Monday, February 28, 2011

Protest Tuesdays in Iran

Now ... What to do about those motorcycle gangs?

Translation of a statement by Raah-e Kaargar.

In solidarity with the people of Iran!
Long Live Freedom and Justice!
Long Live the People's Liberation Movement of the Greater Middle East & North Africa!

On the Occasion of the upcoming Protest Tuesdays:
Iranian people's will is to overthrow the system, and they don't need guardians!

After the grand oppositional protests by the people on February 14 and 20, with open slogans against the dictatorship, the continuation of protests, the spreading of the anti-dictatorial movement's domain [of influence], and the ever expanding of the movement has turned into the immediate demand of freedom-seeking people and the youth. In response to this demand, and based on advice of like-minded people, there came the call for Tuesday protests has been suggested by some youth social networks. Based on these calls to action, the plan is for the people to take to the streets in protest [on successive Tuesdays], for the release of all political prisoners as well to protest against Mousavi and Karroubi's detention on Tuesday, March 1; in support of women's movement on International Women's Day on March 8; and using the presence of the masses of people out on Chaar-shanbeh Suri [Tuesday eve celebrations before the last Wednesday of the year, Iranian calendar] to transform it into a day of mass protests against the dictatorship on March 15. These calls have so far been welcomed warmly by a wide spectrum of political forces, people and organizations, including ours, who resolutely support the protest movement against the current murderous and criminal [ruling] system. We believe that in the present conditions, low cost moves [in terms of possible loss of human lives] that widen the participation of the people in the protests and demonstrations against the ruling system; that provide a larger arena for the flourishing of creativity of the people in the methods of their protests; and solidify the solidarity of different social groups and layers opposing the dictatorship, without jeopardizing the independence of action of each and without concealing the reality of the multiplicity of demands and needs present in the movement -- all actions with such characteristics will be to the benefit of the spreading of the anti-dictatorial movement. Based on all this, we support the call for Protest Tuesdays.

It is within this context that we consider the fourth statement issued by the "Coordinating Council of the Green Path's Hope" as a step backward, a reactionary effort to impose a dangerous schism in the anti-dictatorial movement, an instrumentalist approach seeking monopoly [of leadership] over the people's grievances in order to benefit a particular group, and an unwise action that will lead to the weakening of the solidarity in the anti-dictatorial movement and an effort in keeping the system of the velayate faqih [guardianship of the religious jurists], and a move to prevent the growth and spread of the anti-dictatorial movement of the people, and we oppose it resolutely.

At the same time that social networks, as a result of a process of sharing ideas, have come up with the idea of Protest Tuesdays, this Council, which after the announcement of the planned actions has joined them, completely unilaterally has cancelled the March 8 (International Women's Day) actions. Such an action is an insult to the glorious struggles and fights by our country's women, and is an emphasis on the continuation of the thirty-two year old violent and misogynist ruling system. Isn't all the merciless crackdown on women under the Islamic rule enough? [...]

This same Council, in its third statement, issued before the speech by the intelligence minister, had [previously] raised the demand for the release of the political prisoners as a central demand, as well as to protest the house arrest of Mousavi and Karroubi. However, after the intelligence minister made his speech -- in which he made threats based on his assertion that the Green Movement had become an anti-revolutionary front -- this same Council, in a rushed, defensive and reactionary effort, and apparently in order to distinguish itself from "anti-revolutionary" elements, in its fourth statement has completely eliminated its demand for the release of political prisoners. And some reformists have stepped even further beyond that, and are asking that the demonstrations on that day be turned into birthday celebrations for Mir Hossein Mousavi. Such efforts not only encourage the spread of a cult of personality mentality but also are ruthless insults to the dignity of hundreds and thousands of political prisoners who have given to the movement with their lives and limb, and have sacrificed everything for the freedom of the people of this country.

While people, on February 14 and 20 [2011] shouted out aplenty slogans such as, "Death to the Dictator", and "Mobarak, Ben-Ali, next is Seyed Ali [Khamenei]", in its fourth statement this Council has decided the slogans for the people, and has asked that only these slogans be used: "Oh Hossein, Mir Hossein [Mousavi]" and "Oh Mehdi, Sheikh Mehdi [Karroubi]". [...] The Iranian people, both in the 2009 protests/demonstrations and in this year again on February 14 and 20, have shouted out the demand for the overthrow of the system the loudest they could have. However, now at a time when the riotous masses who've had enough are shouting the slogan, "Al-sha'b al-yerid esqhaat al-nezaam" (People want the overthrow of the system), all the way from the shores of Tunis to the coasts of the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, the regime's reformists are asking the people to put aside the slogan of "Down with the Dictator" and the demand for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic, and instead shout, "Yaa Hossein, Mir Hossein," or "Yaa Mehdi, Sheikh Mehdi!" Such futile efforts to erect obstacles in the way of the raging floods of the people's protests shall be crushed.


