[Noisebridge-discuss] Fwd: Blackout-proof the protests

Praveen Sinha dmhomee at gmail.com
Sun Feb 20 04:41:34 UTC 2011

Hey guys,

I know some people in the extended noisebridge community have been working
on getting comm equipment out to the middle east.  The news reports coming
out of libya right now are talking about mass slaughter and people falling
back on pirate radio to get the word out.  Good cause, send it out to peeps
you know...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Stephanie B - Avaaz.org <avaaz at avaaz.org>
Date: Sat, Feb 19, 2011 at 12:50 PM
Subject: Blackout-proof the protests
To: "dmhomee at gmail.com" <dmhomee at gmail.com>

 Dear friends,


An extraordinary wave of *people power is flooding the Middle East*, but
autocratic regimes are responding with violence -- and Egypt-style internet
blackouts. *Let's blackout-proof the protests* by providing satellite
communications technology and support teams to key organisers:

[image: Donate Now!]<https://secure.avaaz.org/en/blackout_proof_the_protests/?cl=946947592&v=8425>
Across the Middle East -- in Bahrain, Libya, Yemen, and more countries every
day -- autocratic regimes are trying to crush *unprecedented peaceful
protests with brutality and blackouts*. These countries are poised on the
brink between liberation and enormous bloodshed -- and the protesters'
ability to reach the eyes of the world could determine the outcomes.

*Avaaz is working urgently to "blackout-proof" the protests* -- with secure
satellite modems and phones, tiny video cameras, and portable radio
transmitters, plus expert support teams on the ground -- to enable activists
to *broadcast live video feeds even during internet and phone blackouts* and
ensure the oxygen of international attention fuels their courageous
movements for change.

The window for us to deliver this help is closing fast, as regimes are
moving quickly to choke off borders and internet connections. *Small
donations from 10,000 of us would fund critical technology and support teams
for those who need it most*. Let’s chip in to empower those now carrying the
destiny of the Middle East in their peaceful hands -- *donate now*:


The amazing live-feeds from Cairo’s Tahrir Square vitally sustained public
support and broadcast the Mubarak regime's shameless violence against
Egyptian demonstrators. As we watched the scenes of protest from around the
world, hundreds of thousands of us signed the Avaaz solidarity
petition--which was announced on Al Jazeera to ensure Egyptians knew of the
world's support. Today, *Egyptian protest leaders say that knowing the world
was with them helped spur them* on and helped stop moments of violence from
becoming bloodbaths.

As Egypt's internet blackout deepened, Avaaz and partners worked to send
satellite internet equipment to organisers there. Now, *Bahrain is
scrambling to implement its own internet clampdown* -- and we have the
chance to provide critical support to ensure the blackout can't succeed. The
communications equipment and support teams will help leaders to broadcast
locally to organize rallies, communicate with other activists around the
region, and provide information to the world if there is a blackout --
providing an essential counterweight to regime propaganda, and a form of
protection to demonstrators through increased exposure and prominence.

And *if media outlets are kicked out, protesters could keep a livestream of
information flowing across the internet.* With the needed funds, Avaaz can
immediately dispatch equipment and world-class expert teams to the Middle

Every day, the protests grow and the crackdowns escalate in violence.
Organisers say *the next few days are critical* to the survival of these
democracy movements and that *our support is essential*. Let’s all donate
now and provide tangible solidarity to this inspiring explosion of people


There are moments in history in which the impossible becomes unavoidable.
Like the dissolution of the Soviet Union just before its fall, the changes
sweeping the Middle East were unimaginable to most a month ago. But people
power has a logic and timeline all its own. While many of us may never step
foot in the Middle East, the hopes of its people are interwoven with ours
and those of the world. In moments like these, it is inspiring to know that
our solidarity, in hope and action, can play a small part in big change.

With determination,

Stephanie, David, Alice, Morgan, Ricken, Rewan, Maria Paz and the rest of
the Avaaz team


Bahrain, Libya and Yemen try to crush protests with violence – The Guardian,
18 February 2011:

Internet use in Bahrain restricted, data shows – New York Times, 18 February

Clashes rock Bahraini capital – Al Jazeera, 17 February 2011:

Crackdown against Protests Continues as Yemen Boils – Yemen Post, 16
February, 2011:

Algerian founding father urges reform – BBC News, 17 February, 2011:

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