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Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Four Ways to Help Iran Activists

Warning – the video below is disturbing and graphic

Members of a facebook group for the green revolution in Iran just received this email about how the outside world can help the activists fighting for freedom and democracy in Iran.  If any of you are wondering what life is like in Iran, take a look at this just-posted video of a student passing away in a dormitory after being shot by police.

This group is a simple show of support for the courageous Iranians standing up for freedom in Iran in the wake of government repression and likely vote fraud.

However, many of you have asked for ways in which you can help- please consider taking the following steps to support freedom in Iran:

1. Show your support by changing your profile picture on Twitter to the color green by clicking Settings >Design>Change Design Colors>Background>009933. (This may seem trivial, but Iranians have said every bit of support matters in keeping them going)

2. Help conceal Iranian activists who are on Twitter from the secret police by changing your location to Tehran, Iran and your timezone to Tehran.

3. Set up proxy servers to help ensure that Iranians can stay connected to the outside world-…

4. Encourage the President to send a subtle and plausibly deniable sign of support to the Iranian protesters by wearing a simple green tie at some point during the week. Do this by tweeting:

RT @BarackObama President Obama, please wear a green tie this week in support of the Iranian people #weargreen #iranelection

Of course, the more people who know about the #iranelection Twitter feed, who see the resources available at this group, and who take these steps, the better. So, please consider inviting your friends to this group.


  1. …a young beautiful man, all his life ahead of him, dying because he believed in democracy, believed in the reforming power of human hope, is terrible and haunting.

    I bet he was unarmed. I bet he was shot by one of the militias, armed to the teeth. Power against powerlessness. But not for long…

    It’s human tragedies like this that remind us the freedoms we’ve accrued in the US and the UK: freedoms that other young men and women have given their lives.

    In the end I truly believe that freedom and hope and honesty will triumph. But even if they don’t, they are still worth living for. Perhaps worth dying for.

  2. Shaun Appleby

    Twitter apparently is undergoing their planned maintenance.  Rally last night was peaceful, BBC reports it was possibly larger than Monday’s:

    A witness told the BBC that Tuesday’s rally was even bigger than Monday’s – though this cannot be independently confirmed – and the state Press TV also described it as large.

    Witnesses described demonstrators walking in near silence towards state TV headquarters – apparently anxious not to be depicted as hooligans by authorities.

    Supporters of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Vali Asr Square in Tehran on Tuesday

    Thousands of Ahmadinejad supporters also rallied in Tehran

    Thousands of supporters of President Ahmadinejad staged their own rally in Vali Asr Square in central Tehran – some bussed in from the provinces, correspondents say.

    Iran opposition keeps up pressure BBC 16 Jun 09

    Numerous reformist leaders and human rights activists have been arrested yesterday.  As the BBC commentary suggests the rally Tuesday demonstrates continuing momentum of the protest.  Khamenei has a choice to make:

    As he surveys the aftermath of the rioting in Tehran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei will be assessing the crisis he faces. Referring the complaints from defeated presidential candidates for a ten-day enquiry – just 48 hours after detecting a divine hand in the result – may stymie protests and gain time.

    But the deeper challenge facing Iran’s supreme leader is to assuage or break up a coalition against Mr Ahmadinejad that has taken shape since the first year of his presidency. The events of the past week have widened the division between the president and his opponents, making it harder for Ayatollah Khamenei to defuse the situation through finding common ground.

    Gareth Smyth – Iran’s Power Struggle 16 Jun 09

    It’s Khamenei’s move.  Everything at this point depends on where the military and security establishment’s loyalty lies.  So far no confirmed sign of divisions among the Pasardan or Artesh.

  3. HappyinVT

    Australian Broadcasting Co. has got to go

    Time to go: ABC forced out of Iran

    By Middle East correspondent Ben Knight

    Posted 1 hour 33 minutes ago

    Updated 20 minutes ago

    Media ban: Ben Knight has been forced to leave Iran. (ABC TV)

    Related Story: Iran curbs media as protests continue Middle East correspondent Ben Knight is leaving Iran after journalists were ordered out of the country and told not to report on unauthorised gatherings. Here he describes how it is getting harder to get information out of Iran about the protests.

    “Today we were told by the Islamic Guidance Ministry and its agency that looks after the press that our press cards have been revoked. They still have, I think, about 12 days to run. But all foreign journalists have had their credentials cancelled.