We declare: Denying the rights of women in Iran not only impedes the spread of the anti-dictatorial movement and its growth but is also an insult to the sacrifices and the faultless struggles of the heroic women of our country. It is obvious that the anti-dictatorial movement of the Iranian people is against the house arrest of Mousavi and Karroubi and protests those house arrests; however, in a country where thousands of freedom-seeking youths and political and social activists are in chains in dungeons, and where groups after groups of innocent people are hanged for the crime of wanting freedom, nobody has the right to put terms and conditions on political freedoms, or to replace the political freedom of all political prisoners with the freedom of only Mousavi and Karroubi. These two men are not bigger than the people of Iran and their freedom is not the same as the freedom of the people; while people's freedom can guarantee their freedom too. To reverse this equation is to take utilitarian advantage of the explosive potential of people's grievances.

We declare: The era for individuals and tendencies to use monopolistic methods to impose governments, political systems and policies has passed, as has the era for riding the waves made of our youth's blood. People of Iran will get rid of such methods and means along with the ruling dictatorship. In a society, in which oppression and injustice is everywhere, any protest against a particular form of oppression that remains particular and specific, and does not get elevated to the point of overthrowing all oppression, will undoubtedly lead to the oppression to be reproduced in another form.

We support the March 1 move as the first of the Protest Tuesdays, and within the context of the call made by the social networks [of the Iranian youth] for the Tuesdays, March 1, 8 and 15, and we are sure that the brave people and the brave youth of the country will push forth with their common current slogans, meaning, "Death to the dictator", and will crush the futile efforts to subdue this movement that is seeking the overthrow of the system. For us, the protests against Mousavi and Karroubi's house arrests have meaning only within the context of protesting against anybody's rights being taken away from them, regardless of their ideas, ilk or creed; as a result, we persistently insist on the slogan, "Free Political Prisoners!" as a non-sectarian slogan that goes beyond particular groups, and guarantees the strengthening of solidarity within the anti-dictatorial movement of the Iranian people.

Down with the Islamic Republic regime!
Long live Freedom; Long live socialism!

Executive Committee of Revolutionary Workers' Organization of Iran (Raah Kaargar/ Worker's Path) / 26 February 2011

[Original source, in Persian: here]

Friday, February 25, 2011

Birds of a Feather

Khamenei and His Craziness, in their younger days: Ahhhh, ain't they sweet looking?

Ahmadinejad can hardly contain himself at the sight of that ugly face!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Iran: Refinery Workers on Strike

First spotted on Uruknet, from Freedom Messenger.

Iranian Refinery Workers on Strike
TEHRAN, IRAN—The workers at one Iran’s largest refineries have been on strike since last Monday when the opposition movement called for a nationwide day of protest to show solidarity with people in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East.

Abadan’s oil refinery is the largest refinery in Iran. The striking workers announced they have not been paid by the contractor engaged to by the government to complete the expansion of the refinery’s capacity to produce gasoline for domestic consumption.

For the last six months, the wages owned to the refinery workers have not been paid by the government’s contractor. The efforts to expand Abadan’s oil refinery were initiated by the Iranian government amid stringent UN sanctions that prevented Iran from importing gasoline for domestic consumption.

Iran is the world’s fourth largest oil producer but it lacks the refinery capacity to produce gasoline for domestic consumption.

The expansion of Abadan facility was initiated in three phases. The first two phases of the project have been completed. However, the third phase has run into considerable difficulty and is not yet completed.

During a mass prayer gathering on February 4, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeini announced “based on reports that I have received, the country will be completely self-sufficient in the production of gasoline by February 11.”

The last phase of expansion for the Abadan facility is stalled despite government assurances that it will be completed by the end of February, 2011.

Meanwhile, the striking workers have no recourse to recover their unpaid wages. The Iranian government has announced that the payment of workers’ wages was the responsibility of the contractor.

See complete report here ...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Iranian Police Using Tear Gas or Poison Gas?

More disturbing news, from International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, about police tactics; in particular, use of some sort of 'tear gas' that seems to be a lot more harmful than normal tear gas.

Tear Gas Used On 14 February Causes Severe Symptoms Among Protesters
February 20, 2011

Shadi Sadr, an Iranian human rights lawyer, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that at least three people who participated in the 14 February protests have expressed that the tear gas used against the protesters was different from that used previously. According to the three individuals, when they returned home after exposure to the tear gas, they suffered symptoms such as severe nausea, vomiting blood, and loss of voice and their symptoms have not yet subsided.
“I know of three people who are suffering from pains which were unprecedented as compared to the previous occasions. One of them had severe nausea and vomited blood, to the point where he was seen by a doctor and has had to take tests. One of them continues to have no voice through today and cannot be heard even 10 centimeters away. All three are suffering from severe muscular pains and cramps,” Shadi Sadr told the Campaign. The distinguished Iranian lawyer also said that other people who attended the 14 February gatherings have confirmed the symptoms of this tear gas through her Google Reader. A source reliable to Ms. Sadr told her, “My friend told me today that she and at least three other people are suffering from body aches, sore throat, and severe cold-like symptoms.” They also reported that they were previously exposed to tear gas, but they had never experienced such symptoms before.

