Iran's Opposition Finds Imaginative Ways to Protest
Sphere/AOL / Sphere
13-Jan-2010 (one comment)

LONDON (Jan. 13) – The Iranian regime's efforts to crush anti-government protests by brutally cracking down on street protests and blocking anti-government Web sites have only encouraged the opposition to find new ways to spread dissent. And their latest tactic – defacing bank notes with slogans like "Death to the dictator" or illustrations insulting Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei – could be costing the regime dearly.

The protest takes many forms. Some bills have an "X" inked over the word "Islamic" in the country's official name – the Islamic Republic of Iran – and feature scribbled-over pictures of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Others have been seen inscribed with the slogan "Down with Khamenei."

There's also evidence of more systematic defacement. Custom-made stamps featuring V-for-victory signs and hands outlined in red, representing the bloodstained palms of protesters, have been used to tag many notes.

The attack could land the central bank with a hefty bill, as it costs around 5 cents to print each new note. Just how many notes have been tampered with is hard to know. Public condemnations of the campaign by high-profile members of the government suggest it's a significant sum.

Last month, Iranian central bank official Ebrahim Darvishi declared that defaced bills would no longer be accepted in shops after Jan. 8. "Bank notes on which there are writings ... >>>


Alternative Acts of Defiance

by MM on

It looks like the resistance has quieted down a bid until the next time there is a government sanctioned demonstrations, but meanwhile the Greens are doing other acts of defiance.


Harvard professor Gene Sharp is a key inspiration for protesters' 'velvet coup.' Sharp's manual on nonviolent protest shaped opposition movements in Czechoslovakia and inspired activists in Burma.”  His article, From Dictatorship to Democracy, lists 198 non-violent tactics that can be used if the demonstrators are not armed. 

 From Dictatorship to Democracy is available free in the following languages: Amharic, Arabic, Azeri, Belarusian, Burmese, Chin (Burma), Jing-paw (Burma), Karen (Burma), Mon (Burma), Chinese (Simplified Mandarin), Chinese (Traditional Mandarin), English, Farsi, Indonesian, Khmer (Cambodia), Kyrgyz, Pashto, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Ukrainian, Tibetan, Tigrigna, Vietnamese from Albert Einstein Institute at Hardard University.