Social Media helps students organize protests
On Monday, December 7th-Iran’s national Student Day-thousands of students at Universities across Iran commemorated the 1953 murder of three student protestors of monarch Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. While demonstrations occur on this day every year, they have always represented an anti-American sentiment; this year they protested the government. Tehran University has long been a center for government protests and this Student Day-with green banners flying amidst tear gas and anti-riot police batons-was no different. Protests occurred on campuses across the country.
The anti-government Green Movement, led in large part by anti-government students, began in earnest after a highly dubious victory by incumbent President Ahmadinejad in the June 12th Presidential elections. The outcry against the government’s doubtful legitimacy reveals two fundamental fractures in Iranian society: the rift between clerics and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the rift between the people and the government.
The Iranian government has characteristically made efforts to repress these opposition voices. According to a December 7th TehranBureau.com article, “journalists working for foreign news agencies received a text that their licenses had been suspended for three days, a move clearly meant to prevent media exposure. Internet and mobile phone networks were also shut down.” While the media has been muffled, it is increasingly impossible for any government to silence the voices made clear through Facebook, Twitter, and a number of internet sites.
Read More: BY SARAH CARLSRUH, Accuracy in Media