Read the complete report here ...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Iron wall around Mousavi's house

Of the signs of desperation we see coming from the Iranian regime, some are more absurd than others. Their latest record-setting performance in the category of absurdly vicious: stealing the body of a martyr, Saane' Zhaaleh, whom the regime's goons had shot dead, by the security forces and then claiming that the man they had killed was a Basij member killed by protesters (even though he was Kurdish and a Sunni, a student of theater literature at Art College, and an opponent of the government); then, not allowing his friends, family and classmates to participate in his funeral; then, when his brother reveals the truth, arresting the brother; then putting pressure on the whole family to go along with the whole absurd insult.

We are now getting news of some record setting in the category of absurdly futile: erecting an iron wall around Mousavi's house!

This is very instructive. Here is the mild mannered, hardly-ever speaking or saying much, impotent misleader or at best reluctant leader leading to nowhere, Mousavi, a political figure who is a former prime minister of this very system [during a very violent early period of the formation of this regime, during which literally thousands of political prisoners were summarily slaughtered in prisons], a very loyal son to the regime, and a person who, even after the government goons have killed, arrested, tortured and raped dissidents who actually support him, Mousavi, is still set on KEEPING the system and its constitution, "Not a word more, not one less!" And this is the treatment he gets!

Now, can you imagine what the system does to anybody who thinks in paradigms entirely removed from an absolutist theocracy?

The system ASSUMES everybody to be a slave to the state.

BUT ... That is exactly what the PEOPLE in Iran have realized, for some (very long) time now. And that is exactly why a great many of the slogans being shouted these days demand the destruction of the system, and nothing less!

Which is exactly why, in turn, there have been thousands of arrests nationwide since February 14 protests, as well as during the weeks leading to it; arrests and detentions and disappearances which continue apace to this day.

Nevertheless, the people's resistance too continues, and there are fresh demonstrations called for, to be held on February 20th. Student organizations are particularly active organizing for the coming protests.

In this context, it is indeed absurdly futile that the regime is spending so much effort isolating Mousavi and Karroubi, as if they are causing the movement, and as if the real causes are not the social misery daily reproduced by the system itself. Regime's leaders are sticking fingers in holes in the dam, while giant cracks are visibly fracturing the larger structure. A good part of the people's movement has moved well beyond reformists Mousavi and Karroubi, and is already planning for conditions in which everybody is
really equal before the law, when people's rights are not rented to them based on how loyal they are to the state or based on how much they believe (or pretend to believe) in some particular obscurantist reading of a particular branch of Islam.

Regime's entire house of cards is falling apart, and they are erecting iron walls!

Long Live People's Movement for Social Justice and Freedom!

Building an Iron Wall around Mousavi's house
Kaleme / Saturday, February 19, 2011

Kaleme [a publication very close to Mousavi]: "They [security forces] are turning Mousavi and Rahnavard's house into a prison with very tall, iron walls." These are the observations of some staff members of the office of presidency, physicians and clients at the Matyr Shoorideh Hospital, which is located near Akhtar Alley, in which Mousavi's house is located.

Some of the upright staff working in the office of presidency, in a telephone contact with Kaleme, have informed us that at this moment [security] officials are working very rapidly in order to build a giant iron wall in front of Mousavi's house.

Apparently what's going on around Mousavi's house is what Ahmad Jannati [a reactionary cleric] said at the Friday prayers recently in Tehran, according to which, we must turn the houses of, as he called them, 'leaders of sedition' into prisons for them.

As Kaleme reports, in recent months, numerous limitations were created for the communications between Mousavi and [his wife] Rahnavard with the society, limitations that were intensified step by step. The circle of security restrictions around Mousavi began tightening from around the end of summer, and simultaneous with the attacks on Karroubi's house as well as on some of the maraaje' [Shiite sources of emulation]. These confrontations coincided at one point with a day when journalists were visiting Mousavi, and since has been applied to people from all layers and personalities attempting to visit him.

Six months ago, we entered a new phase of intensification of limitations against Mousavi and his wife, when a van was stationed in front of Mousavi's office [...]. This van was filled with security personnel who would prevent people and personalities from meeting and visiting Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard. At times, some of the visitors would even be detained temporarily, and after some hours of street interrogation, would be freed; others would be taken to detention centers, and only after signing written affidavits guaranteeing not to return [to Mousavi's office], would be freed.

