80+1 » Civil Society http://www.80plus1.org A Journey Around the World Thu, 25 Nov 2010 14:24:05 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.7.1 en hourly 1 March 18 Movement Fights for Bloggers’ Rights http://www.80plus1.org/blog/march-18-movement-fights-for-bloggers-rights http://www.80plus1.org/blog/march-18-movement-fights-for-bloggers-rights#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2009 15:47:34 +0000 Cyrus Farivar http://www.80plus1.org/?p=2007 On March 18, 2009, Iran gained the dubious honor of becoming the first nation in the world to have a blogger die while in custody.

That first victim was Omid Reza Mirsayafi, a 29-year-old Iranian blogger and journalist who wrote largely…

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On March 18, 2009, Iran gained the dubious honor of becoming the first nation in the world to have a blogger die while in custody.

That first victim was Omid Reza Mirsayafi, a 29-year-old Iranian blogger and journalist who wrote largely about music and culture. (In 2003, Iran also became the first nation in the world to imprison a blogger.)

Just last month, a new group was founded jointly by a Bahraini, an Iranian and an American as a way to fight against these types of injustices being carried out by authoritarian regimes all over the world.

Recently, the March 18th Movement introduced its first Internet video as a way to help others around the globe learn about Mirsayafi and put pressure on foreign governments to stop these abhorrent policies of oppression.

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South Africa’s MTN says it will not lose revenue in Iran http://www.80plus1.org/blog/south-africas-mtn-says-it-will-not-lose-revenue-in-iran http://www.80plus1.org/blog/south-africas-mtn-says-it-will-not-lose-revenue-in-iran#comments Wed, 24 Jun 2009 20:51:14 +0000 Cyrus Farivar http://www.80plus1.org/?p=1844 Since late 2006, Johannesburg-based mobile provider, MTN, has owned and operated 49 percent of MTN Irancell, one of the major mobile operators in Iran.

However, with recent turmoil in Iran, including limits and blockage of mobile service by the Iranian…

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Since late 2006, Johannesburg-based mobile provider, MTN, has owned and operated 49 percent of MTN Irancell, one of the major mobile operators in Iran.

However, with recent turmoil in Iran, including limits and blockage of mobile service by the Iranian government in the wake of the recent elections, the South African newspaper The Times reported that the operator stood to lose one month’s worth of revenue given the recent outages.

According to the paper, that would be roughly €9 million.

MTN Irancell has over 16 million Iranian customers and covers 62 percent of the territory.

But today, a company spokesperson denied that MTN has been blocking service.

“MTN network is running in Iran and there is nothing wrong with it,” MTN Group spokeswoman Nozipho Januray-Bardill told Reuters.

No word yet on how MTN’s performance and stance with respect to Iran will affect its pending merger with Indian mobile giant Bharti.

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Civil Society: voestalpine asks: What’s the next step towards the future? http://www.80plus1.org/next-step/future-civil-society http://www.80plus1.org/next-step/future-civil-society#comments Tue, 16 Jun 2009 00:18:39 +0000 Admin http://www.80plus1.org/?p=1428 The power and possibilities that emanate from the structures of a functional civil society in a democratic system are not to be underestimated. Join our discussion of the next step to a better future, and send us your ideas on…

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The power and possibilities that emanate from the structures of a functional civil society in a democratic system are not to be underestimated. Join our discussion of the next step to a better future, and send us your ideas on the subject of civil society!

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Protests move into new phase 20 years after Tiananmen http://www.80plus1.org/blog/protests-move-into-new-phase-20-years-after-tiananmen http://www.80plus1.org/blog/protests-move-into-new-phase-20-years-after-tiananmen#comments Tue, 02 Jun 2009 15:35:48 +0000 Cyrus Farivar http://www.80plus1.org/?p=1106 This week marks the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, the June 4 culmination of a weeks-long protest in Beijing to commemorate the April 15, 1989 death of Hu Yaobang, a prominent reformer within the Chinese government. On June…

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This week marks the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, the June 4 culmination of a weeks-long protest in Beijing to commemorate the April 15, 1989 death of Hu Yaobang, a prominent reformer within the Chinese government. On June 4, 1989, Chinese tanks invaded Tiananmen Square, the center of the Beijing protests. As a result of the government’s actions, hundreds died and thousands more were wounded.

This past weekend, Hong Kong held a large protest to remember the protest of a past era — as such a protest could likely never be held again in the same way on the mainland.

The Wall Street Journal notes that in recent years, protests in China have shifted to poorer, lesser-educated rural people instead of the intellectual middle-class.

In 1989, college campuses were hotbeds of dissent in Beijing. Tens of thousands of residents took to the streets, with protests swelling over the course of a month before they were quelled by guns and tanks. The latest crop of college students — most of whom are too young to remember the tumultuous events of 1989 — are focused on career advancement in a market-driven economy, and have little time for political activism, historians and educators say.

