Heed the call of the Iranian people
After Ahmadinejad announced the proposed ministers for his new cabinet, the mood of public protest calmed somewhat and there was no further news of the assembly of millions or the collective chants of hundreds of thousands of people.
The brutal murder of people at the hands of various security forces in Iran coupled with the formidable, confession extracting court sessions of the arrested, has made people look to other avenues for the continuation of their dissent. The people of Iran took the first available opportunity – and in a political scenario – to gather one more time in protest, on the Islamic Republic’s so-called Qods day, with street conflict and slogans of Death to the Dictator. These protests continued at the level of bringing awareness to one another and bringing about social congregation on the streets and universities and factories. Until that is, the start of the academic year in Iran and the assembly of hundreds in the universities as the communal potential took shape with slogans like “Mahmoud the Traitor” and “Death to the Dictator” that were heard throughout Iran’s universities.
These days we see a lot of video footage on social websites that show the vastness of this student dissent, even in small towns. This aroused atmosphere like a flame beneath the ashes, indicates a more critical situation that deepens and becomes more and more radical each day in its attack of Ahmadinejad’s government and the Islamic Republic’s rule overall.
You may know that in the Islamic Republic Khamenei, as leader, is commander of three areas, and that all affairs are conducted with his final comment and will. Therefore his total support of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the events following the election show that Khameinei in the capacity of the phenomenon of leader of the Islamic Republic is not distinct from Ahmadinejad and that both stand in one path against the people, in the name of Islamic Republic.
Therefore from now on, it’s better to use the term, the “Ahmadinejad-Khamenei Wing” against the people. This wing that is a product of a time of revolution and disorder in Iran, sets out to choose irrational concepts and alarmist positions for itself and - by attracting public attention through the nuclear issue and emphasizing anti-west characteristics and it’s stance as enemy of America - find partners in the region and elsewhere in the world to gain control and balance in discussions. The Islamic Republic that is in economic terms bankrupt in the mother industries and large companies, has dipped into the pockets of the people and sustains itself with ever-increasing pressure on their welfare and living conditions. It’s enough to walk the streets of Iran and observe the minimum wage that based on Iranian workers’ laws is USD$260 per calendar month, in relation to the cost of goods and food stuffs. Incomes way below the poverty line and statistics that the regime itself proclaims, together with the millions of unemployed, a flood of educated and motivated youth, alongside many other factors, have caused people to break out and show their dissatisfaction according to their own high standards, in different ways.
The vast inequality that exists against women in every aspect of Iranian law along with discrimination and sexual apartheid against half the human force in Iran has caused women, as an immense group of the aggrieved, to be even more present and distinguished on the streets than others. Here in Iran women are separated from men just as blacks were from whites in the days of race apartheid in South Africa. In many shops where women in hejab are deemed unsuitable, goods are not sold to them, just as, according to the wants of religious leaders, to prevent marriage and sexual relations, women are stoned to death for being “subversive” and “corrupt upon earth”. Despite a population of learned and hopeful people, Iran is at the mercy of a government that sees a woman’s rights as half those of a man and recognizes men as the superior gender.
Bear in mind too that Iran is a country with a vast ethnic diversity and numerous languages. In Iran live the Kurd, Lor, Arab, Baluch, Azeri and Turkeman people, each denied in some way by the laws of the Islamic Republic, from determining their language and destiny. Any disagreement with the status quo can mean heavy consequences for their activists. In recent years there have been wide campaigns against these minorities who represent a significant group of Iranians, such that any human cry or pursuit of rights from these people is denotes them as elements of terrorist and separatist groups. In the media they are portrayed as threats to national security and the benefits system, and worthy of a death sentence. Likewise there are many religious minorities living in Iran who unwillingly endure and accept the country’s religious laws. For them this makes living intolerable such that they are left no choice but to leave their homeland and seek refuge in other countries. The crime of all of these people is dispute with a form of religious governing that counts them as second-class citizens. The Baha’i are a very clear example of these religious minorities in Iran, who do not have a claim to education, work or any social rights. It is hard to imagine such treatment of the citizens of a country for upholding different views, religious or otherwise. Furthermore, as far as the rulers of the Islamic Republic are concerned, the people of Iran are Muslim and so if anyone proclaims that they have no religious conviction, not only must they be known as an apostate with no social rights, but they must also be killed.
Yes, all this is taking place in a part of our planet earth called Iran. Every day a large number of people under the influence of narcotics and poverty and ruin, die in a corner of Iran. Not a day goes by without news of an execution or stoning and flogging or amputation in the name of God and religious laws. Not a day goes by without a newspaper being shut down for the crime of writing a few words against even a faction of the government. Not a day without millions of people selling themselves short in the absence of work and welfare and bodily comfort. Yes, the situation in Iran has reached a critical point of incredible difficulty for people. Such a level of discontent with the current climate has reached the stage where fundamental changes in economic and cultural frameworks are required. Above all there is call for a fluid leadership, for change and respect for advanced and human rights according to humanitarian laws – and none of these factors are components the Islamic Republic. This climate has been created so that leading will be difficult for the leaders such that the integrity of the Islamic Republic and its anti-human policies will be at the mercy of the people of Iran.
These contradictions and the polarization of society caused the people to lash out taking to the streets, such that it has meaning for all, defining values accordingly for each social class and movement. The university student came to the streets to not throw away the result of years of effort and hope and knowledge to the difficult employment laws of Iran or to the role of “army of the unemployed” behind the walls of the terror houses of Iran. Women came to the streets to not bury their existence and humanity behind religious patriarchy and medieval backwardness. A flood of workers came to the streets to cry out the slogans they had written and announcements they had made, to build a better world and benefit from the welfare and dignity of community under the protective shade of freedom and equality. Even the affluent youth of the well-to-do classes came out, asking why the people of Iran today suffer cultural poverty with society’s lack of advancement. The learned and impassioned youth of Iran still live under a system that doesn’t allow music to be played state television and imprisons, humiliates and tortures young people under the most severe laws for the crime of going to a party and wearing western clothes, or for participating in clandestine concerts.
Many speeches can be given on the ills on the streets of Iran, but our street is limited and we try to tell you about one aspect of developments each time so that we may promote a fair and accurate understanding of the wants and desires of the people of Iran in contrast with human society outside. Universities as refined and intellectual sections of society have taken on the responsibility for the radicalization and transformation of the struggle. The student campaign as defined by the conditions in society that I have described is not a union campaign for the realization of the internal demands of the university students, but the same cry on the street that today reveals itself in the universities. Many try to maintain that this struggle is a specific interest demand, separating the students as an open-minded force from the rest of society and the recent protests. But this is not the case and I can boldly proclaim as a political student of Iran who spent years of my life in this struggle and in the prisons of the Islamic Republic’s regime, that the student movement is a sophisticated and aware part of society that has stood more organized by using cultural tools against the leadership.
A court’s heavy sentencing of 10 polytechnic students for leftist activism shows the latest attack of the leadership against the student movement in an effort to promote an atmosphere of fear and oppression. Before this a large number of students of the liberal spectrum of Tehran’s universities were arrested and many of them are still languishing in the prisons of the Islamic Republic and are subjected to interrogation and torture. Therefore the Islamic Republic’s attack on the student movement should be questioned, not only within Iran’s borders, but in European and American countries, and this blatant oppression be challenged.
Take the voice of millions of Iranians to your streets and help us build a free and humanitarian world.
In hope and freedom