1 Feb 2007

How To Plan A Revolution

Two young political activists, Murad and Emin, are on a mission. They want to overthrow the government in Azerbaijan by staging a peaceful "Orange" revolution.

Filmed over three months in the run-up to parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan in November 2005, This World profiles Murad and Emin as they make their plans and attempt to carry them out.

How To Plan A Revolution
Thursday 20 April 2006
2100 BST on BBC Two

They are inspired by similar opposition movements in Serbia, Georgia and the Ukraine, where mass protests following elections removed authoritarian regimes from power.

The difference for these two men however, is that the West is not in favour of a revolution in Azerbaijan.

Although the US say the country has a dismal human rights record and the Council of Europe has reported the torture of political prisoners there, Azerbaijan is a Muslim ally in the "war on terror" and has troops in Iraq.

It also has oil.

So with no support from the West, Murad and Emin need all the help they can get.

Vote rigging

We follow Murad to Georgia, where he meets the revolutionary movement Kmara.

NOTE ADDED: 25 October 2006
Director Ivan O'Mahoney and producer Shahida Tulaganova won the Berlin Prix Europa Award 2006 for this film

To start a revolution, they say, it is crucial to start celebrating victory on the night of the elections, no matter what their outcome.

But the authorities are taking precautions.

We see how the Azeri pro-democracy youth movements, one of them founded by Emin, are decapitated by the arrest of their leadership and how protests against these arrests are violently broken up by police.

Explosives are planted in the youth movements' headquarters in order to discredit them, opposition rallies are smashed and Murad himself gets arrested.

On election day, observers confirm the elections are flawed but the opposition are too scared to seize the moment.

When they finally organise a peaceful sit-in in Baku - hoping to start the revolution - the government responds decisively. Riot troops are sent in and the crowd is dispersed.

With no foreign support, the opposition is powerless to continue.

And even worse for Murad and Emin... the US endorses the election results.

Director: Ivan O'Mahoney
Producer: Shahida Tulaganova
Executive producer: Karen O'Connor


Matilah_Singapura said...

> With no foreign support, the opposition is powerless to continue. <

That's tough, it's too bad and that's the way it ought to stay.

There is some "foreign support" now goin' on in Iraq and Afghanistan. I can bet you the many of the Iraqi and Afghanis think that this "foreign support" is a really bad idea. What is meant by "foreign support" is crucial. If the "support" is peaceful, then that's ok. Making documentaries, using the (relatively) free foreign press, the web like Democracy Now etc — these are peaceful processes.

The politics and social organisation of any particular country is the preserve of the sovereign people of that territory.

It take years to mess up a country's politics and society. It doesn't matter what the political flavour is left, right, center, communist, fascist, monarchy, empire, corporate state, theocracy, democracy, plutocracy etc — that is up to The People to choose. And after they have chosen, it is up to The People to be vigilant and watch the watchman.

When the "foreign support" is done by foreign-state(s) intervention, it invariably ends up with occupation, imperialism and civil war. In fact, the duty of any state is to protect the country from invasion by foreigners.

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