A Note from our dear Lady Sun on Tomorrow´s Demonstration
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Silence is the worst
The hell with football. I just got an email from one of the organizers of women’s demonstration on June 12 that she has been summoned by the intelligence authorities and she was asking that we don’t contact her. I read in the comment section of some Persian blogs that another activist is also summoned.
No weblog has written about it, and Herland, the organizing magazine of the demonstration, has not written anything about it. This is not good. Transparency and spreading the word are the most important factors in such moves. Organizers of the demonstration are being threatened by the authorities. Public should know about it; first to become aware of the probable dangers awaiting them; and second, to publicize it as much as possible to get the attention of the media and the international community.
Silence is the worst thing when people become threatened or arrested by the authorities. The authorities like this silence and they usually intimidate the people they have threatened or arrested not to publicize it. Ganji wasn’t killed because media was following up his story. Sina Motallebi and other bloggers were released because the international community and the media were covering their news, and some lobbying with more moderated members of the government took place. If these people are summoned by the intelligence authorities, people should be informed about it.
I have no role in tomorrow’s demonstration. The women’s website I worked for has topped working since a few months ago so I have no role in updating any news or photos about the demonstrations. We had some serious conflicts with the organizers of the demonstration. But I supported them and I sent lots of emails to different organizations and individuals, including Amnesty, to get their support. No matter what I think about this women’s group, they are organizing a protest for women’s rights in Iran, so I support them. But I wish they would open up their campaign, take the advice of people who have some experience in media or online campaigns, and would welcome the support of people who don’t necessarily think like them.
I wish I could tell them that they should have publicized the intelligence authorities’ threat. I wish I could tell them that they should all erase the hard of their computers, save some new files on their hard so that their previous information will not be retrieved. They should disable their blogs’ archives and erase their blogrolls. When Sina was arrested, they interrogated him about any single hyperlink he put in his blog. They asked him why he linked to site X or Y or why linked to blog X or Y. They asked him whether he had any illicit relationship with the female bloggers he has linked to. They took his computer with them and interrogated him about any single file in his computer. I hope the people who are summoned to the intelligence (and might probably, god forbids, get arrested) will take these security issues into matter.
They should assign some trusted people who live outside Iran to keep the track of their probable arrest. They should instruct them what to do if they get arrested. I just cross my fingers and hope that they know all this and they have prepared themselves and have organized a group to follow up the probable arrests. Also, I hope they will instruct the people who will participate tomorrow how to react if they will be beaten or arrested.
Herland published a piece yesterday which included some good instructions such as not chanting any slogans and not obstructing the traffic on Hafte Tir Square (the location of the demonstration.) They have insisted that people should not make any drastic move and they should be very peaceful. March 8 sitting was also peaceful but women were brutally beaten. So, I hope people will be ready for the same thing tomorrow no matter how peaceful their sitting will be.
Also, I hope they will have a journalist sitting at home at her computer, ready to cover the news live by getting the news through phone from other journalists attending the demonstration. A women’s website did it last year and it was quite effective.
Silence is the worst thing in these situations…