Before the trial, several members of the Youth Rights Protection Committee, an organization started to support Hajizade and Milli, began to pass out t-shirts which said in Azerbaijani, "I am a hooligan, too." Law enforcement agents in plainclothes immediately seized several youth, shoving them into the back of a police car. Some supporters avoided arrest by removing their t-shirts. One young woman was threatened by a police officer who warned her "Let me take [the shirt] or I’ll rip it off."
Seriously, how great are these kids? From the first, the pro-democracy movement has been full of charm and levity (remember that donkey video?) -- tactics any Western grassroots organizer would be proud of. Clearly they're very serious about their work, but their approach has the tone and force to prove it means business. OL! [Be, in the imperative] Youth Movement has a good Twitter feed of the event, as does Ali Novruzov, who also reminds us:
Back in 1993, when Hikmat Hajizade was assaulted and beaten, the country was embroiled in a bitter chaos, partly a fault of incompetency of the government once he represented. Baku's major street fights and last armed uprising were to be subdued two years later – I still recall those bullet sounds in my neighbourhood. Now, the country enjoys a stability and oil revenues have created some sense of prosperity. However, the state of our freedoms seems to change in a worse direction – sixteen years ago, a father would be beaten, but now, a son is not only beaten, but is also jailed and can face an endarkening prison sentence.