My personal green movement!

How many of us will return to Iran to be a part of these historic times?


My personal green movement!
by Siamack Baniameri

I got an email from a fella Twitter/Facebook warrior the other day, announcing that he had posted his “personal anti IRI demonstration” video on YouTube. Turns out that he and a few of his cyber vigilante friends held demonstrations in the basement of his house in Los Angles which included shouting anti IRI slogans and dancing to a pro green movement rap music followed by burning Khamanie’s posters (faces were blurred for fear of reprisal).

As I was watching this so-called private demonstration, I wondered how my fellow Iranians inside Iran feel about this. I’m talking about the same guys and gals, out there in the streets with rocks in their pockets and fire in their bellies, knuckles bleeding, eyes full of teargas, putting their lives on the line, mixing it up with the coldhearted beasts we know as the Basijis. I wondered how much of a pussy do we expats look to them. Just a thought.

I then remembered, as early as last February, my very same friend had gone to Iran in a five-week fact-finding expedition (translation: looking for a bride). Being unemployed and surely capable of entering Iran with no complications, I wondered why wasn’t he going back to help the movement, instead of fighting the fight in the basement of his LA residence.

History is full of instances where expats returned home to be a part of something great. French and Italian expats returned home to fight German occupation during the Second World War. Jews in large numbers moved to Israel, some leaving behind great jobs to defend their newly established homeland. I wondered what makes us Iranian expats different. Surely a good number of us in the US and chiefly in Canada and Europe are underemployed and mooch off the social services of our hosting countries. The question is: how many of us are actually willing to leave the keyboard behind and return to Iran to be a part of these historic times?

I had no choice but to pick up the phone and call my buddy to get some answers.

My friend explained that he was thrilled with his YouTube posting and got great response from his friends and family. He predicted that IRI was going to demise in a few months. He added that his protest was symbolic and the part of a growing wave of cyber discontent with the IRI. He noted that we all should be involved and pay our dues.

“Pay our dues?!” I asked. He said that every little thing helps. I certainly agree.

Now it was time for the big question. I asked him why wasn’t he going back home to physically partake in anti IRI demonstrations. My friend paused.

“What do you mean?” he asked.

I explained that demonstrating from the basement of his house is a bit silly, considering that he is young, able and has nothing going on at the moment.

His answer surprised me. What was I thinking?

“Dude, are you crazy? The internet is way too slow in Iran.”


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Jeesh Daram

at the end of the day

by Jeesh Daram on

Those who are thirsty for a change are the ones caught up in a vortex of idleness, poverty and dark future. The very student who might go to underground dancing parties, for the most part is well aware of his or her dark future in an obstructive society.

The youth of Iran knows well, that what is called Daneshgah Azaad in Iran is nothing but a delay in facing the severe unemployment. No matter how small a town in Iran, you will find an Azaad University nearby to dump your family assets in there for four years as tuition and fees.

As resources dry up, the underprivileged will eventually revolt against the establishment. It is irrelevant what people living in Iran think about Iranians outside and vice versa, the movements can grow exponentially and bring in more participants. What is critical, is to think of the outcome and ask where it would all lead. 

In societies that no democracy exists, all anti establishments are assumed democratic. Our choices are very clear, to let the status quo continue, or rise to make a new Constitution. If our constitution is based on democratic sentiments of advanced societies, then we will defend our rights based on that document. Down the road, we will rise again against the establishment if it violates the constitution, that is part of human rights that some want us to believe that we do not have now -to rise against the despot.

Now, who diverts a movement to a wrong direction, that is a huge factor to discuss, but the movement by itself is democratic.


Podran cortar todas las flores, pero no podran detender la primavera


Nice analogy Ari

by Hovakhshatare on

Do what you can & let the chips fall where they may. The influence of Iranian diaspora on Iranians inside, and vice versa, did not start on June 12th. It was catalyzed by it and took a quantum leap. We as Iranians are closer to each other more than any point I can recall in my lifetime, even while we are more physically disparate than ever. Diaspora is extremely important now and will be critical in rebuilding Iran in following and supporting of the Iranians inside. Just as diaspora needs them to find their center. After a few years returning diaspora will have settled back in Iran and indistinguishable from rest of the population. Meanwhile, our global experience and footprint can only help accelerate and elevate rebuilding of Iran.


manny2001, thanks for describing yourself and the IRR. Internalize your own description and maybe you will realize why you need not suppress women to feel like a man. 



by Abarmard on

Great ending. The expectations for people and their contributions are different based on individual's situation. Country doesn't only need those who put their lives on the line on streets but writers, painters, doctors, and basement dancers ;)

Thanks for a fun post.