Protest leaders in the capital today are mainly out-of-town petitioners — inheritors of an age-old tradition under which ordinary citizens from the provinces turn to the central government to enlist the help of powerful officials to right personal wrongs. But now petitioners have begun to organize, joining together to protest many different issues, rather than just their own cause.

There’s also a level of technological sophistication being carried out both by the Chinese government today, and the new generation of protestors, the Journal reports.

In the post-Tiananmen era, the Communist government’s methods of political control have grown more sophisticated. For instance, officials have become adept at swaying public opinion. They still censor the media, but increasingly use more subtle methods, such as paying contributors to popular Internet forums to steer discussions, according to people who closely watch the Internet.

The government tightly controls content posted online by Web sites registered in China. China asks Web site owners whom it licenses to filter out content related to politically sensitive issues and periodically blocks overseas Web sites with content it deems objectionable.

China rarely acknowledges its censorship, but has said on a few occasions that it is not the only government that regulates the Internet.

But protesters have gotten more sophisticated too. Ms. Shen carries two cell phones and three SIM cards with different phone numbers. One is a registered contact number that the government has on file, which she usually keeps off so she can’t be traced. Another she uses to keep in touch with other petitioners. The third is always on and used to communicate with trusted friends and family. Some protesters pluck the batteries out of their phones as they move around the city so authorities can’t track their progress.

In addition, as the country gets ready for the upcoming 20th anniversary, Beijing has already taken some “precautions” — Twitter has been blocked across the entire country beginning at 09h00 GMT on June 2.

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Facebook Creates Online Civil Society Clashes in Iran http://www.80plus1.org/blog/facebook-creates-online-civil-society-clashes-in-iran http://www.80plus1.org/blog/facebook-creates-online-civil-society-clashes-in-iran#comments Mon, 25 May 2009 20:53:51 +0000 Cyrus Farivar http://www.80plus1.org/?p=1050 There’s been lots of online activity in the run-up to the Iranian presidential election, which is coming up on June 12.

There’s a four-way election currently going on between the two main conservative candidates, including incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mohsen Rezaei,…

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There’s been lots of online activity in the run-up to the Iranian presidential election, which is coming up on June 12.

There’s a four-way election currently going on between the two main conservative candidates, including incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mohsen Rezaei, and the two reformist candidates, Mehdi Karroubi, and former prime minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi (pictured).

Two weeks ago, Global Voices posted on the various channels of Ahmadinejad’s online support, including a new website, a Twitter account, and a Facebook page. Not surprisingly, the other candidates also have similar types of online media at their disposal.

However, yesterday, Iran blocked access to Facebook as a way to shut down their political rivals online.

The Washington Post reports:

“We used Facebook to be in direct contact with the voters,” said Saleh Behesti, 22, an industrial design student who helped organize the Internet campaign of Mir Hossein Mousavi, who has mounted the most serious challenge to Ahmadinejad.

“We had 6,000 people on Facebook sending information on Mousavi’s speeches and meetings out to all their friends,” Behesti said. On Saturday, 20,000 people turned out for a Mousavi campaign rally in a Tehran stadium. “Without Facebook we would have never been able to gather so many people,” Behesti said.

Meanwhile, in a news conference today, President Ahmadinejad told CNN that he was not responsible for the ban and that he would “make an inquiry.”

Not surprisingly, the reformists are pretty upset, as they stand the most to gain from a Facebook campaign.

As Reuters notes:

Websites like Facebook have become an important campaign instrument for moderate candidates, particularly former premier Mirhossein Mousavi, who want to mobilize Iranian youth to vote out Ahmadinejad.

One Facebook page campaigning for Mousavi had more than 5,200 members.

Iran’s judiciary said last year more than five million websites were being blocked by authorities since they “inflict social, political, economic and moral damage, which is worrying.”

More than 150,000 of Iran’s population are Facebook members and young voters make up a huge bloc — which helped former reformist president Mohammad Khatami to win the election in 1997 and 2001. Khatami backs Mousavi’s candidacy.

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Civil Society http://www.80plus1.org/topics/civil-society http://www.80plus1.org/topics/civil-society#comments Mon, 06 Apr 2009 17:14:44 +0000 Cyrus Farivar http://90.146.8.9/80plus1/2009/04/civil-societyzivilgesellschaft/ Civil Society represents the non-governmental elements of a given society. Often it represents the non-business and non-public elements in a particular regional or national area.

How Wikipedia around the World defines Civil Society (add your language)

English: Civil society is composed of the…

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Civil Society represents the non-governmental elements of a given society. Often it represents the non-business and non-public elements in a particular regional or national area.

How Wikipedia around the World defines Civil Society (add your language)

English: Civil society is composed of the totality of voluntary civic and social organizations and institutions that form the basis of a functioning society as opposed to the force-backed structures of a state (regardless of that state’s political system) and commercial institutions of the market.

Spanish: Civil society refers to all the voluntary organizations and civic and social institutions that form the basis of an active society in opposition to state structures and enterprises.

Chinese (公民社會): In modern politics it is the society composed of free citizens or and social organizations and institutions.

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