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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 April 2006, 10:32 GMT 11:32 UK
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How To Plan A Revolution was broadcast in the UK on Thursday, 20 April, 2006 at 2100 BST on BBC Two.

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The comments published on this page reflect the balance of views we received.


"Shame on you!" These words were spoken by the old lady as she picked up splintered and torn orange banners at the end of an appalling show of brute force by the police against a non-violent demonstration. I felt ashamed that I knew little of the struggle for freedom and democracy that we take so much for granted. Thank you BBC for this enlightening and thought-provoking documentary.
Sharon Burns, Manchester

I'd just like to say that this is one of the best documentaries I've seen in a long time.
Sair R, Manchester

I lived in Azerbaijan for 7 years and I can definitely tell you that the situation is much differenet from the one shown. The programme is very biased towards the opposition.
John Earnes, London

An inspiring piece that takes you to highs, hopes, and then punches you in the stomach with the sickening abuse of power. My hopes are with the people of Azerbaijan. Their fight for liberty and freedom was not in vain as the truth has shown through, and will take a thousand souls on this side of the world to new heights of enlightenment. The people are with you. Fight for freedom!
Tobias Pattle, Braintree

Hugely insightful programme that highlighted the issues confronting (young) people in Azerbaijan. History has shown that demonstrations and togetherness of society can overthrow oppressive regimes - I really hope the protestors in Azerbaijan can continue to build in strength and numbers to eventually overthrow the government as has been seen elsewhere in Eastern Europe. They should not give up - the more people that come around to their beliefs, the better the chance of overthrowing the existing regime.
Andy Tate, London

Having been born in Hungary myself, I can emphasise with these very unfortunate people. Although I read about widespread vote rigging in the papers last year, the scale of shamelessness by the "governing" party, the absolutely unjust political system and the lack of freedom was still shocking. The West should be ashamed of itself. What's more important: money or freedom? Most Westerners are lucky enough never to have experienced authoritarian regimes.
Thomas, London

I just want to commend you on producing such an inspiring show. It was a well-balanced documentary that helped people see just how easy it is for a government with such an intimidating police force and massive media machine working behind it, to control elections and the people in general. Thank you for daring to show some reality that people don't often get to see. And well done to your camera man for managing to stay alive throughout the whole film. Anyway, keep up the good work.
Joe, UK

I just wanted to say what an excellent programme I watched this evening. How To Plan A Revolution demonstrated the complete lack of democracy in Azerbaijan and the complicity of the US. Although George Bush claims to support the move to democracy in this area it is obviously only in the countries that suit the US. I will be watching carefully to see what happens in Azerbaijan and thank the BBC for bringing this serious issue to my attention.
Sally Hornung, Dorking

I was shocked and yet sadly unsurprised as I watched this programme and saw the Western leaders turn away from a fight for freedom and democracy that doesn't suit their needs. I can only applaud the resilience and bravery of those that fight for true democracy and freedom in Azerbaijan. A fantastic, thought-provoking documentary on an underreported injustice. Well done This World.
Ruth Sullivan, London

This is a shocking and depressing documentary about a vicious regime shamelessly violating every human right that we take for granted in this country. It also exposes the hypocrisy of the UK and the US government in picking and choosing the countries that they want to accuse of "undemocratic" behaviour, while staying quiet about the repressive regimes that they feel they can benefit from. I just wish I could do something.
Mark Waghorn, London

As I watched this, I couldn't help wondering exactly why the police allowed such unrestricted filming. Some explanation would have been helpful. It also seemed that all of the opposition supporters spoke only Russian, while all the government supporters spoke a mixture of Russian and Azeri. This may have just been a coincidence during post-production, or it may have had some political significance. Again, explanation would have been helpful. Programmes earlier in the series have been excellent, but I'm afraid this one left me feeling I hadn't been told the whole story.
Ian Kemmish, Biggleswade

Western powers should not stand by and allow this situation to continue in Azerbaijan. Our government has the influence, power and support to make a difference for these people who want democracy. The freedom block are protesting peacefully now but faced with that degree of violence from the government I would imagine it is only a matter of time before their protest becomes violent, and who could blame them! Western powers could put a stop to this and it is the just and moral thing to do!
Lee Ransom, Southampton

What an eye-opener the programme was! I watched with my husband and 19-year-old son and we were appalled at the disgusting behaviour of the president and his entourage. Well done to the freedom protesters!! If we could lodge our support we most certainly would.
Mrs & Mr K.Dwyer, Walsall

Excellent programme. Comparing the footage shown here with the police chiefs' reports is enough to make you cry. This is one issue with "good guys" and I feel ashamed not to have known more, and worse, to know that most people, including me, will do nothing.
Pete Brett, Cambridge

It is a tribute to the ever-changing modern world of global communications that this story can be brought to all our minds. That we can not forget that out in the wider world there are those still fighting to get what we are so apathetically failing to demonstrate each general election: the right to pick your own destiny.
John C, Edinburgh

First of all I'd like to comment on what an excellent piece of work making this programme. What a disgrace it is that so-called democratic governments can get away with what they do. More action needs to be done by the UN to eradicate these problems in Azerbaijan and similar countries across the world. It would also hopefully stop another Iraq war in the making.
John, Middlesborough

My heart goes out to those people in Azerbaijan who , under the current regime, will never experience the freedoms we have here in the UK. The police had no right to break up a non-violent protest - there was no resistance so it was uncalled for. I believe the West should aid Azerbaijan and it needs to be done soon. Democracy is not just a system of government but an ideal which results in freedom.
Oliver Burton, Nottingham

A fantastic programme. a moving and disturbing document of injustice in a so-called democracy. How will the international community respond to this? How will justice be bought to the people of Azerbaijan?
Chris Simpson, Southampton

Absolutely appalling. Why is more not done to support democracy in Azerbaijan as democracy is being supported in Iraq and Afghanistan!!
Mehr, Manchester

Azerbaijan is likely to be a difficult and interesting country over the coming years. Oil production of 1 million barrels a day - more than 15 times the world's oil demand - will not only bring in a lot of money, but some challenging paradoxes. First, how is the ruling elite going to stop enough of that money filtering down to the people? Second, how is the West (notably the US) going to allow the instability that is democracy, to take place in all but a sham?

I am optimistic - the changes that have happened in Georgia must spill over the border into Azerbaijan, it's just a matter of time. But I feel for the poor people who suffer under the maladminstration and ineptitude that is the current government. We have to continue speaking out the truth in that country, and help them whenever we can.
David Hodgson, Kingston




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