    We’ve been told that we can’t go onto the streets to report on any unauthorised activity, which is just about anything in the city at the moment.

    In fact, we’ve basically been confined to our hotels and when you add to that the regular shutdowns of mobile telephone networks, internet communications and satellite television, the message was very, very clear.

    In fact, a lot of our journalists have already left Iran already; not because they wanted to, but simply because their 10-day visas ran out and the Iranians are not renewing them.

    Both of the rallies today were very, very calm and that’s a big contrast to last night when we saw eight civilians killed in clashes after the rallies.

    There were two separate rallies in two separate parts of the city, and I think both sides in this are sticking to the approach they took yesterday, which was to calm things right down.

    The opposition supporters, they are organised and they are keeping things calm. In fact, they marched silently today towards the offices of state television and radio.

    The security forces for the moment are letting them do it, which again is quite remarkable. This is for two days in a row [a] peaceful protest, and for the past 30 years in Iran this has just never, never happened.

    Every day there seems to be a further little concession from the regime to come towards what the opposition protesters want. But they’re still not even halfway there, and I think we’re going to see more and more protests like this every day.

    Every day there will be something on the streets and the international pressure is building as they see the momentum building inside Iran.

    So until there is a clear way out of this, no, I don’t think the Government is in control.

    State television is actually giving some coverage to the protests. That’s only just started to happen and it’s not really anything like you would expect it to be [if you] were you seeing it reported in the West.

    But that again is probably some indication that things might be starting to shift.”

    (emphasis mine)

  4. HappyinVT

    HARWOOD: Couple things, quickly, before we run out of time. You took your time reacting to the protests in Iran after the election. What are you watching for in the handling of those protests and in the investigation of the results to–and how will that influence the dialogue that you seek to have with Iran?

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I think first of all, it’s important to understand that although there is amazing ferment taking place in Iran, that the difference between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi in terms of their actual policies may not be as great as has been advertised. Either way, we were going to be dealing with an Iranian regime that has historically been hostile to the United States, that has caused some problems in the neighborhood and is pursuing nuclear weapons. And so we’ve got long-term interests in having them not weaponize nuclear power and stop funding organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas. And that would be true whoever came out on top in this election. The second thing that I think’s important to recognize is that the easiest way for reactionary forces inside Iran to crush reformers is to say it’s the US that is encouraging those reformers. So what I’ve said is, `Look, it’s up to the Iranian people to make a decision. We are not meddling.’ And, you know, ultimately the question that the leadership in Iran has to answer is their own credibility in the eyes of the Iranian people. And when you’ve got 100,000 people who are out on the streets peacefully protesting, and they’re having to be scattered through violence and gunshots, what that tells me is the Iranian people are not convinced of the legitimacy of the election. And my hope is that the regime responds not with violence, but with a recognition that the universal principles of peaceful expression and democracy are ones that should be affirmed. Am I optimistic that that will happen? You know, I take a wait-and-see approach. Either way, it’s important for the United States to engage in the tough diplomacy around those permanent security concerns that we have–nuclear weapons, funding of terrorism. That’s not going to go away, and I think it’s important for us to make sure that we’ve reached out.


    I hope all those people rooting on the anti-government protesters realize that we are still going to have issues with Iran.  Not that I’m suggesting that there is no difference between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi; that one is a Holocaust denier and one is not is a big difference.  I just wonder how much change folks are expecting.  The US president is appears knows that there will be challenges no matter who ends up as Iranian president.  

  5. Shaun Appleby

    This has been the point of my diaries on the subject for awhile:

    Yet the brazenness with which this presidential election was stolen by Ahmadinejad’s supporters has caught everyone in Iran, even the clerical establishment, by surprise. Indeed, I am convinced that what we are witnessing in Iran is nothing less than a slow moving military coup against the clerical regime itself, led by Iran’s dreaded Revolutionary Guard, or Pasdaran, as the organization is called in Iran. The Pasdaran is a military-intelligence unit that acts independently from the official armed forces. Originally created by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to be the supreme leader’s personal militia, the Pasdaran has been increasingly acting like an independent agent over the last decade, one that appears to no longer answer to the current supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

    Reza Aslan – Iran’s Military Coup Daily Beast 16 Jun 09

    See that? ‘…one that appears to no longer answer to the current supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.’  That’s the worry.

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