Tuesday, May 3

'From Facebook to the streets of Baku'

The following is an excerpt from my recent article written for Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso
Are the winds of the "Arab Spring" reaching Baku after all? A number of peaceful protests directly calling for the authorities to resign have stared in Azerbaijan, with the Internet playing a key role. The demonstrations have so far been met with repression, intimidation and new arrests. 
Earlier in March, a group of young and internet- savvy activists created a Facebook event page calling it "March 11th- Great People's Dat". In a short time, the group managed to gather thousands of supporters (more than 4,000) not only among independent activists and students but also among opposition party members. The Facebook page called on the Azerbaijani people to unite in demanding a change in the current regime. It was a loosely- organized structure with no leaders guiding the campaign and it did not have any clearly- defined set of actions. It served as a platform for young and independent activists, students, and opposition members, to discuss and share their ideas. It was the first nonviolent form of resistance in recent years that directly called on the authorities to resign[...]
You can read the rest of the article here.

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