Mousavi and Rahnavard's house arrest began officially after the February 14 protests started, and starting on February 16, all communications with the house have been cut off, and since then we have no news of their situation or of their health. Currently, Mousavi's guards have been relieved of their duties and security forces have taken their place.

Mousavi and Rahnavard's relatives have not been able to get any news regarding their situation, and the security personnel stationed around their house do not allow anybody to get near their place of residence.

After cutting off all communications means with Mousavi and Rahnavard, including telephone lines and the Internet, now with the building of an iron wall around Mousavi's house, their house arrest has entered a new phase, and it is not clear what other plans are being concocted for Mousavi and [Rhanavard] by judiciary and security/intelligence authorities.

[Original, in Persian:]

RELATED: See also this piece on Mir Hossein Mousavi's prime ministership period, during which a most horrendous mass killing of thousands of political prisoners took place:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Khiaban No. 84: Current Necessities of the Movement

Translation of a lead article from the latest Khiaban newspaper (#84).


February 17, 2011

The new oppositional wave turned things upside down across Tehran [on February 14, 2011]. Even the fiercely predatory guards of the dictatorship could not stop people's will from taking to the public arena. Bringing down the dictatorship and starting the foundations of freedom has turned into the collective goal of the youth and the people who have had enough.

The February 14 protests, which occurred across a wide area of Tehran and in pockets, showed new capabilities and at the same time brought out certain necessities of the struggle. Of these important necessities, which have now clearly revealed themselves and seek a solution, are political organization and the tactical organization of the struggle against the ruling dictatorship.

Political Organization of the Movement
The movement in its current conditions is suffering severely from a lack of political organization. Although large numbers of people take to the streets, and by sacrificing in the utmost refuse to surrender the society to the rulers, the movement is still greatly without organization and without a political fabric [to give it coherence and strength]. What does 'political organization' mean? Let us clarify the discussion by use of some examples.

In Egypt, and in the main demonstrations in Tahrir Square, we were not merely witnessing a gathering of the masses of the people. On the contrary, when we were observing the masses of people gathering, we were seeing the [result of the prior] organization of the demonstrations by the youth. There were signs and placards there to declare people's demands and positions. This task of preparing signs and placards requires some level of political organization, in which a number of individuals plan to get such things together, decide on the slogans and demands, and then prepare the signs and the placards and bring them onto the street.

We also observed that loud speakers had been prepared [in Tahrir Sq.] and as organized and managed by the people there, certain individuals made speeches and retold people's grievances. Reading out statements, messages of solidarity, and issuing declarations are among other activities that require the political organization of the youth. Different groups participating in the protests must organize themselves in numerous small cells for exactly such moments [of opportunity to take to the streets], so as to be able to act effectively. All participating forces in the movement must have the right to organize themselves to participate and to speak up in organized fashion about their goals, demands and views.

Perhaps it is not possible to reach a high level of organization over night or over a short period of time, but we should be taking steps in that direction. Any group or even small number of people, and whoever is engaged in this struggle for liberation, must begin to organize themselves politically. This work can begin in any space. In a college or university, those youth wishing to change the status quo can form such cells. Consequently, in some sit-in by the students over the release of their imprisoned fellow students or any other matter, their particular demands could be expressed, resolutions reached collectively could be read out loud, etc.

If such organizational forms take shape, then we can move towards more collective and more connected and all-encompassing moves. For example, from the cooperation of such groups, we can get to coordinated efforts such as the 25 January revolutionary youth of Egypt, to express the demands and expectations of the youth and fight over those demands. The same idea can be adopted by the active groups who work in defense of women's rights, workers and ... In the absence of such political organizational forms, however, the struggle carried out by the people and the youth will continue, but their demands and goals will remain vague and unclear.

For example, we can, these very crucial days, organize ourselves in various spaces, around the following demands:
  • Immediate release of the 1,500 detainees of the Feb. 14 protests, without any conditions, without any bail demands, and without any confiscation of any documents.
  • Freedom for all political prisoners
  • Immediate and urgent stopping of all violence against dissident citizens, whether in the form of torture, executions of political prisoners, or in the form of suppressing public gatherings of the people by the [Revolutionary] Guards [and Basij, etc.]

Tactical Organization in the Streets
Urban street struggle requires organizational effort. Without organized cells, the work of confronting the Gurads is extremely thorny. Several obstacles could be observed in [February 14] protests. First, if everybody goes to Enghelaab Square at a particular time one by one, pretending that they're just passersby on some business there or nearby, the possibilities for forming a rally are lowered. Why? Because the large masses of the Guards are standing there and you cannot stop [individually]. They tell you, "Move on!" and since everybody's pretending to be passersby, they move on, without the crowd being able to reach such numbers as to be able to shout some slogans and to start a demonstration. It is perhaps better to form smaller-numbered demonstrations in the side-streets, and then approach the main [gathering] spaces in organized masses. The simultaneous approach of many small demonstrations toward a common center, arriving at a designated place at the same time is far harder to control.

