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Voice for freedom

Italy: Legge Bavaglio

July 2010

The “Legge Bavaglio,” or gag law, tried to strip the Italian legal system of the ability to tackle crime and corruption. It could have silenced editors and journalists, placing draconian penalties on those who dared to hold politicians accountable. But the voices of 340,000 Italian Avaazers stopped this shameful law from passing, shifting the parliamentary agenda -- for the first time in history -- through people powered action.

"A channel has been opened between politics and people, a distance that seemed to be unbridgeable for a moment has been bridged."

Professor Stephano Radotà, jurist and columnist for La Repubblica

Networked Politics

Real Democracy in Zimbabwe

March 2008

Following sham elections in 2008, Avaaz launched a campaign to fight for real democracy and human rights in Zimbabwe. More than 150,000 Avaaz members pressured the South African president Thabo Mbeki, a key Mugabe ally, to step in and push for democratic reform. We flew a 3,000 square foot banner over the United Nations headquarters in New York with the message: "Mbeki Time to Act: Democracy for Zimbabwe."

Following months of violence and political turmoil, Mugabe signed a power-sharing deal with opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai. Zimbabwe's troubles are far from over, but Avaaz hasn’t given up the fight for real democratic change.

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Solidarity and Strategy

Burma Uprising

October 2007

When monks and pro-democracy protesters filled the streets of Rangoon, Avaaz members rose in support worldwide. More then 800,000 members from every country on earth signed a petition urging China and the UN Security Council to oppose the violent crackdown by the Burmese Junta and open peace talks. Avaaz publicly delivered the message to UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, pressed officials from China, Singapore and the EU for stronger positions, and formed a 50,000 person boycott against Chevron and Total Oil for doing business with the regime.