American Avaaz gives Net voice to Anna group – Website that focused on Libya and Syria mobilises support for Hazare campaign

August 22, 2011 at 4:24 am | Posted in BULLY | Leave a comment

The Telegraph : Aug 21, 2011
New Delhi, Aug. 20: An international website that helped sustain recent mass movements in countries such as Syria, Libya, Canada and Brazil has involved itself in the Anna Hazare campaign.

Avaaz.org is co-founded by Res Publica, an American “community of public sector professionals dedicated to promoting good governance, civic virtue and deliberative democracy”, and MoveOn.org, an American “non-profit progressive public policy advocacy group”.

Avaaz has the expertise to manage funds, strategies and propaganda for public campaigns and even mobilises protesters. It is managed by a team of campaigners working from Switzerland, Brazil, the US, Argentina and the UK.

Its website is now giving prominent display to the Hazare campaign and has posted his photograph along with that of Mahatma Gandhi.

The website says: “Anna Hazare, a 73-year-old Gandhian activist, declared a fast unto death until the government agreed to let civil society draft a powerful new anti-corruption law. In just 36 hours, an unprecedented five lakh Indians joined Avaaz’s campaign to support Hazare’s call for sweeping reform.”

It further says: “In 4 days, the public outcry forced India’s government to sign a written submission to all of Hazare’s demands! We won!! Today, a new India is being born — and just as last year in Brazil with landmark anti-corruption legislation, Avaaz is helping to breathe life into it.”

Many Internet-savvy young men and women who attended the protests at India Gate and Ramlila Maidan admitted having received mail from Avaaz.org.

The Centre, which is aware of Avaaz’s involvement, believes that many external agencies are helping the Hazare campaign. But government sources expressed helplessness in dealing with the matter.

Sources pointed to the involvement of several local professional agencies, NGOs and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliated outfits.

One Congress leader said: “The Prime Minister’s Office and the official residence of (minister) Kapil Sibal are receiving hundreds of calls daily in support of Hazare. Many of the callers are even hurling abuse at the government.”

Sibal’s office confirmed it had received abusive calls over the past five days but declined to elaborate.

A Congress leader said: “When Arvind Kejriwal has himself been calling senior ministers cheats and frauds, such harassment calls are only to be expected. But we don’t know if this is part of a Gandhian discourse.”

Such responses from Hazare supporters are prominently displayed on the website of India Against Corruption, the campaign’s spearhead.

One post says: “plz Annaji take care of urself, you are just in front of these demons, giant politicians. You may call them silent terrorists.” ( )

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