Or, another matter is confronting the motorcycle units [of the security forces]. Motorized units play an important role in attacking the people. In order to confront and de-mobilize them, some ways and means must be sought, and to an extent certain tools and material resources are needed.

In both these matters of importance, there is a need for self-organized coordinating cells. Even ten groups of five or six people organized in different cells provide an opportunity to organize, support and protect hundreds and even thousands, who would otherwise participate in the protests in individual capacity only and in an unorganized fashion.

Organizing is the most important weapon that enables ordinary people to overcome their enemies and adversaries. Organization must, however, always be accompanied with spreading of awareness. We must always be asking: Why are we struggling? What are we fighting for? What are those things we don't want, and those we do want? Up to this point, one thing is agreed by all: the foundations of the current situation are problematic. The dictatorship must be destroyed from its top [to the bottom].

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Confront the Islamic Republic's Dementia

Statement of Executive Committee of Revolutionary Workers' Organization of Iran (Workers' Path / Raah Kaargar)

Confront the Ruling Islamic Republic's Demented Policies of Revenge

The dizzying punch of the million-strong presence of the people on February 14, 2011, has driven the rulers insane. Extortionist members of the parliament, after seeing people's power on the Day of Rage, left their seats to shout slogans, 'Death to Mousavi & Karroubi' in the parliament! Paid clerics conducted a sit-in at Tehran's Arg Square. [After stealing the body of a martyr they themselves had killed] The Basijis and Revolutionary Guards organized a Shiite ceremony, in which they carried the body of martyr Saane' Zhaaleh, a member of the Pen Association of Kurdistan, and by doing so they completed their crimes, and they cracked down on the protests by the students of the Art College [where Saane' Zhaaleh was a theater student]. Those who killed Saane' Zhaaleh and Mohamad Mokhtaari with bullets, were now posing as those burying Saane', and thus threw fresh salt into the deep wounds of his martyrdom. Snatching people's martyrs, shouting 'Death to Mousavi, Karroubi & Khatami' in parliament, conducting vast waves of arrests and organizing utterly and shameless campaigns of lies on the state TV -- all these testify to the fact that the people's move on February 14, 2011, had such an effective impact on the body of the Islamic regime that it has come down with a case of dementia.

The Islamic Republic, which claimed support for the movements of the Tunisian and Egyptian peoples, is faced with widespread infamy, and like a wounded snake is lashing out and seeking revenge. Threats of the nation's attorney general regarding the prosecution of the organizers of the movement, operationalizing other Kahrizak-like [secret torture camps and] detention centers, such as the one in Mesgar-Abaad [on the outskirts of Tehran], attacking the students of Art College, these are all examples of Islamic Republic's revenge-seeking policies. A regime that is in complete international isolation, and in order to break the people's resistance will not refrain from committing any crimes whatsoever.

At the same time that our organization condemns Islamic Republic's revenge-seeking policies and actions, we must raise alarms regarding the criminal moves of the regime against those detained on February 14 [1,500 according to official figures, likely a lot more], against political prisoners and against the reformist leaders, and we call on everybody to use whatever means available to expose these brutal policies. By exposing and shaming to the utmost the Islamic rulers [of Iran], we shall not allow them to place the blade of revenge against the throats of the people who have had enough. It is up to the activists and organizers of the mass movements of the people inside Iran to spread their fight and struggle among the workers and the poor and the dominated classes, and to mobilize ever greater number of people, and to create ever-stronger barricades against the onslaught of the rulers.

Our organization calls on all political activists and democratic organizations to show widespread reaction to these demented policies and campaigns, and by organizing various public actions to spread international awareness regarding Islamic Republic's crimes in Iran. We must not allow the criminal Islamic Republic regime to bludgeon to death our people's anti-dictatorial movement.

Down with Islamic Republic!
Long Live Freedom, Long Live Socialism!
Executive Committee of Revolutionary Workers' Organization of Iran
16 February 2011 / 27 Bahman, 1389

[Original, in Persian: can be read here.]

RELATED: See Fesenjoon for more on related.

Can Molotov cocktails remedy our people's pains?

Translation of article from Gozareshgaran.

