Iranian students prepare for crucial showdown


GVF — In the days leading up to Iran’s National Student’s Day, various student groups and organisations have been joining hands and preparing to commemorate this day by calling on fellow students across the country to show their opposition towards Iran’s tyrannical rulers and to help make this year’s December 7th a turning point in the efforts to “devastate the bastion of tyranny.”
 
Reports from various Iranian universities suggest that despite the mounting pressure on student activists, their students‘ campaign to mobilise ahead of National Student’s Day (16 Azar) on 7 December has been gaining steady momentum. Across the country, the nation’s students show an ever-increasing readiness to inject new life into the Green Movement’s struggle for freedom, justice and human rights.
 
Opposition website Daneshjoo News, has reported that students at Tehran University, Iran University of Science and Technology (IUST), Amirkabir University of Technology (AUT), Ferdowsi University of Mashhad (FUM), KN Toosi University of Technology (KNTU), Allameh Tabatabae’i University (ATU), Shahrekord University and the Science and Research Branch of the Islamic Azad University, have already expressed readiness to commemorate National Students’ Day on 7 December.

The Islamic Association of students at various universities such as AUT, KNTU, ATU and Shahrekord University have issued statements calling for student protests ahead of 16 Azar.

 

According to, Daneshjoo News, in recent days, banners and posters, inviting students to take part in protests 7 December, have been distributed on a wide scale in Tehran University. Green Movement supporter at the university have been disseminating the image of imprisoned student leader, Majid Tavakkoli and calling on fellow students to participate in the “nationwide” protests. The distribution of fliers and leaflets at Tehran University is in defiance of the prevailing “security atmosphere” at the university. 

Meanwhile the Islamic Association of Amirkabir University of Technology has also called for student action on 7 December to show that „in the universities, the flame of hope … continues to burn.”
 
In a defiant statement released by student activists at the KN Toosi University of Technology, students have vowed “not to rest, until the freedom of Milad Asadi, the honour and pride of Khaje Nasir University … we will fight for the collapse of religious tyranny and the downfall of fascism and we shall devastate this bastion of tyranny.” The students maintain that Iran’s universities remained “the main target” of the Iranian authorities’ onslaught on all forms of dissent.
 
On the other hand, students at Mashhad’s Ferdowsi University decided instead, to make a mockery of the atmosphere of oppression ahead of Students’ Day and ridiculed Iran’s monstrous security apparatus which has spared no effort in suppressing the country’s students.
 
Students at FUM have been using graffiti on the university campus as well as images of protesters murdered during the unrest that followed Iran’s fraudulent presidential elections in June 2009.
 
The Islamic Azad University’s Central Tehran Branch also issued a statement recalling the memorable protests staged by Azad University students in Mashhad and Tehran during the 16 Azar commemorations in 2009. “The enormity of these demonstrations was such that numerous times, security forces resorted to violence within university campuses among them, the violent attacks against the Azad University of Mashhad and Central Tehran.”

According to the statement, the tight security atmosphere at Azad University’s Tehran Branch has by no means deterred students from distributing the special message of Green Movement leader, Mir Hossein Mousavi, issued ahead of the 7 December anniversary. The students call for taking advantage of the valuable experiences gained as result of last year’s protests, and stressed the importance of “creativity and innovation in continuing the struggle and considering other ways of struggling and resistance.” “Today, the importance of creativity and innovation is felt more than ever before in the Green Path we have chosen. As such, there must be more focus on actions that have more effectiveness and are less costly.”

“But we shall never forget the destructive footsteps of tyranny, and in accordance with a history of resistance, we have stood up to it and will [continue to] do so.”

In addition, leading Iranian student activists outside the country have also been organising a day of action to take place on university campuses and in cities around the world, as well as exploiting the various potentials that exist for internet-based advocacy.

A group of Iranian students and academics living abroad “have assumed the responsibility of echoing the voices of student activists inside Iran using the international arena and planning major events to commemorate Students‘ Day and to highlight and reflect the Iranian students‘ demands.” The group has called on the academic community worldwide to utilise “all available means to further the movement, while supplementing its activities. Improved cooperation among Iranian students and academics abroad can greatly better the quality and quantity of Iranian student organisations all over the world.”

In a statement addressing Iranian students, Mousavi referred to Iran’s students as the “brave companions” of the movement called the Iranian month of Azar (22 November – 21 December), “the month of students”. The statement, posted on Mousavi’s official website Kaleme, was issued ahead of Iran’s Student Day on 7 December and addressed a number of key concerns raised by Iranians students regarding the Green Movement and the overall situation in the country. Mousavi said that Iran’s students were the “alert watchmen” of the concerns of Iranian society.

The former Prime Minister warned that the rulers of Iran had “created a tight circle around themselves” and that they would be “prevented from hearing the murmurs of the collapse of the bastion of autocracy and despotism.” “They will wake when it is too late for them to return to the people.”

Mousavi also argued that despite the clampdowns on the massive demonstrations following the rigged 2009 presidential election, imprisonments and the various prisoner abuse scandals that surfaced in the aftermath of the election, there was no intention on the part of Iranian authorities to finally return to the people.

“And finally, who is not aware, that three million wise students are the Green Movement’s biggest asset? A movement whose members are countless and each one is in a way, a leader in the people’s great movement.”

Both prior to and after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, students have been at the forefront of resistance in the face of dictatorship, injustice and the disregard for human rights and dignity. In spite of the Iranian officials’ use of brute force against students, incarceration, solitary confinement, torture, forced confessions, show trials, education and travel bans (more than eighty students are currently in prison), absurdly long prison sentences, exiling students to remote cities and one of the most sophisticated censorship mechanisms in the world, Iran’s students remain determined to once more send a sobering message to the gang of hoodlums and thugs who unleashed a campaign of unprecedented brutality following the monumental fraud that occurred in the June 2009 presidential election.

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