Yesterday I participated in a panel discussion event organized by Viet Tan – an organization that engages in actions that empower the Vietnamese people. Specifically, they seek to roll back existing restrictions against two key human rights: freedom of expression and freedom of association and assembly. These enabling freedoms are the pillars for civil society (Viet Tan).
The event looked at the role of social media in the nonviolent uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt and whether or not there are any relevant connections that can be made between those who engaged in civil resistance and digital activism in Tunisia and Egypt with those who continue to struggle in Vietnam. I had the pleasure of speaking alongside to amazing activists and organizers. Continue reading to learn more…
Duy Hoang is a democracy activist and part of Viet Tan’s leadership. He has been integral in organizing several campaigns and demonstrations that have raised awareness both in and outside of Vietnam about the conditions under which the Vietnamese people live – particularly with respect to limits on the freedom of speech and expression. In this clip, Duy talks to Al Jazeera about bauxite mining in Vietnam and the negative impacts it having on local communities and markets.
Dalia Ziada is an Egyptian civil rights activist and blogger. She is the Egypt Office Director for the American Islamic Congress. She was also recently listed as Newsweek’s 150 Women Who Shake the World. Dalia was kind enough (and dedicated enough) to join the discussion via Skype from Egypt, where it was 3am in the morning for her when the event started. In this clip, Dalia speak’s with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour about the role of blogging in Egypt and its impact on gender issues.
It was an real pleasure to speak on the subject of social media and nonviolent movements with two activists who are fighting for democracy and social justice in their own countries every single day!