Monday, February 14

"WELL, WHAT DO YOU WANT US TO DO?"

That would seem the pertinent question. After all, I've called for and sought help in marshalling the power of the blogosphere to whip up a blog storm of protest over the repression in Iran of blogger-journalists, such as Farouz Farzami, who has been jailed, interrogated, and now awaits trial for having published posts critical of her government.

First off, write and publish posts on the subject -- specific to Frazami, as well as to Iranian blogger-journalists in general. Either way, you'll be helping! Examples (and you don't have to reference me or "ACSOL," as that's not what this is all about and others have been working it long before I got involved):

Betsy's Page

Polipundit

INDC Journal

Cyber-Conservative

Writing Company

Quillnews

BuzzMachine

Second, write a "Letter To The Editor" of your local newspaper, referencing Farouz Farzami's plight and asking that it and its readership become aware of what's happening to bloggers in Iran and in other tyrannical governments (e.g., China) -- that freedom of expression is being denied them.

Third, write a letter or send an email to the "United Nations" and ask what it is doing vis-a-vis Iran and other nations where blogger-jounalists are being denied rights under the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Fourth, and recognizing that there is no United States consulate or embassy in Iran, you could nonetheless write to the U.S. State Department and inquire about what it may be trying to do (or able to do) in applying pressure directly or indirectly to Iran's government over the ongoing repression of free speech and pro-democracy movements.

Fifth, you can contact fellow bloggers, particularly those with whom you reciprocate in linking to them in your blogroll, and appeal to them to join the cause, as a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step and there's strength in numbers. I've done some of that and intend to do more. I've also written to what I term the "power bloggers" -- the powerful voices in the blogosphere with big, daily readerships -- for their help and advice.

Sixth, you can educate yourselves on this subject. Some good starting points are:

Human Rights Watch

Reporters Without Borders

Committee to Protect Bloggers

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UPDATE (@ 6:15pm CST on 02/14/05):

Here are a couple of additional cites worthy of your attention ...

Bloggers Without Borders

Committee to Protect Journalists

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Seventh, you can keep monitoring my blog, "A CERTAIN SLANT OF LIGHT," as I intend to continue to post on this subject.

Eighth, write to me via email if "Ford has a better idea" -- share your insights and ideas for mounting an effective campaign.

This would be a start. I don't pretend to have all of the answers or even the best answers. I'm just a newbie blogger who became unnerved when I read this and this as well, and chose to try to do something -- anything -- in an effort to assist Farouz Farzami and her contempoaries, who are suffering imprisonment and interrogation for something you and I in America (and others, like us, who have the good fortune to live under democratic forms of government) can enjoy and do freely. Many -- far too many -- are not so fortunate. We enjoy writing and expressing ourselves. There are countries who jail bloggers for doing so. That's damnable!