The Student’s movement has become even more extensive than previous years and shows no sign of ebbing. Instead, it quickly spreads to universities that haven’tt been as active or involved in student protests in recent years. This wide spread is due to changes in the student movement’s dynamism compared to previous years. Currently the dynamism and slogans come directly from the anti dictator movement on the streets that has been going on prior to universities re-opening.
In fact, those students involved in mass street protests towards the end of the previous academic year or prior to universities re-opening; are now continuing with their protests as university students and within the walls of campus. The roots of this dynamism and slogans of student and anti dictatorship movements are in a new era. The current student protests are pursuant of people’s freedom-seeking movement against dictatorship and tyranny. They were able to introduce themselves to the world by marching to the streets in millions. This annulled the analysis of those who would not recognize the basis of this movement in protest against the bloody and malevolent regime during the past 30 years.
Student protests from the aspect of universities involved and the sheer number of participants is so vast it cannot fit within the capacity of any student organization to be directed or influenced positively. Entire student organizations (be they leftist, liberal or Islamic) compared to the number of students involved in the movement are few and best suited to a time time when student movements did not consist of a large mass of students. Today, the situation has changed and student movement is in need of organizations that can respond to the issues of mass protest against dictatorship.
With the mass presence of university students at the frontline of the protests the student movement is in need of organization. The huge student mass must be organized at various levels; colleges, universities and throughout cities. They must connect with one another to discuss and decide their demands and ways to continue with the movement. The Iranian Revolutionary guard believes that by creating more and more restrictions against the current student movement, or by arresting, torturing and deporting student activists, they can stop the student movement. This movement and its its activists used to play an effective and central role in organizing student protests in previous years; however, they no longer have the active role of leadership in current protests and despite all the repressions the student movement is moving along with more energy and intensity.
By creating organizations that can coordinate the mass student’s movement; students will be able to plan and organize their social and political demands and ways to continue in their fight. Only in such circumstances can students influence the current situation and by standing next to other social movements and especially the worker and women movements, influence the current anti dictatorship movement. Previously, elite-oriented organizations were able to organize smaller groups of student movements; however, these organizations are no longer able to answer the immediate demands of the current movement.
The current mass movement demands an organization to organize the movement. This is the only route to enabling students to take control of their situation while actively participating in the anti-dictatorship movement and will not only follow the flow but will have the power to plan and determine their effective roles. The government’s reformists, particularly Moussavi want the students and generally all participants in public freedom seekers, unaligned. Moussavi and reformists goals are the people’s unorganized participation in the movement within friends and family relations only. This shapeless movement obviously doesn’t have the power to determine the future of the student movement. And structure-wise it follows their goal of an “Islamic Republic” nothing more! Reformists don’t even deny that whenever they reach a point of agreement point with the Supreme Leader and Revolutionary Guard, they have achieved their goal. Their declared purpose is to use the Islamic regime’s constitutions that according to reformists, in substance relate to people’s rights are currently not being followed and the modifying cycle of power among the regime’s factions are not being considered by the executive and legislative branches of the government. Reformists and Moussavi are expecting the current anti-dictatorship movement to pressure the coup d’état into increasing the right wing’s criticism of Ahmadinejad and his supporters to create a stream of mixed of characters from both reformists and conservatives to compromise. Until the day when they achieve their goal, for self preservation and the security of their families, Moussavi and other reformists are in need of the anti dictatorship movement.
Therefore, Moussavi and other reformist officials in fearing for their future are not directly criticizing other groups and parties who are following different goals and are clearly asking for the removal of the dictator regime in their slogans. Instead, they are insisting on their demand for an “Islamic Republic” nothing more. With the serious rise of compromising reformist politics and their direct criticism of the so called “extreme indulgence” of the anti dictatorship movement, it is becoming more obvious that they are preparing for reconciliation with the Supreme Leader and Revolutionary Guard. The compromise between the reformists and Moussavi with the dictators depends on lots of factors including the power of the anti dictatorship movement.
