There has never been a time like now, when we free people had so much freedom of speech. There has never been a time like now, when freedom of speech are suppressed and crushed under totalitarian regimes, from Iran to China.
Luckily, technology helps, like Iran: Twitter had maintain a lifeline to protesters on their Green Revolution, while video streaming allow the world to witness the conflict. Good citizens in China had make use of technology and develop techniques to penetrate the so called “Great Fire Wall of China”, allowing communication and information flow to continue. However, with the increasing pressure for control from totalitarian regimes everywhere, freedom of speech online is at greater peril than ever before.
And, don’t think this is far away from you. What is happening to Iranians and Mainland Chinese can happen to you and me. The cutoff of most internet services to and from Iran now, can happen here. The introduction of Green Dam on computers in China can happen here, if our lousy government decide to give in to conservative pressure and licence the software, all in the name of “protect our children from filthy online content”. Even the filtering on the “Great Fire Wall of China” can happen here, if we are not vigilant.
In 1946, Martin Niemöller said:
First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.
It rings true to this day. Why speak out for online freedom of speech? Because we still can, and we have moral obligation to speak out while we can. Because helping Iranians and Mainland Chinese are just like helping yourself. Walk with us on July 1st in protest against oppression of Freedom of Speech, wear green garment to show our support to Chinese and Iranians, who sacrifice their freedom and lives for the greater good.
Defend Information Freedom, Promote Democracy and Human Rights. The fight starts from your computer. Be the change you wish to see in the world! We will see you at the Victoria Park, on July 1st, 3 p.m.!
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