Iran: Here Comes The Backlash

(10:00AM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)


Wednesday evening in the US.  Thursday morning in Iran.  The demonstrations continue throughout Iran, but there’s ominous news.  Again.  The New York Times reports:

Iranians angry at the results of last week’s election pushed their protest forward on Wednesday, from tens of thousands who again flooded the streets here to six soccer players on the national team who wore opposition green wristbands at a World Cup qualifying game.

But there were signs of an intensified crackdown: The government worked on many fronts to shield the outside world’s view of the unrest, banning coverage of the demonstrations, arresting journalists, threatening bloggers and trying to block Web sites like Facebook and Twitter, which have become vital outlets for information about the rising confrontation here.

The senior prosecutor in the central province of Isfahan, where there have also been tense demonstrations, went so far as to say protesters could be executed under Islamic law.

If you read the Twitter posts to #iranelection you see that Iran’s government is trying mightily to suppress communication.  Foreign journalists have been forced to leave the country.  Writers have been arrested. A photographer was stabbed. Cell phone service is sporadic.  The Internet has been slowed.  Disinformation and stalking abounds.  Arrests of bloggers and university students are common.  Violence continues in the streets.  Many have been killed and injured.  And many more have been threatened.  

Despite all of this, defiance of the government continues.  Twitter posts from Iran continue to describe the demonstrations. Six members of the Iranian football team wore green wrist bands for the first half of today’s game in protest.  Youtube is filled with photos of the massive, non-violent demonstrations by the pro-democracy opposition and the repressive violence of the government and its thugs.

The Iranian Democracy movement is absolutely worthy of our personal (as opposed to governmental) support.  Support and solidarity at this point require, indeed permit only the simplest of things.  As I said yesterday.  There are only simple things we can and should do:

Things like changing our location and time zone on Twitter to Tehran and GMT +3.5 hours.  Things like making our avatar green.  Things like reading the posts of those who are there.  Things like posting and distributing their videos on youtube.  Things like writing blogs and asking others to link arms with them in solidarity.  Things like talking about what ideas we might have that could be of help to them.

These are things that might be completely ineffective to help Iranians achieve democracy, to get a new, fair election, to overturn the sham outcome of their last election.  I realize that.  But that’s not what’s important.  That’s not what’s important now.

What’s important, I think, is our solidarity with their struggle, our saying, however we can say it, “Brothers and Sisters, we’re with you.  We want you to succeed.  We want you to be safe, and free.  We want you to obtain the change you seek.”

I am full of admiration for the courage of the Iranian movement.  I applaud and support these people.  Please join me in solidarity with them.  Sign the available petitions.  Take the small steps.  It’ll make you feel great.  And it’s the right thing to do.



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  1. Solidarity and support for the demonstrators.

    Thank you for reading.

  2. Said Juan Cole:

    “(Not saying that a Tiananmen strategy would work. The shah tried it in September 1978 and it backfired by causing public revulsion over ‘Black Friday.’ Just saying I wouldn’t be surprised.)”

    I hope it doesn’t come to that, but this report by Nico Pitney of Huffington Post says:

    1:09 PM ET — 32 reported dead. The National Iranian American Council passes on the latest report on casualties by a trusted Iranian human rights organization

    I hope that the “Greens” succeed in getting the changes they seek, without a brutal crackdown by the government.  But it’s beginning to look like those in power are moving to squash the opposition.  Sadly, the people in power control the military and the opposition doesn’t.  Hopefully, the courage of the citizen protesters will inspire some of the rulers and military people who are ready for moderation to take a stand:  Even if the ruling council members don’t reverse the election “results”–those who would like to see change but have been afraid to act alone can use the momentum of the will of the people to justify pushing to rein in the lunacy and extremism of the current Administration.

    I wonder if the frustration that I and many others in this country are feeling about the probability that Ahmadinejad  stole the election is the same feeling of frustration that the rest of the world felt when bush & co. were “elected” in 2000 & then “re-elected” in 2004?  

  3. Nico Pitney at Huffing Post has been  liveblogging the Iran election aftermath and is now reporting that with the government’s cutting off communications via internet & cell phones, some people at the University of Chicago have decided to help get the word out to the world via fax:

    10:45 — The revolution will be faxed. A valuable service being organized by Eric Purdy and his crew at the University of Chicago:

       We have set up a website to receive faxes from Iran, which we will post online. Hopefully this will be another way for information about what’s going on in Iran to make its way out of the country.

       Please disseminate this fax number as widely as possible: +1 888 308 3025. We will post any faxes we receive at

  4. Our brothers & sisters in Iran need the hope of our support, as do their mothers fathers & children.

  5. from over at kos [where I also tipped and rec’d your diary]

    The commenter at kos provides a link to a site that tells us how to help prevent e/e ID, other important information that may help save lives.

    I checked it out and is truly a wonderful page, readable in several languages.

    HERE is the URL of the comment:

    thanks again David for posting this! PONY of course.

  6. for keeping on top of this.  

    I, too, applaud the courageousness of the Iranian people.  Would that we would have done the same back in 2000.  They are holding strong, despite the deaths that have been suffered needlessly.

    Here are some excellent photos from the Independent Online Edition.  

    And, of course, there are many videos, photos on the reportage of Nico Pitney, at Huffington Post, linked by serendipity, above!

    I have signed all petitions that I have come across — hope others will do the same.



  7. This is a really authentic and spontaneous looking bit of political theater.  It was so hard for them to get the Venezuelans to play along.  They should have made all the english protest signs a bit more homemade looking, that is really the only critique I can make.

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