Can Molotov cocktails remedy our people's pains?
By: Behrooz Sooren / Feb. 16. 2011

Discourse regarding self-defense on the part of the people -- who daily come under the assault of the security forces of the Islamic Republic in the streets for various reasons -- is one of the subjects of discussion and commentary among the political organized forces and individuals inside and outside Iran. The points of divergence among these forces are reflections of their views on the leadership and the future of the movement, and the fate of the protests and demonstrations, which have accompanied the entirety of the Islamic Republic's three inauspicious decades of occupation of the state power and running of country. In a violent system that the Islamic Republic has imposed on our people, and which has stripped the people of all personal and social rights, there remains no other choice other than self-defense against the violence that this regime has perpetrated against women, the youth, the students, workers and ...

We remember that a year and a half ago, when the vast street presence of the people was the subject of headlines around Iran and the world, many people still spoke of civic/non-violent struggle, and would advertise non-violent methods of fighting against knife-wielding murderers of the Basij and the Sepaah [Revolutionary Guards]. The slogans such as, 'Death to dictator and dictatorship!' were interpreted as misplaced.

Political perceptions and experience of many in the organized forces as well as individuals confronted these conformists and compromisers, and today we witness that the chief slogan of the people on the streets is, 'Death to Dictators', and 'Down with Islamic Republic'. [The slogan of] separation of religion and state is raised, as opposed to the reactionary slogan [proposed by reformists, Mousavi and Karroubi], "The [Islamic Republic's] Constitution, not a word more nor one less!" and the views of the hangman, Khomeini, the darling of the [reformists]. Mousavi and Karroubi have expressed their dreams and ideals in a recent statement: keeping the existing system and returning it to the golden era of their hangman imam [Khomeini].

These dreams are, however, very far from the level of growth of awareness and experience of the people, who in the streets have repeatedly experienced the bloody face of the Islamic Republic. The idea of self-defense, and preparation for confronting the violent forces protecting the regime, is strengthened daily. It is obvious that if there existed the alternative of removing the regime without shedding blood, and with reference to a free vote of the people, not a single person would opt for a violent overthrow.

It is an elementary fact that people do not want wars, and think of peace, freedom and equality. It is also elementary that any revolution necessitates the burden of some costs, including human lives as well as economic costs. However, the truth is that tyranny never leaves the political scene due merely to some wise advice or diplomatic prodding.

The truth is that a system like the Islamic Republic has been busy for thirty-two years deceiving, oppressing, and looting the people of Iran, and it is the truth that hoarding money and wealth is the one thing that gives the system, from its top to the bottom, its stability and motivation. This utopia -- that at some point, the rulers will give up their tyranny and brutality and ask for forgiveness -- can only be propagated by people who find their interests in keeping this system and its constitution.

Molotov cocktail, throughout its history, has been portrayed not as an instrument of violence, but a symbol of resistance of unarmed people in their own defense. A defense against armed forces, who give themselves the right to attack defenseless people when they demand their rights, which are in conflict with the interests of the rulers; armed forces whose only reason for existence is to keep the existing system; who have bases and garrisons, hot and cold weapons, prisons, rooms and instruments for torture; who expropriate large portions of the national budget so as to line up against the hungry masses, to defend the wealthy, and to stop any change to the status quo.

Their forces, however, will sooner or later confront the will of the people, who are countless, who have ingenuity, and who are not ignorant of other nations' experiences, nor those of their own. Many of those experiences have been put into use in recent years, and have been shared on the cyber space as well. These lessons are now available in many forms. Including, how to put together Molotov cocktails for self-defense.

Most certainly, the executions and the street slaughters by the Islamic Republic will be confronted admirably by dissidents in the streets.

DISCLAIMER: Legality: As incendiary devices, Molotov cocktails are illegal to manufacture or possess in many regions. In the United States, Molotov cocktails are considered "destructive devices" under the National Firearms Act and regulated by the ATF.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Report from Tehran Protests on Feb 14

Translation of a report found on Gozareshgaran.

Received: Report of eyewitness observations from parts of Tehran demonstrations on Feb. 14, 2011
by: Anonymous

Hello, Dear Friends,

Once again, we made it back home in one piece. I got home at eight, but I jumped on the back of a motorbike; the guy was a decent man. He's a courier biker in the south of Tehran. He said he was just coming from Navaab. "Southern neighborhoods are locked up." He said that Navaab was set on fire by the youth, and they had given a good beating to some of the plainclothes guys. And then he said something interesting about our kids. He said they really defended their honor. That was interesting.

All in all, some people and we were with them, joined up with others around Jamal-zaadeh Eskandari, and we took to the middle of the street and started shouting slogans. The slogans were basically, 'Death to the dictator!', 'Mobarak, Ben-Ali, next is Seyed Ali [Khamenei]!', 'Free political prisoners!' ...

