Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Khiaban No. 57: Looking back at Student Day 2009

Translation of a lead article from the latest issue of Khiaban newspaper.

You can read all previous issues of Khiaban newspaper

Broken Structures, Failed Repairmen
Khiaban #57 / Tuesday, December 8, 2009

16th Azar/Student Day has passed. With slogans of "Death to Khamenei!" Death to the principle of religious guardianship! "Khamenei the murderer; his guardianship null and void!" (Khamenei qhaateleh, velayatesh baateleh!) "Death to the tyrant, be it shah or the supreme leader!" (Marg bar setamgar, che shah baasheh che rahbar!) "Torture, treason; infamy on this guardianship!" (Shekanjeh, khiaanat; nang bar in velayat!) "Hossein, Hossein is your motto; raping is your peak of pride!" (Hossein, Hossein sho'aareteh, tajaavoz eftekhaareteh!). "Ahmadi has come up short, he's brought out the idiot thugs!" (Ahmadi kam aavordeh, Sha'ban bi-mokh aavordeh!). "Had there been no Basijis, Taraaneh* with us would still be!" (Agar basiji nabood, Taraaneh* peeshe maa bood!)

16th of Azar has passed. With the widespread and courageous presence of the people in the streets. People who, despite the [undeclared] military law and the military occupation of the streets, took to the streets and fought for their presence in public spaces and shouted out their demands.

16th of Azar has passed. With the announcement of the absolute will of the society to continue their movement until a free and equal society is achieved. The Student Day passed so that the society's season may begin.

They [reformists] said, and we heard, 'do not raise slogans against the system'. They said, and we heard, 'do not take to the streets; hold your ceremonies within the universities'. They said, and we heard. We heard it said by all from the reformist wing of the regime to Nehzat Azadi [Freedom Front], to the analysts outside the country, and in numerous media. From this interview and that radio, to this and that green statement.

The people, however, and the university students raised their own voices. Their own slogans. From the people's point of view, a valiye faqih [religious guardian/supreme leader] who has supervised the killings and the torture of the people, and who is the commander in chief, is a criminal. A system based on valiye faqih, which has been placed on earth by some god, and which is not accountable to anybody, cannot be defended, nor has it any room for reform. This constitution and the legal institutions are huge obstacles in the way of the actualization of the free and equal right of self-determination, to determine one's own life. The liquidation of the Revolutionary Guards and the Basij, and all the other fascistic gangs, now constitutes a demand of the people. These structures have long been shattered in the collective consciousness. The destruction of these structures and the creation of new structures that guarantee a free and equal life is now a collective demand, which cannot be silenced by media propaganda.

16th of Azar showed that those who consider themselves the leaders of the movement are not made of the same cloth as the reality of the movement. Those leaders show one strategy, but the people protesting in the streets take other steps. They advertise certain slogans, but the people protesting in the streets shout different slogans. The self-assigned spokespeople of the movement give speeches that are in contradiction to the demands raised by the people protesting.

The time has come for the people, through their own local organizations, to publish and disseminate their own voices and discourse. Issuing of statements -- reflecting demands of particular groups of citizens formed within specific networks of those who are organizing themselves -- can be the voice of the movement's depths, brought to the greater public. We must take the role of spokesman-ship back from fraudulent spokespeople. Slogans are effective but they are not enough. People must [organize to] issue statements in which they express their demands and their proposals.

[*Translator's Note: Taraaneh Mousavi, a woman who was group-raped in detention, and whose body was burned to cover up the crime.]

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