Reformists and Moussavi don’t want consistent social and student movements and instead ask for a movement confined to family and friends such that no groups would be out there to resist in case of compromise with Khamenei and Revolutionary Guard. The unorganized mass of people who are fighting to overthrow the dictators, Islamic regime and the Supreme Leader hold no value for them and will be disillusioned if the reformists, Khamenei and others reach a agreement; simply because these unorganized groups don’t have the tools to continue with the anti dictatorship movement. An organized social and especially student movement in such critical times and when the compromise between the two parties is not yet strong, can play an important role. And if the two parties reach an agreement, these movements will be organized enough to lead the anti dictatorship movement to the final step to overthrow the Islamic regime. To achieve its objectives, every movement requires suitable organization. The type of organization that Moussavi calls social networks and includes family and friend relations only fulfills his goal to compromise and reconcile with Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guard. The type of movement reformists and Moussavi are aiming for has to be strong enough to bring about Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guard’s retreat, but not organized to stand against this reconciliation and continue the anti dictatorship movement. However, considering the liberal interest of people, organized movements are the only way to guarantee victory.
Lefties and the Student Movement
With the rise of the anti dictatorship movement and student activities, leftist students are put in a different situation. In less than two months since the start of the academic year, students protests are more extensive (the number of students and university participation) than the past few years. The movement’s quality has also advanced; Death to the Dictator slogans have targeted Khamenei who is the main pillar of the Islamic regime and is almost the same as the death to Shah during the 1979 revolution in Iran. Unlike the previous era, it is essential for the leftie student movement to adjust its objectives and methods according to the demands of the anti dictatorship movement. Growth and rapid expansion of leftie students is a response to the issues of the current movement. The entire student movement must be aware that the leftie student movement also wants to fulfill the goal of Death to the Dictator that they have chanted as one of its slogans and goals.
The student movement is now part of the broader people’s movement against the dictatorship that has been clearly addressed through their slogans and campaigns. This student movement must become aware of the leftist student movement’s slogans and methods to achieve the common goals of all students and be able to compare their objectives and methods with other student movements for the same reason. The leftist student movement too must compare its methods with the methods of other movements to end dictatorship and be able to explain and analyze various political platforms related to each movement. What can the source and focus of a student movement be if it is to prove the disability of Moussavi and reformists in fulfilling the goal of overthrowing the dictatorship. By explaining political reasons it can be proven that Moussavi and reformists are able to overthrow dictators - one of one the main goals of the student movement - and be the path to adopting socialism in the student movement.
A delay in the reconciliation of reformists and Moussavi with dictators will result in awareness and radicalism of the student movement. To achieve its goal of overthrowing the dictator, the student movement must be organized in millions to first fight with more power; second, not be harmed if such reconciliation with the dictatorship takes place and third, to be able to continue with its movement along with other social movements. The Leftist student movement is capable of playing the most important role in creating true mass student organization and overcome the inability of reformists and Moussavi to stand with the student movement until the dictator is overthrown. This can be the strategic plan of the leftist student movement in participating in the anti dictatorship movement.
Finally, ending the dictatorship and fulfilling the slogan of Death to Khamenei, is one of the student movement’s goals that has been expressed openly. Death to Khamenei has the same political function of Death to the Shah in the 1979 revolution that ended the monarchy regime. The student movement must be aware that Moussavi and the reformists will not remain by their side in achieving their goals. The minute Moussavi and the reformists achieve their own goals of compromise and reconciliation with the dictator, they will attempt to tame and impoverish the movement in favour of the dictator regime.
The student movement must prepare for the day when reformists and Moussavi leave the anti dictatorship movement, so they’re unaffected negatively by it. They must therefore be alert to the reformists and Moussavi’s inability to stand with the movement to overthrow dictator. They must be organized via organizations to become powerful enough to stand against any reconciliation lead other social movements until the Islamic regime is overthrown. The Leftist student movement can play an important role in achieving this goal by placing this goal as its top objective now.