It was basically a lot of running away and trying not to get caught. If our crowd got bigger anywhere, they would start chasing us and throwing tear gas. Even in small side streets and alleys, all the way from Enghelaab to about Azaadi, were filled with tear gas. And then a woman, around Eskandari, approached our crowd from the west and started to shout slogans. She was about 60 years old, and the whole crowd started following her. She became the leader of the demonstration. And another thing was, all the streets leading to Azaadi St., like North and South Jamal-zaadeh, were mostly on fire and filled with people, who were being forced back by tear gas from pouring onto major streets. Also, I have to say this emotional thing. Naahid and I got very emotional at times, with tears in our eyes, from the masses of the youth who were there.

And like one of our friends said, we also passed through the 'democracy hole'. In Yaadgaar some 14, 15 year old Basiji kids were turning people back saying we couldn't go any further, and were directing people south-bound. So, people, men, women, old and young, just jumped over the guard rail and then from a hole that didn't have a bar went to the other side of the street and continued on. My friend called that little hole the 'democracy hole', through which people for the time being are making their passage.

After it got dark, people were saying that some people had gone to Vanak, some to Arya-shahr and Veela to shout slogans. And another thing was that when people would gather in lines for BRT buses, they would throw tear gas canisters to disperse people, and then after about an hour of this, they completely stopped the bus traffic, to free up the bus lanes for the coming and going of their own motorized units. And some young women who the Basijis were trying to pull down from some buses to be arrested were freed by the people who didn't allow them to arrest the youth, and kept at the Basijis who realized that beating up the kid was of no use and gave up on arresting him, so that they could attack the other protesters.

Original in Persian from: Gozareshgaran / Feb. 14, 2011 (here)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day to the Iranian People!

We speak from the heart today!

Happy Day of Love to our people in Iran! We love you, brothers and sisters, and we salute your renewed spirit of defiance, loss of fear, and your renewed sense of what is possible!

Long live your positive will! Long live your perseverance! We can only cheer from shores afar. But long live your collective love, your energy and your resistance!
* * *

There is a qualitative difference in a majority of the slogans. Previously, during the demonstrations right after the electoral coup in June 2009, slogans targeting Khamenei [the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic, the Pope as it were, to the whole Iranian society, as Pope would be to the Vatican city-state] were not as frequent as slogans such as, "Death to the dictator!" which is ambiguous. Who is the actual dictator; Ahmadinejad, the president, or Khamenei, the supreme leader?

This has a political significance. Ahmadinejad, the president, is a clown (according to the kindest interpretations available among the opposition literature), occupying a post that in the Iranian constitution has limited powers, whereas Khamenei the supreme leader is omnipotent in all matters this-or-other-worldly; and all this according to the current Iranian "constitution" [we should really require quotation marks, as in, this is a mockery of a constitution, because all major rights 'guaranteed' therein have been embedded with a clause stating, "unless this impedes/interferes with Islamic principles/interests." But who decides what those interpretations -- for that's all they can be of a text that dates 1400-some years! -- should be?]

So, the fact that a good and noticeable portion of slogans to have narrowed down and become more specifically focused on the person of Khamenei can indicate that over the one year period of suppressed-depressed existence that the movement is just snapping out of -- during which it must have gone through a process of valuation and reevaluation of events, acts and the thoughts behind the acts -- it must have come to the conclusion that since the crux of the system is the so-called supreme leader, he may as well have to be targeted and targeted by his proper name, not merely by an adjective, 'dictator', that could apply to about anybody with state power in Iran.

At the same time, the Iranian people must well know that by naming the most crucial enemy, they are naming the system as well. It's just the same as an absolutist monarchy, without the monarch, but with something worse: a guy who claims to be god's own representative on earth, so will commit whatever atrocities against his subjects as he pleases, because god told him to do so! His subjects are not born into this world with inalienable rights; they get whatever rights the state, personified in Khamenei, will throw them.

People have learned. "Mobarak, Ben-Ali, nobate Seyed Ali!" (Mobarak, Ben-Ali, next is Seyed Ali [Khamenei, the supreme leader]) That was the most frequently heard slogans being shouted, from an admittedly limited number of video clips observed online.

Naming the enemy has a big positive power. Long live this new/renewed phase of the Iranian uprising for democracy and economic justice.

[Videos found on, available on YouTube:]

"Mobarak, Ben-Ali, Nobate Seyed Ali" (Mobarak, Ben-Ali, Next is Seyed Ali [Khamenei])
"Marg bar Khamenei" (Down with Khamenei)

Motorized security forces preparing to attack:

"Mobarak, Ben-Ali, Nobate Seyed Ali!" "Seyed Ali bi-chaareh, Jonbesh hanooz bidaareh!" (Wretched Seyed Ali [Khamenei], the movement is still alive!)

"Khameni bedooneh, bezoodi sar-negooneh!" (Khamenei should know, soon he'll be overthrown!)

Protests continue into the night ... "Marg bar Khamenei!"

"Freedom, Freedom, Freedom ..."

