Activism Middle East

From an Iranian Student

This written by an Iranian alum of an American university. He/she asked us to re-post this message.


Dear all,

My other email is down by the gov. hence I have been able to hack into this unsuspecting email account.

Things are turning very violent here for Iranians – last night at least 90 were killed and many hundreds others injured (as I write this reports are coming in that it is in fact more than 150 from yesterday alone killed – putting in the total in at least the many hundreds over the past nine days). As fate would have it, Neda, aged 22, was an employee at the travel agency who had booked our trip to Mashad for yesterday. We decided to forgo the trip for safety, and she was killed by basij yesterday. Today, without knowing it, when picking up refund for the trip, all of the employees were dressed in black as are many who take to the streets today to mourn her and the scores of others killed yesterday – certainly many will be killed today as well. There are vast first hand accounts of many of the stormtroopers et al being from other countries outside of Iran speaking Arabic – certainly some groups rely on the oil profits of Iranian for their own operations and even their security is at stake in this shake-up. There is information, misinformation, and disinformation so take what you will, but too many first hand reports usually add up to some sort of truth.

It is no joke that communication is down and that what goes in/out, is being tracked. I have been followed by secret service. I cannot post to blogs for fear of safety to others. Facebook and Twitter does not work within Iran – it has not for more than one week – all rally communication takes place via mobile and, more importantly, face to face. International telephone calls do not come in; mobiles are cut between 4-5PM each day until midnight; SMS are out; TV channels are sent parasites so that each night searching for a different satellite takes place to find channels (while I have written this, VOA has just been lost; we were able to find it last night after one week). Most of the journalists who are reporting are not here and seem to not be speaking to people who are experiencing these events (as I write this the BBC correspondant has been ordered to leave the country). The TV “experts” on the bbc, cnn and al jazeera are for the most part, completely out of touch, with the facts: this is way beyond ahmadi, the supreme leader and rafsanjani. Many of the Western press are just as out of touch: I recommend the Guardian from the UK if you must read something. This is about the IR and the people at this point.

I can still go to select areas of this vast city, but go in disguise. You may see the stormtroopers on bikes et al, but it is always the plains clothes basij who are to be feared – they are free to shoot to kill, free to beat to pulps with no reprisal from government. They are stationed on most street corners, even tens of kms away from the main rally avenue. This is a very serious issue and what amazes Iranians the most is that the UN is completely silent on this issue, with Western governments still speaking too diplomatically, although thankfully Merkel has come out the boldest as of now. At this point, the people who are going out – who are children, young adults and people in their 60s and 70s – are leaderless. It does not matter what Mousavi does at this point – it goes well beyond him and has since Friday. Although thousands and thousands went out yesterday, there is a very high percentage that one will be killed or gravely injured, it does not matter. These people are willing to die for the cause. I have never experienced such a movement in my life, beginning well before the election, to last week’s rallies, to Friday’s speech advocating for destruction, to yesterday and today. There simply are too few people from my country and too few people who look like myself for me to write more without causing potential harm, arrest and death so with this I end this letter. Rest assured that the rallies will continue until the change that they demand happens. There are too many millions to be killed for it not to stop.

Please post to NYPL, IMA, Facebook, listserves, forward, etc. – please do not include my name until I’ve returned, which should be on Saturday, unless the authorities ban air travel, which is a strong possibility: during the prior revolution, it was closed down for three years. All my other contacts are in my other email app hence this can only be sent to a select few people.



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Stop the Clash ’08 – Stop the Obsession

I was part of the brainstorming, implementation and localization team of the original Stop the Clash video in 2007, when I worked at

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The Presidential Debate: I HAVE A BRACELET so I should be president

I watched the Obama-McCain debate tonight, while chatting on AIM with my ITP classmates.  Rather amusing indeed, the best part was when both candidates compared their accessories collection.

“I HAVE A BRACELET TOO!”  Are bracelets from military families the new yellow ribbons or flag pins?

Show your patriotism with an “I HAVE A BRACELET” T-shirt.  Buying stuff is patriotic too.

More on the bracelet battle from Reuters.

And from Michelle Malkin of all people.

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Stop the Clash Wins Again

We won!’s Stop The Clash has won the YouTube Best of 2007 Awards for best political video with 27.5% of the votes.

This is our 3rd award to date. We also won the 2007 DoGooderTV Non-Profit Video Award and a Progressive Source Award.

Thanks for the love everyone!


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Stop the Clash Again

I worked on this video during my Avaaz days. Check it out and vote for us please!

Here is an update direct from Avaaz:

Great news — our video “Stop The Clash of Civilizations” is one of six films nominated for “Best Political Video” at the 2007 YouTube Awards. Dismantling the false clash between Islam and the West, this 2-minute clip shows how global people power can bridge cultures and change things for the better — starting with a real peace process for the Middle East. The video has already been seen by milliions of people, and shown in hundreds of schools.

In the YouTube Awards, unlike the Oscars, the public decides which video wins — but we only have 24 hours to cast our votes, so now’s the time to act. If enough people vote for “Stop the Clash” in the next 24 hours, and we win, we can spread our message of hope like wildfire around the world. Click this link now to watch the video and cast your own vote:

Stop The Clash’s message is that the people of the world don’t buy, and don’t want, the “clash of civilizations” that the extremists are dragging us into. Beyond Bush and bin Laden, the world desperately needs us to join together across divides if we are ever to solve the shared challenges of climate change, poverty, tyranny and conflict. The clash of civilizations lie hides the bigger picture — where there’s far more to unite than divide us.

The winner of the YouTube award will get a lot of media attention, so we could spread the “Stop the Clash” message to many millions more. It’s up to us –- click here to watch the video and vote:

With hope,

Paul, Ricken, Galit, Esra’a, Ben, Pascal, Graziela and the whole Avaaz team

ABOUT AVAAZ is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means “voice” in many languages.) Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Paris, Washington DC, and Geneva.

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