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Archive for the ‘Human Rights Torch Relay’ Category

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18 months ago we started work on this feature-length documentary. Through the candid and intimate testimony of the people responsible for non-violent revolutions our film seeks to tell the story of how people power can be used topple dictators.

To make this film our director (Ruaridh Arrow pictured left) slept overnight in Tahrir Square in Cairo at the height of the February revolution. He’s met the leaders of the Syrian pro-democracy movement and the people responsible for overthrowing dictators in Serbia and Ukraine. He has spent time with Gene and his colleagues as they spread their message of effective non-violent revolution.

The film reveals how the leaders of an uprising in one country train the participants in the next and how social media now threatens dictators and tyrants around the world in ways that were unimaginable just a decade ago.

Not only is this documentary an important film of record of the civil uprisings that have shaken the world in the last decade but we also hope it will help inspire future pro-democracy movements develop their strategies for non-violent revolution in the face of apparently overwhelming odds.


A documentary following the life and work of revolutionary academic Gene Sharp who wrote “From Dictatorship to Democracy” the book used to topple dictatorships all over the world.

HOW TO START A REVOLUTION is a new documentary film revealing how one man’s work has helped millions of people achieve freedom in the face of oppression and tyranny.

Gene Sharp is a shy, modest and little-known man. But his work has inspired a generation of people to challenge dictators through non-violent action in a tidal wave of revolutionary spirit and reform that has swept from Eastern Europe, though Asia and to the Middle East and North Africa.

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Google co-founder Sergey Brin participates in a panel discussion in February. -Reuters

Brin Drove Google to Pull Back in China
By JESSICA E. VASCELLARO for Technology of Wall Street Journal
March 24, 2010

Google Inc. co-founder Sergey Brin pushed the Internet giant to take the risky step of abandoning its China-based search engine as that country’s efforts to censor the Web and suppress dissidents smacked of the “totalitarianism” of his youth in the Soviet Union.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Brin, who came to the U.S. from Russia at the age of 6 in 1979, said the compromises to do business in the world’s largest Internet market had become too great. Finally, a cyberattack that the company traced to Chinese hackers, which stole some of Google’s proprietary computer code and attempted to spy on Chinese activists’ emails, was the “straw that broke the camel’s back.”

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Economy Watch_Washington Post Coverage of the Financial Crisis
by Frank Ahrens
Dated July 27, 2009

Obama Waves, If Not Shakes, Economic Stick at China

This morning kicked off two days of intense economic discussions between the U.S. and China here in Washington, and President Obama opened the session with a speech, mentioning the unmentionable issue with China: human rights.

Obama said that the U.S. respects China’s “ancient culture” but added: “We also strongly believe that the religion and culture of all peoples must be respected and protected, and that all people should be free to speak their minds.”

“That includes ethnic and religious minorities in China, as surely as it includes minorities within the United States,” Obama said.

This was an important statement from the young president and marked a significant break from his Democratic predecessor in the White House, Bill Clinton, who famously — or infamously, depending on where you stand on China — “de-linked” the human rights issue from trade between the two nations.

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Berman Welcomes Agreement to Protect Freedom of Expression and Privacy by Technology Companies and Human Rights Organizations

Posted : Tue, 28 Oct 2008 22:47:38 GMT
Author : House Committee on Foreign Affairs
Category : Press Release

WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 Berman-privacy-rules

WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Congressman Howard L. Berman (D-CA), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, welcomed the unveiling of the Global Network Initiative by a diverse group of information and communication companies and human rights organizations.

The initiative, fostered in part by numerous hearings held by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, recognizes that all companies have a responsibility to protect against human rights violations, especially by authoritarian governments.

“It’s about time,” Berman said. “This initiative is an important, yet only a first step in better protecting freedoms of expression and privacy.” Berman noted that Congress would continue to engage human rights groups and technology companies, especially those not part of the agreement, on the issue. “I am eager,” he continued, “for participants to fully implement these principles as soon as possible.”

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Global Network Initiative –  Protecting and Advancing Freedom of Expression and Privacy in Information and Communications Technologies

Diverse Coalition Launches New Effort to Respond to Government Censorship and Threats to Privacy
Posted: Oct 28, 2008

In an effort to protect and advance the human rights of freedom of expression and privacy, a diverse coalition of leading information and communications companies, major human rights organizations, academics, investors and technology leaders today launched the Global Network Initiative.

From the Americas to Europe to the Middle East to Africa and Asia, companies in the information and communications industries face increasing government pressure to comply with domestic laws and policies that require censorship and disclosure of personal information in ways that conflict with internationally recognized human rights laws and standards.

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Swiss Erich Bachmann, member of the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China, CIPFG, brings 1,215,793 signatures from the global anti-persecution petitions in front of the entrance of the International Olympic Committee, IOC, headquarters, in Lausanne, Switzerland, Friday, July 25, 2008. In a six-month signature campaign that spanned the globe, over 1 million people were sending a message to the Chinese regime to end its persecution of Falun Gong before the Olympic Games

1,215,793 signatures from 131 countries and areas
Asia (Exclude China) 845,011
Europe 69,422
North America 85,620
Central and South America 48,969
Oceania 123,666
Africa 3,607
Middle East 39,498

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This is Catherine Hennessy reporting for Sound of Hope Radio Network.  Mr. Kai Chen, in his T-shirt with wordings of  “We will never forget Beijing 1989 Tiananmen and Beijing 2008 Olympic”, also, in his hands with a banner saying “Give me Freedom or Give me Death” made his speech  in the Human Rights Torch Relay held at Lincoln Park in Chicago on Mother’s Day weekend.  Here is his speech.

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