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Khiaban No. 82: On February 14 Demonstrations

See Below for a lead article from the latest Khiaban newspaper, #82 (Saturday, February 12, 2011).

After the revolutionary movements by the people of Tunisia and Egypt succeeded in starting the process of transformation of their societies, the winds of revolutionary possibilities have blown across the region. Although the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions are nowhere nearly finished, and indeed everybody involved in them knows well that the long and hard work has just begun, as first steps go, the first steps of the revolutionary process have now been successful. As a result, the people have learned what they are capable of doing. The next steps are far more complicated, but even at this stage, the audacity of the Tunisian and the Egyptian people has inspired millions across the region.

Iran is no exception. The reactions of the dictators in Tehran have been farcical at best. But deep down they know they are on notice, too.

Iranian people saw their 2009 post-electoral-coup movement brutally suppressed, with thousands arrested, hundreds put on show-trials, tortured confessions aired on national TV, they watched their children raped, threatened to get raped, or they watched their heros suffer virtual death sentences in macabre dungeons for daring to peacefully demonstrate in the streets and to demand their rights (like Osanloo, the leader of Tehran's bus drivers' union, who very recently suffered a heart attack, simply because prison authorities had been deliberately ignoring his deteriorating health conditions).

This year, people of Iran have seen an unprecedented number of executions of political activists, while on the economic front they have observed the removal of subsidies of one essential product after another, meaning the people in Iran must now eat at world market prices while earning (very low) Iranian wages. All these social and economic factors were spreading a deep sense of despair among the Iranian people. The defeat of their movement at the hands of the brutal government was the wound, and the salt was all the executions and the economic punishment.

The winds of possibilities for change, however, have come a-blowing, thanks to the courage and ingenuity, as well as the spontaneity, of the Tunisians and the Egyptians. There are protests organized in Iran, for Monday, February 14, in support of the people of Egypt and Tunisia, and hopefully in support of the annihilated rights of the Iranian people!

Long live the revolution in Egypt and Tunisia!
Long Live People's Self-Organized Free Associations!

On February 14 Demonstrations
by: Alef

The revolution in Tunisia and the insurrection in Egypt have affected the Iranian political atmosphere as well. The organized movement of the people against dicatatorships, which took the form of street uprisings, led in Tunisia to the dictator fleeing, and in Egypt to the fracturing of the system. In Algeria, Jordan, Yemen and some other Arab countries too, we are witnessing vast masses of the people taking to the public arena. Masses are revolting against misery and the suffocating political systems, and are demanding other forms of social organization for their countries. In this regional revolutionary wave, a multi-layered movement has taken shape: the youth (whether unemployed or as social actors from layers that are educated and employed) and dominated social classes, particularly working classes, are among those in the frontlines of the battles against political monopoly of the few and capitalist-dictated [endless] profit accumulation.

In Iran, the effects of this wave have been swift and vast. The society, which has been witnessing the endless executions of its socially conscious actors at the hands of the blood drenched system, deep in the midst of hopelessness and despair, suddenly found a new hope. Our society objectively saw the real possibility of revolution and transformation; and that, merely based on the collective will and solidarity, and despite all the superpowers. "Tunisia could!" The insurrections by the Arabic speaking people have helped spread a critical view of ruling ideas and ideologies. The [reformist] idea that revolutions are dangerous -- and that the only available path is to convince the rulers to change their ways -- melted away as swiftly as a snowflake in August sun.

A new critical self-questioning began: Why and how come we didn't have the slightest achievements, while with demonstrations comprising fewer people and in a short time, both Tunisia and Egypt started taking steps towards transforming their societies, yet Iran is still living with the rule of a macabre gang of murderers? This political atmosphere brought with it a wave of re-thinking of reformist ideas and [the actions of reformist] leaders. People had to rely on their own power and had to think of new paths. The idea of restarting the struggle again was spreading. There arose murmurs of organizing demonstrations in support of the people of Egypt and Tunisia.

In such an atmosphere, Moussavi and Karroubi announced for demonstrations on Bahman 25/February 14; a step that up to this moment has resulted in the arrests of political activists. However, everybody knows that these arrests cannot stop the flood that will come. Moussavi has tried, in his planned action, to not fall behind the social political body, and at the same time impose his own leadership. Additionally, if possible, he wants to prevent the transformation of people's self-questioning into a new movement. However, the reality is that no other social force had the capability or the organization to determine a day to take to the streets. This fact cannot be concealed or denied.

Yet, the people who will participate on February 14 will this time bring to the streets the seeds of new self-organizational forms in their collective consciousness. People have learned from Tunisians and the Egyptians that without your own social fabric, without connections and organization, it is not possible to escape the trap of the deals made by the men of ruling systems. New self-organizational forms are needed in order to bring forth new ideas and to fight for them. Today, the old world is dying. A new world is learning to fly in these days of rage in the region.