Tomorrow is an important day in the life of Green Reform movement. Please forward this e-mail message to your friends in Iran. It has important information for tomorrow’s events.
Tomorrow, July 9 (18 of /Tir/ in Persian Calendar), Day of Public Protest
* By the end of the day today, fasting and general strikes will end. Tomorrow there will be public protests in a large number of locations in many cities and towns in Iran. These protests will be punctuated by gatherings in honor of the political prisoners of whom – according to the government figures – 2000 have been in and (some) out of detention. Click here for the location of the rallies: Location of the Rallies in Iran. Also, check this out: http://mowj.ir/ShowNews.php?7384.
What is Wrong with You?
* The wave of arrests have acquired such a ridiculous dimension that the “Islamic Participation Front Party” issued a statement today basically saying “Stop arresting people! What is wrong with you? Can’t you see that the desire for reform will not be uprooted in this way?” In this connection, below I have included a photo taken in front of Evin prison a few days ago on father’s day. Children carry banners that read “Father, I miss you! Have not seen you for
21 days” and “Father, what is the fault for which you are detained?”
Help Iranians to Access Information without Risk of Arrest
* Austin Heap, the Tech. Wizard who is working hard to enable Iranians to access internet without being identified by security forces, needs financial support to complete his project. Please read the details below and help: http://blog.austinheap.com/2009/07/06/how-you-can-help-iran-20-haystack/.
On July 25, the Global Day of Solidarity, Stand with Iranians
A Movie on Human Rights that Harms More than it Helps
* A movie about stoning an Iranian woman to death is coming our way! And, there is is something unusual about it. Elise Auerbach, Iran Specialist for Amnesty International USA, who should be delighted, is appalled by the movie. She writes “Ordinarily, human rights activists would be pleased when the rare major motion picture shining a light on human rights violations comes along…however, sometimes a film can so distort an important human rights issue that it may do more harm than good to the cause.” Why is Auerbach so disturbed by the film? “…Aside from the numerous inaccuracies and implausibilities, the climax of the film — a bloody and prolonged stoning scene with villagers mercilessly pelting the victim — is so sensationalized that the audience response is likely to be disgust and revulsion at Iranians themselves, who are portrayed as primitive and blood-thirsty savages.” It is sad that, taking advantage of Iran’s presence in headlines, such important issues are packaged into sensational profit making commodities. Here is the whole review if you are interested: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amnesty-international/sensationalist-film-explo_b_220252.html.
Another “Help” that can Hurt the Iranian Reform Movement (Very Important)
* House trying to reinstate Iran “regime change” fund–Under the Bush administration, Congress appropriated up to $75 million–under the guise of “democracy assistance”–for regime change in Iran. The money, some of which went to legitimate democracy organizations, played right into the hands of the hardliners in Iran who used it as justification for clamping down on all types of activism. Even worse, the existence of the program tainted any and all civil society activists in Iran as “agents of the West” and effectively painted a target on their backs. Ultimately, the overwhelming message that civil society activists in Iran sent to the US was: if you want to help us, stop sending us money (http://www.niacouncil.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1173&Itemid=2).
* But just now, as the House gets ready to consider the 2010 State Department and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, members of Congress are proposing amendments that will reinstate the regime change slush fund: http://www.rules.house.gov/amendment_details.aspx?NewsID=4361.
* Rep. Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Amendment #59: Would increase by $65 million funding for Economic Support Funds for democracy assistance to the people of Iran to compensate for cuts in democracy assistance to Iran, given recent events.
* Not only would this repeat one of the most costly mistakes the Bush administration made on Iran, but it would do so at exactly the time when the Iranian people are at their most vulnerable. Hopefully Congress–which has passionately supported the Iranian people–will know better than to cut the legs out from under them
once again. (quoted from NIAC blog).
Thank you all for opening another window with me. Please follow the events in Iran tomorrow — and don’t let the Iranian people’s struggle for reform and freedom fade from your thoughts and conversationbs. On a related note, my webmaster – who has been wonderful in updating the blog www.windowsoniran.wordpress.com will be out of reach of the internet for a few days. This message will be posted on the blog with a short delay.
Fatemeh Keshavarz, Professor and Chair
Dept. of Asian and Near Eastern Languages and Literatures
Washington University in St. Louis
Honorary Co-Chair, Iranians For Peace
Tel: (314) 935-5156
Fax: (314) 935-4399