I’m not commenting on the alleged protests that are happening today in Azerbaijan. Part of being a Peace Corps Volunteer in whatever country you serve in is staying a bit of your political commentary for the sake of the reputation of America in the country, for the Peace Corps as an organization working in the country, and to be sure that political stances of Volunteers don’t interfere with their work in the community. And it’s also good to preserve safety and security of the Volunteers.
On the other hand, it’s kind of lame to not at least point out that there are some political movements within your country of service. With that in mind, while I’m going to refrain from making this a forum for or against protests, there have been quite a few news stories about the demonstrations that have been planned for today. You can find stories at: the Financial Times, Bloomberg, BBC News, Radio Free Europe, and Eurasianet.
Today, the protests are supposedly going on, but they’ve been rather quiet. There have been messages on Facebook and Twitter, but not much more. We’ve been told to stay away from Baku, and the US Embassy has also put out a Warden Notice, alerting Americans that the protests could happen today.
Update, March 13, 2011: Further coverage of events both on Friday, March 11 and Saturday, March 12 are covered in the Wall Street Journal and in the New York Times. After March 11th’s protests, the Musavat opposition party planned further demonstrations for the 12th. Contact.Az also has coverage of the events here and photos here.