Student Protest, Election and USA-Iran Talks

According to the mainstream media and bloggers thousands of Iranian students demonstrated on the 6th of December in different Iranian universities around the country. The main slogan was “University is Alive”. University students and academics have gone through a very difficult time since last year. During this period some student activists were banned from studying, student associations were closed down and many academics were either fired or forced into retirement. Some call this new governmental policy a second cultural revolution. Bloggers covered this event in detail and sent photos of the demonstrations around the world.

University is Alive

Arash says about 16 Azar ( 6th of Dec) is an important day in Iranian history. The blogger says

Today is Student’s Day in Iran, for paying respect to the three students killed by the Shah more than thirty years ago. In the last decade this day has always been the day when the students show their passion for reform and their anger against the Islamic Republic. Adding Ahmadinejad, and his populist strategies, to this boiling pot it was predictable that the students would have much more to shout against this year.

Kosoof, a leading photo blogger whose site has been filtered by the authorities, says that security guards failed to stop students entering the university. He has published several photos of this event.

Protest in University

15 azar blog reports on the demonstration moment by moment [Fa]. The blogger says the security forces could not stop students from going inside Tehran university. The blogger also reports that in different cities such as Mashad and Mazandaran hundreds of students protested. The main slogan was University is Alive. The students chanted different slogans such as “down with the dictator”, “free political prisoners” and “freedom of women is freedom of humanity”. They supported women and workers movements in country.

Chapno (New Left) explains some of the Students’ Movement's goals and objectives [Fa]. The blogger says

جنبش دانشجویی به عنوان زنده ترین جنبش موجود در ایران، که بیش از نیم قرن از حیات خویش را پشت سر گذاشته، هیچگاه اسیر سیاست بازی نمی شود…مبارزه با فقر، تلاش برای آزادی، عدالت و برابری، همواره در متن حرکات فعالان دانشجویی بوده و خواهد بود
The student movement is the most active (living) existing movement in the country. It has already a history of half of century behind it. The movement never becomes a captive of political games… fighting against poverty, struggling for freedom, justice and equality have always been in the heart of student movement.

While some bloggers are reporting events, some others try to have an impact on a coming political event, the Council election in which Iranian reformists will try to get back into power.

Bloggers talk with Reformist Candidates

According to Alpar about 130 bloggers met with some reformist candidates for the upcoming City and Village Councils election.

For Jomhour who traveled from the Southern part of country to the meeting, the event was positive and bloggers could be seen and heard [Fa].

Hanif says bloggers presented their requests to candidates and candidates came to know about the media that bloggers have at their disposal. The blogger adds this fact that we could bring together 150 bloggers show a good potential for future [Fa].

USA-Iran Talks

Some bloggers have looked beyond Iran's borders and discussed the possiblity of future USA-Iran talks. Even before the Baker-Hamilton report on Iraq crisis recommended that USA government should start direct talks with Iran and Syria, Iranian bloggers wrote on this very subject. Opinions were divided, as usual.

Winston proposed to write a letter to the USA President and ask him not to negotiate with the Islamic Republic of Iran. The blogger writes:

I think a few people/bloggers should come together and write a letter to President Bush advising him to help the people of Iran get rid of this regime and use his influence and power to accelerate this process.

Maziar Bahari,an award-winning journalist from Iran put forward a contrary idea on the Washington Post blog, post Global, and backed talks between the two countries:

As I watched President Bush standing under a gigantic statue of Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam the other day I was thinking to myself, “Why should it be so far-fetched to imagine an American president standing under a portrait of Ayatollah Khomeini in the Iranian parliament?” After all the Vietnamese killed more than fifty-thousand Americans. For some ridiculous reason the animosity between Iran and the U.S. has remained the only constant in the tumultuous Middle East region in the past three decades. As the American people showed in November 7 elections, they are ready for a change. It is time for the American government to give up the idea of regime change and start talking directly to the Islamic government without any preconditions. Mr. Cheney and company may really like to topple the Ayatollahs. Many Iranian men also would like the newly-divorced Britney Spears to convert to Islam and marry them. For the record, neither is on the cards.


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