Syria: A Protest Against Censorship

To crown the two months of rapid internet censorship, last week the Syrian government decided to block Facebook (The popular social network site) and Shabablek, a very popular local forum for young people, among other websites. And it seems that many have had more than enough of this, and calls for immediate action have risen. Many responses came from the blogsphere, and it seems that a plan of action is in the making.
Many of the organizers are bloggers themselves who are fed up with the censorship on all blogspot blogs.

Razan, a key promoter of the campaign, published the first real output on her blog, this petition, that tried to list all the known censored sites in Syria, and was titled “Knowledge is a Right for All People”…

No to blocked of Internet sites in Syria. The most important thing which distinguishes the human being from the rest of living organisms is his private ability to generate and represent knowledge in all its aspects and find appropriate ways to employ them in the service of his life. In spite of various means of conservation and transfer of knowledge through out history, The press and recently the internet from one of the greatest and most forms of containment and transfer of knowledge. And the Internet is the most popular and wide spread mean and it has the ability to interact with people.

In this event page on Facebook, many ideas were put forward:

1- عرض مسرحي لمدة نصف ساحة قبالة البرلمان السوري.
2- تغطية الأفواه بملصق.
3- توزيع ورود على المارة.
4- توزيع دليل توعية بمواقع الحجب على المارة.
5- رفع لافتات تطالب بكف الحجب في سوريا.
6- العثور على صحفيين و قنوات لتغطية الحدث.
7- العمل على كتابة عريضة ورقية والكترونية قانونية.
8- تحريك دعوة قضائية.
9- الاتصال بشخصيات ثقافية لدعم الحدث.

1- Performing a half hour play in front of the parliament.
2- Covering mouths with tape.
3- Distribute flowers to passers-by.
4- Distribute a guide to the censored websites.
5- Raising slogans demanding to stop the censorship.
6- Inviting the press to cover the protest.
7- Filling out a paper and online legal petition.
8- Preparing to press for a law suit.
9- Contacting cultural figures to support the protest.

The event is getting more popular and more support everyday. One organizer announced today that the scripts for the play will be ready tomorrow. It is making a buzz and making it's way to the pages of Syrian news sites. It is a real breakthrough for Syrian civil society, for few campaigns that involve protesting against the regime have reached this far. The organizers are still weary though, and are trying to make this as public as possible, and trying to avoid politicizing the event as to alleviate any threats by the Syrian government to the members of this protest.
I will try to keep you up date with what will happen.

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