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  • Photo du rédacteurSirine Alkonost

"30 minutes", or, the right side of history

Hello everyone,

It has been almost ten days since I last came to you with a new testimony from Tehran, a call for solidarity, or even a small informative note on the history or culture of Iran.

I have not given up on you. And the movement has not "run out of steam" either, as can be read or heard on certain media, apparently very ready to relay, most often without realizing it, the propaganda of the regime.

Nor is it for lack of material. Granted, several of my contacts were called in for questioning by law enforcement, but that didn't go very far, and it seems more like untargeted intimidation.

I therefore continue to receive, via various more or less secure channels, daily news (for the new readers, let me remind you that despite the seemingly relatively innocuous content of most of the testimonies that I share, their authors - my loved ones - nevertheless expose themselves to arrest, imprisonment, and charges of espionage and collusion with foreign powers, simply by making them available to me).

No, my silence is not related to what is happening in Iran, but to what is happening in the West.

We said it several weeks ago: everything has been said. We showed you absolutely everything this regime was capable of doing, we explained to you that it was nevertheless still capable of doing worse, that it was only a matter of time. And time proves us right every day.

We called for help. We said, on all possible media outlets "we don't want your money, even if ours is worthless, we don't want your weapons, even if we face repression with our empty hands, we don't want you to come and liberate us, we take care of it ourselves. All we ask of you is to stop legitimizing those who oppress us".

We thought for a moment that we were being heard, but the truth is that even if some of the citizens of the countries of the "free world", those who are of Iranian origin, but also all those who have understood that this fight is for the benefit of justice, equality, solidarity and life - of humanity, in short - and not just a local politician's problem... In short, if some of the citizens have indeed decided to be our voice, and to help our message get through to their leaders, well, said leaders are determined to stay of polite disapproval (over the regime's crimes) and empty words of praise and encouragement (to the "brave women of Iran") while continuing to deal and trade with the bloodthirsty mafia that calls itself our government.
Protest organized by the Tehran regime
The day before yesterday, on the France Info channel, a French journalist, by his own admission authorized to enter Iranian territory by the regime, because of the festivities of its 44th anniversary, was interviewing a family man who claimed to have come to march for the glory of the regime because he believes in the future under of his country the Islamic Republic. During another segment, the same journalist was seen walking down an avenue, and behind him, you could see the people who had been recruited by the regime, who had been handed out sandwiches and fruit juices before being packed them into buses so that they would March in front of cameras, a flag in their hand.

Trap for Sandis Khor (juice drinker: those who accept money or food to show their support for the regime)

I bet the Islamic Republic says thank you, France Info (and all the other channels and websites and newspapers and social media platforms that did the same thing) for broadcasting its propaganda for free, while feeling good about yourselves for "covering the events in Iran". The Islamic Republic says thank you for using phrases like "loss of momentum","winding" or "slowing down" to describe the mobilization, online as well as in the streets, of young people who are forced to write their calls for the demonstration on sticky notes because it is too dangerous to print real flyers.

Stickers to put up in public places to call for a demonstration on 27 bahman (16/02)
On this same channel, the third segment on Iran was the brief announcement of the release of Fariba Adelkhah, a Franco-Iranian hostage who was serving a five-year prison sentence.

And then that's all. No need to talk about the national and general call to demonstrate on routes and at times announced in advance (and therefore risking your life even more) on February 16.
Call to demonstrate scribbled on banknotes to circulate them

No need to mention those sentenced to death, the businesses placed under seal, the newly arrested journalists, the arbitrary searches, the increasingly numerous and documented accusations of rape (of demonstrators), the pressure on families abroad, nor the gigantic online disinformation campaign led by the regime's "cyber army" or even the fate of Fariba's fellow prisoners.

This obviously does not interest the French audiences. They obviously prefer to see a random guy, bribed or pressured to pretend he supports the regime, waving a small flag while chanting a slogan that says "the Supreme Leader is very nice" (I'm not making this up, this is something that was actually being chanted during that march).

While these manipulated, coerced and even photoshopped self-congratulatory demonstrations were going on (because even with threats and sandwiches, they can't fill the streets anymore), demonstrations were also taking place across the world, in support for the popular uprising against the regime, this time.
11/02/2023 in Los Angeles
The most impressive, in Los Angeles, brought together tens of thousands of people (the local press announced 180,000 participants). I don't have the figures for the other cities, but the photos and videos don't seem to have needed Photoshop manipulation, and I can personally confirm that in Paris, there were a lot of us.

Paris 11/02
And yet nobody showed any of it on France Info or any other major outlet either.

So I find myself wondering the same thing as the activists of Extinction Rebellion, who had decided to hang an Iranian flag adorned with the slogan "Woman Life Freedom" at the top of the statue of the "Place de La République", in Paris, in support of the demonstrations against thee fascist regime of the Islamic Republic. France, why did you have that flag removed in less than half an hour?

Place de la République, le 10/02 (pendant 30 minutes)
What was your emergency, really, in the midst of all that is happening, and with all that surely had to be anticipated, on the eve of a day of national demonstrations (yes, it fell on the same day as the mobilization against the pension reform, we did not do it on purpose, it was Khomeyni who did it first, in 1979), yes indeed, why was it so urgent to remove this symbolic sign of solidarity?

And then, since we're asking candid questions... What exactly are the statements of politicians Yael Braun Pivet, Catherine Colonna, and even the President of the Republic himself worth, if they are not followed by real support?
Also, what more do the mainstream Western media need to take matters into their own hands and investigate the scandal of the mass incarceration of their colleagues in conditions that too many Iranians are unfortunately all too ready to describe to them?

And frankly, why send a crew to bring down a flag of support, the day before the friends and relatives of those who currently risk their lives in the fight for freedom, plan to march through the streets of Paris to call for solidarity ? (considering ing that a Ukrainian flag remained hung for several weeks in the same spot, not to mention various other banners, as the history of the Place de la République is pretty rich).
30 minutes... That's the time it took to make a flag disappear.

In 30 years, no one will remember this decision, whether it came from the town hall, the Ministry of the Interior or even the Elysée.

But it is likely that the world will remember, in 30 years and even more, how much time it took the citizens and more importantly the leaders of the "free world" to finally stand on the right side of history (spoiler alert ... We already know that it will be more than 30 minutes!)

Finally, I leave you to admire the images of this nice gesture of solidarity (which was visible for a very short time), as well as the police means implemented to make it disappear. Many thanks to Extinction Rebellion and Claire-Marine Damasse for the photos, as well as to the supportive citizen who was kind enough to send them to me, and the collective @thisis.arevolution, associated with this action (and in charge of the sewing of the "flag-vest", with the slogan of the revolution in four languages).

Here the Extinction Rebellion video of the action with Baraye song

Crédits:Extinction Rebellion et Claire-Marine Damasse

Jin, Jiyan, Azadi
devise des féministes kurdes

Femme Vie Liberté

Soutien à la révolution iranienne en cours

Zan, Zendegi, Azadi
cri de la révolution iranienne

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