Anonymous Observer

As Louie said

by Anonymous Observer on

you lead and we will follow.  Please let me know when you book your flight to Iran and I will make certain to book the seat next to you on the plane.  


Excellent point Ari

by divaneh on

No one could explain it better. There is no point feeling guilty about not being in Iran. We have to make our own small contributions and hope that all these snowflakes become an avalanche. The fact that the regime points a finger at the Iranians living abroad is evidence that there is some effect.

Ari Siletz

Defending Twitter Dude with metaphor

by Ari Siletz on

1. Dime store:

You never see a dime store owner turn away a customer because the item plunked on the counter is a pack of gum. Unintutively, it all adds up to a business. The magic is in the large numbers. Sam Walton of Walmart started with Walton's Five and Dime store.

2. strand of wire:

Takes electricity in one end and out the other, that's all. But it lets your computer screen cooperate with your keyboard.


 In large systems--computers, businesses, revolutions--importance is unimportant. What matters is large numbers and cooperation. That youtube video really does pay your twitter buddy's dues, just like his taxes pay for the Pentagon. So what if he's not a bomber pilot; he still owns a bolt in the wing.

I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek

Siamack do you wish MTV Jewish kids would join the IDF too?

by I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek on

I really can't digest this since it's such terrible writing and ideas. You have sunk pretty low. 

If you're going to take this idiot who is chasing women and alcohol and put him in the context of change in Iran, I feel sorry for you if you mean any of this seriously.

I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek

Let's ship all the unemployed young men to protest

by I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek on

Not a bad idea considering the state of work opportunities in the land of opportunity. Knowing a guy like the one Siamack has invented in this story, he would probably stretch it on his resume as "leadership in human rights campaigning." It's not really like a draft for war. Just a bit of demonstrating. 


wow, siamack has grown old on us

by mannya2001 on


Nice posting.  Let your friend know "aghar een ghadr bi orze hast" not one iranian girl would want to get on a third or 4th date with him.  Ofcourse, assuming girl is pressured into it by his parents into 1st and 2nd dates. 

Not every man with a D_ _ K between his legs is a MARD! 



Why should I go back?

by Faramarz_Fateh on

I had nothing to do with the revolution or the coming of Khomeini to Iran.  I didn't take to the streets calling for the Shah to leave.  I didn't want any part of an Islamic revolution. I was in high school in LA.

The asswipes who did, owe it to their kids and grand kids as well as people like me; they made this freaking mess and now they have to fix it.

The problem is that the same asswipes who got us into this mess are spectators and not participants in the proteste.  The heros that are putting themselves at risks are really people who didn't have a damn thing to do with the F'ing Islamic Revolution.

Once this filth is gone, I want reparations too.  ;-)

Louie Louie

Siamak, maybe you should lead and we follow

by Louie Louie on

The creature you are talking about surely sounds like an idiot, is he real or you just made it up?

Anyways I ask the same question from the Gaza tearjerkers, if they are willing to become a butt bomber and blow themselves up? Nobody has answered yet!



Comical scenarios are nice

by sima on

I appreciate Siamak's wit and irreverence but laughing at comical scenarios, real or imagined, doesn't do much for me right now.

For instance, Setareh khanom, your articles do much more than you're givining yourself credit for. You get people to think and get good at articulating their thoughts by commenting. I think this is very important. Right now we need a lot of thinking.

Anyway, nobody as a monopoly on a revolution. Neither we here nor they there.

Setareh Sabety

loved it!

by Setareh Sabety on

you are so right that we are seen as soosools! mind you most of my friend in Iran party rather than go to demonstrations--some do both. there is more coke in tehran than ever provided by the same bassijis and sepahis.
I just wrote an article right here where I do say that I would not let my kids in the streets to demonstrate and since I am fat and old now I would be of no use on the streets. I am one of those who are 'active' on the net I often wonder if what I do makes a difference--sometimes I think it is more therapeutic for myself.

but since I translate some of those kids blogs and pass on their messages I feel like maybe I am doing a very little bit. I felt most redeemed when once I got a message from a friend of a friend that a number for finding the arrested in june demos that I had posted it was karroubi's special hotline for this had helped him find his son. but I do get pissed when people cheer people on to go out on the street. I never do that. I just pass info and express my opinion, something I have loads of, and
I write articles like you do.

whatever happens I sure do hope that we,those of us salon revolutionaries and those real ones in Iran, win this battle if for nothing else then so that you and I can have a glass of aragh in tehran siamak khan!

Little Tweet

Good one!

by Little Tweet on

The same thing here: some NY residents are writing slogans about dying in the streets of Tehran and feeling all patriotic about it too! Not sure if they realize how silly they sound.


Siamack Jan, just as

by Bavafa on

Siamack Jan, just as always a great post and so right to the point