Let's pose the question who is organizing the Green Protests outside Iran? I attended the London protests in solidarity with Iranian people and in the belief that the least Iranians outside can do is highlight their plight and expose the murderous clampdown in Iran. Let me say from the outset that I respected the wishes of the young men who were organizing the protests, such as not display the national Iranian flag and avoid direct insults to Akhoond Khameneie.
All the announcements I had seen, spoke of non partisan movement for democracy but in practice the organizers seemed to have a different agenda which was to keep the protests within the current Islamic Republic framework. I am not naturally a writer so forgive the musings of a scattered brain. The principle observations were as follows:
1. Quite a few of the organizers had come over from Iran and did not speak English. Where did the financing, or at least where did it initially, come from?
2. They were adamant that nothing other than Green material should be distributed or displayed. Before people jump up to their defence and their rights, the above specifically refers to distribution of pamphlets outside the enclosure for protesters opposite the embassy.
3. They were very quick to use the police to deter non-Greens accusing the latter of fomenting trouble (there was an Iranian British Policewoman present as interpreters for the Persian speaking organizers).
In conversations with the Pesians speaking policewoman she also confirmed that the organizers had come from Iran right after the election and many of them did not speak English which is partly why she was present.
I observed behaviour which did not correspond with a non partisan and inclusive protest. It was a feeling that I found a number of people, who were simply there in solidarity and were not politically motivated, shared. Most had withdrawn to the sidelines or behind in Hyde Park which in itself caused a problem with the police who in the end left them alone as they were doing no harm but did not want to stand with the Greens. In one instance a few of us had to intercede when one of the organizers tried to bully and old man from distributing his leaflets outside the barricaded Green area. The old man gave me one of his leaflets which was not my cup of tea but I don't see what harm he was doing.
The people in Iran will are the ones making the sacrifice and since they are the ones suffering if they decide the best they may end up with is an 'honest' Islamic Republic so be it. They are entitled to make their own mistakes and most of what is said outside is "lengesh kon" as we say in Persian or playing Monday morning quarterback. Personally I am suspicious of being asked to shut up for unity. That is very dangerous, very dangerous indeed, so I would like some answers to these questions.
Hadi Khorsandi's expresses it better than I can:
جنبش سبز و خفقان آدميت
"تن آدمی شريف است به جان آدميت"
نه همان نوار سبز است نشان آدميت
اگر آدمی به رنگ است و لباس و کلهی گچ
چه ميان مانکن ها و ميان آدميت
نه به پرچمی بده گير و نه رنگ را جدا کن
و بدان که رنگرنگست روان آدميت
تو نگو در اين شرايط همگان شوند يکسان
که به قالبی نگنجد همگان آدميت
تو که پشت هم بگوئی سخن از دموکراسی
مگذار چيره گردد خفقان آدميت
همه يکصدا وليکن مشو غافل از حقيقت
که هزار لهجه باشد به زبان آدميت
نه بگير خرده بر آن که به خود نبسته سبزی
نه هر آنکه بسته بنشان سر خوان آدميت
تو نه مبصر کلاسی و نه ناظم دبستان
تو نه ژاندارم سبزی نه آجان آدميت
چه خوشست سبز بودن به ميان جمع و جنبش
که گشاده سبزهزاريست جهان آدميت
چو نشان سبز بينی به ميان آستينی
نه يقين کنی همانست نشان آدميت
چه بسا که بدنهادی به لباس سبز اندر
نه که آدمش بگيری به گمان آدميت
کاتالوگ نگير در کف که بيابی آدمی را
چه خوشست گر بگيری پی ِ آن آدميت
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