More than one month has passed since the ruling faction of the Islamic Republic tried to silence all voices of dissent by rigging the election results and staging a semi coup-d’etat. By now it looks like a large portion of young Iranians have come to share the views that many intellectuals and progressive forces have had since before the elections: a regime which is founded on injustice and fear is not reformable; a view that reflects the realities of the streets of Iran today.
Meanwhile, the so-called reformists and their supporters outside Iran, who had received a severe blow on the night of the elections, saw their game of haggling within the system completely crushed and ruled out by the Supreme Leader. Completely dejected, their actions were limited to sending a few sarcastic messages here and there.
The people, on the other hand, did the undoable. The day after the Supreme Leader threatened the protesters with harsh consequences - namely bullets for those who dared to go out - they took to the streets by the hundreds of thousands, brushing aside the games of the two defeated candidates, and paid for it with their lives in order to change history.
Before the protest, the Moussavi camp was denying rumors of their participation in it, and instead went to the same authorities who had organized the coup, asking for an official permit for a rally.
To finish off the reformists, the Ahmadinejad-Khamenei gang had a new trick; they threatened the reformists with total elimination from the political scene, in order to have them step out of the arena voluntarily.
After Rafsanjani deviously thanked the Supreme Leader for his efforts, after the ridiculous show of ballot recount and result certification by the Guardian Council, and especially after their unsuccessful attempt that resulted in only recruiting 3 Ayatollahs to help their cause, the Association of the Combatant Clergy finally gave up and, in a statement to the people, called for calm, in order to salvage the game by getting back some of their detained members.
In a similar message, Moussavi called for calm and warned people not to be deceived by slogans targeting the fundamentals of the Regime, and to limit their demands for a redo of the elections. In an attempt to remain in the political scene, and to keep his positions in various political and cultural establishments, he even emphasized that this is a fight within the family, and outsiders that should not be allowed in.
Mehdi Karoubi, the other defeated candidate, also called for calm and asked people to return to their houses, but the “Sheikh of Reform”, as he is called, was naïve enough to blame himself for not listening to those intellectuals who had warned him about the futility of the elections and the will of the ruling faction to accept its results.
The people, however, came down to the streets on the 20th of June and selflessly fought the Basij, Revolutionary Guard, and all other security forces of the ruling regime. Along the way, they learned that what they can achieve on the street scenes could never be achieved with outdated political games.
Here are some of the most important characteristics of the June uprising:
1. The middle class, who has played a very important role in the protest and its organization, is one step from retreat, and one step to the revolution. The direction of its step will be determined by its success or defeat in bringing the more progressive parts of the bourgeoisie as well as the lower classes to its side.
2.Only if they silence all protest voices and successfully push the rival camp in the sidelines will Ahmadinejad and Khamenei’s lunatic curveball election results survive. Under these circumstances, any further dissent will trigger more lunatic plans on their part. This will, in turn, push the political tension beyond the brink in a society that is increasingly seeking its fate on the street scenes and not behind closed doors. By the time Khamenei has heard the voice of the revolution, even sacrificing some of his accomplices will not do him any good.
By taking the initiative into their own hands, and not allowing it to remain within the petty games of the two political factions, the people can disorient both factions and the regime’s repressive apparatus. This will unite their movement even further.
3.The repressive apparatus of the regime is dependant on human forces who break quickly under pressure. The continuation of the demonstrations, protest, strikes and all other new popular initiatives will break apart this machine regardless of its size and cruelty. After a while, we will witness the disobedience and desertion among their ranks. Unlike the people who are supporting each other, the police and the security forces of the regime are physically tired and emotionally consumed. Their motivation to confront people will diminish in time and the humane behavior of the brave young Iranians will accelerate their desertion.
4.The ruling faction took a risk that has put it in a lose-lose situation. If they can successfully suppress close to 40 million people, the movement will go underground. Sooner or later the generation who has experienced violent street protest and does not fear guns anymore will bring down the foundations of the regime. If, on the other hand, the large rallies and other forms of popular unrest go on and end up mobilizing all political classes, and finally a general strike happens, it will spell the speedy end of the regime.
5.The working classes will only enter the fight if they realize there is place for their radical demands in it. The upper classes will only directly confront the regime if they are assured if a speedy victory and are guaranteed of better economical and political interests. Therefore the middle class has no way but to remain in the streets.
6.the progressive and radical forces within the urban middle class has to chose between taking the leadership of the movement and its transition to a progressive revolution or like in 1979 wait for savior to take the lead. The 30 years of Khomeini has only brought about misery for people hence it will not be wise to wait for another savior to come along.
the progressive forces should draw a clear line between themselves and the all kinds of reactionary, religious or accidental dissidents. They should not allow the 1979 to repeat itself when the opportunistic clergy was preaching unity to defeat the shah but in the back room was plotting to eliminate all other forces.
7.Progressive forces must seriously spread information, deepen theoretical understanding and confront the pundits of both factions of the regime inside and outside Iran. They should use every opportunity to promote alternative ideas and put a leash on the common superficiality, lack of persistency, banality and constant need of a savior among the middle classes.
To my view the present uprising although radicalizing by day is still few steps away from becoming a revolution. The same distance it has from accepting the coup and going quiet for a while. The uprising has opened a new chapter in out fight for democracy and its transition to our final battle.
In his 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonapart, Marx argues that bourgeoisie tries to bring to its side every change and every force generating change. In the midst of chaotic and unplanned fights calling for calm, hero making and has always been a reformist action plan.
Reformists by nature act always like the fifth wheel of car in a society that wants to move forward. Most of the times their absence is better than their presence.
The reality is that after 20th of June 2009 the time of hope in reform has come to an end.the only hope the fearful heads of the regime have now is the lack of revolutionary forces on the ground and the low level of public awareness which has been caused by years of repression and censorship. But the revolutionary conditions that we are witnessing are very innovative and resourceful. There is great possibility that an alternative will be born out the street battlegrounds and from inside the factories and universities. An alternative that could represent the progressive aspirations of people.
Many people believe we have entered a point of no return and those of us who are fighting the IR gunmen on the streets will open a new chapter in the Iranian history in a final battle.
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Rise of Iranian People
Where is My Vote