gandhi completely ignore Palestinian nonviolent resistance to brutal oppression.

In Ukraine, covering the election, one tweet at a time
By: Iryna Tuz, RFE, January 20, 2010
“I just gave a lesson in how to correctly recount the ballots. : ))” That was a tweet posted by Neman44 — a.k.a. Oleksiy Brituk, a 37-year-old activist and Twitter enthusiast — early on January 18, following the close of polls and the start of the vote count in Ukraine’s presidential election. Candidates, such as Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, are increasingly using new media and social networking sites to spread their messages.

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