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TitleThis generation cannot be defeated

Out the children come from the ash *

22 Feb 2011

■ Shafagh Ashna
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February 22, 2011
Shafagh Asha is a young man in his early twenties living in the heart of Tehran. Two times a months, he reports from us from his city.

On the 14th of February (25th of Bahman), after one year of silence, Iran’s Green Movement came to life again and the dust of despair that had covered people’s hearts was finally removed. After one year, the passion of idealism came back to the youngsters and hopes relived. On Ashoora of 2010, people were harshly suppressed and it made them very conservative on the 11th of February that year. Thus, the government thought that it was all over. During this year, governmental media kept saying that the sedition had ceased and there are no more protests. No one thought that Iran’s government would be surprised in such a way: a Tunisian young man burns himself to death out of outrage and despair, people revolt over there and make their dictator leave, the protests spread to Egypt, Hosni Mubarak resigns, people in Iran see what’s going on, come to their senses, and try to relive last year’s memories. No one thought that this time Arabian people would help us remember it was millions of us who astonished the world last year and started the protests against dictators.

Two days ago was the 1st of Esfand, first day of the last month of the year, seven days after the death of at least two people who had come out on 25th of Bahman to fight for their rights. If a stranger had come here yesterday, she/he would definitely think she/he has stepped into a military campus. At every crossroads there were all types of military forces in different clothes, posing tough faces, and giving frightening looks at people. There were also vigilantes, tossing their batons in their hands or hiding them behind their back. When they moved, their handguns could be seen beneath their vests. In some areas military forces were much more than people, but people had come to demonstrate in face of all threats and the crowd could not be ignored. Sidewalks were crowded with people in Enghelab street, Vali-Asr crossroads, and Vanak square, although no obvious act of protest was carried out. There were also familiar people on buses. Those who were not able to walk beside others in the streets but didn’t want to stay at home had come by bus or their cars to the main streets, to protect people. All those fearful looks were a sign that we are still alive with our hopes and will go down this long, dangerous path to the end.

These days, Iran is a large prison

These days, Iran is a large prison. A prison for students, women, political activists, and the Green Movement leaders. Evin prison is no longer bound to an area in the north of Tehran. Its boundaries are now the boundaries of Iran, the houses are now prison cells, houses of Mousavi, Rahnavard, and Karroubi. I wonder what is Mousavi now doing behind that tall metal walls, how Zeidabadi is doing in Karak Prison, how all those innocent youngsters who have been arrested are doing. I think to myself that it feels awful to be awaiting. We must not let our young fellows come out of prison with their hair white. I think about us, day by day feeling that the walls of this invisible prison have moved closer.

I have asserted many times that the Green Movement is still alive, but that it has only moved from the streets to people’s homes and the virtual area. I feel happy now to see that people are again filled with hope. There are no more words of regretting the Arabian countries and no signs of being passive. Now the situation has changed and as usual the government is astonished by what it could never predict. Let them march in the street with all the army they have. They also know that if for one second they put their guns and batons away, tons of people will demonstrate in the streets. There is no use building a dam over the flood, it will stop the movement only for a short while, then the water will rise so high it will break the dam and take everything away with it. Killing every single person has a huge expense for the government. Every arrest, every detention, every baton that comes down, makes people more willful to go through the end of the way, now that they have come this far and paid this much expense.

Our manifesto, declaration, and koktel-molotov are Facebook and Twitter

We are the post-revolution generation. Although we have been told thing again and again, we have realized the truth lying beneath them. We are children of the virtual area, after all we move behind the boundaries set, and we make everyone hear our voice loud and clear. Our manifesto, declaration, and koktel-molotov are Facebook and Twitter. This generation cannot be defeated. Seeing the photograph of Sane’ Zhale, we quickly realize it is manipulated by Photoshop. We can no longer be deceited.

Yesterday the cops were pushing a young man with long hair to the police car. Drops of blood fell from his head and made the side walk red. I took a look at the face of those who beat him. They were young men like myself. I wonder how they are convinced to struck metal batons to their compatriot’s head. I tell myself it is not like thirty years before; when the truth is revealed, many of these people who are now committing violent acts with faith and intolerance will regret what they have done.

It is now eight days that Mousavi, Rahnavard, and Karroubi are under home-arrest. The famous method of Iran’s government for suppressing major protesters. Will the home-arrest last for years or will it end in few days? Will Ayatollah Montazeri’s experience happen again? We should wait and see. Whatever happens, I am sure if one day Iran’s politics’ phoenix burns in its own flame, its children would rise from the ash and go on protesting. For this path is not to be left unfinished.

* Part of a poem by Nima Youshij

 
Tehran Review
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  1. De strijd wordt bitsiger met de dag « Ann De Craemer says:

    [...] in The Guardian over de Groene Beweging, die volgens hem springlevend is. Dat is ook de analyse van Shahagh Ashna, de jongeman uit Teheran die twee keer per maand een column schrijft voor TehranReview, de website [...]

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