Thursday, February 11, 2010

Access' Brett Solomon: Citizen media reaches the net despite Iran's lockdown

Back in December, we published a guest post from Brett Solomon, the Executive Director of Access (, an organization that uses crowdsourcing tools and techniques to help political movements mobilize on the web. Given the significance of the 31st anniversary of the Iranian Revolution, Brett is guest blogging for us again today.

- CitizenTube


Citizen media reaches the net despite Iran's lockdown

The fated February 11 Iranian democracy protests, timed with the 31st anniversary of the Iranian Revolution, have begun and with it a blanket of online and offline security clampdowns from the regime.

With reports of gmail being blocked and the internet throttled, the regime was hoping that citizen protest video would not make it online. They had also hoped that the only story would be Ahmadinejad's announcement that Iran would now be enriching uranium to 20% and that it had the capacity to enrich uranium to weapons grade level. To some extent this strategy appears to have worked.

Still, hundreds of clips are already uploaded, showing citizens standing firm against the regime. And importantly, videos demonstrating the naked brutality of the regime are uploaded, as is seen with this man being dragged and beaten by the militia:

In this clip, where you can see protesters and flashes of green, in cities beyond Tehran. This one from Esfahan:

Here we can hear protestors shouting “Marg bar Khamenei” (“Death to Khamenei)

With journalists being restricted to reporting on the Presidents speech, citizens armed only with rocks and mobile phones have been recording their opposition:

This is despite the fact that the Basij are out there in force. This clip showing them in the streets leading to Tehran’s Sadeghiyeh square:

but still the onlyMehdi youtube channel shows demonstrators successfully protesting there:

Reports of street battles have emerged where the militia are preventing protesters from gathering.

More images will stream in today, as the protests develop and the cat and mouse game continues.

- Brett Solomon, Executive Director, Access


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