July 9: Supporting democracy in Iran

Iranbutton.jpgJuly 9: Supporting democracy in Iran
: Andrew Sullivan started it: He urged webloggers to show support for the popular democratic movement in Iran, leading up to July 9 and planned demonstrations there.

Many of us have been linking to Iranian webloggers to learn, to share the learning, and to show support.

To make this more tangible, I think we need to set two goals:

1. Support: We webloggers — from the U.S., Britain, Australia, Germany, Canada, France, Russia, Iraq, anywhere, from the left and from the right — read, quote, link to, promote, and create connections with Iranian webloggers to show our support and to build bridges. Find links to a number of fine weblogs here and here and also here.

Iransmall.jpg2. News: We create such a popular groundswell on the Internet that it can’t be ignored and major media end up writing stories about the Iranian democracy movement, the young people and webloggers who are supporting it (especially from within), and the support they are getting from international webloggers without. To make that more visible, I created these buttons; please copy them and put them on your weblogs.

It’s a small step but it beats invading. (Sorry, just a little American imperialist humor… See my post directly below.)

This uses the power we have: our links.

: And if someone who has real aesthetics and ability wants to design other buttons, please have at it!

  • I took a quick shot at a button on my lunch break:

  • button

    Linking every entry to Sullivan is stupid. The ayatollahs will just block his weblog.
    And besides that, he has a for-profit, commercial weblog. I am not going to contribute to it as an unpaid volunteer while he’s getting $80,000 for my research. Sorry. Find yourself another sucker.

  • Joshua Chamberlain

    Good God, button, can you be more petty? We’re trying to free a people, and you’re respomse is to resent the fact the Andrew is popular enough that he can make a living as a web journalist?

  • Hi:
    I would appreciate it if you put a link to my weblog as well: Braindroppings http://khodadad2.blogspot.com
    If anyone was REALLY interested in iran for what it is in itself, not as far as the US interests go, then please also check out my history page at Iranologie.com

  • button

    I do not resent his Sullivan’s success at all– indeed I applaud it. But slavery is illegal, and I have my own concerns about that.
    I would suggest that it is YOU who is being petty. I have a right to survive as well.
    I have been active in civil rights and human rights and freedom of expression issues for several decades. Without Sullivan. I never read him or any of the other “pundits.” The only one I do read is Instapundit for my own reasons.
    It is really beyond tacky to almost gruesome to expect hundreds of “little people” like anonymous worker bees or drones to work for Sullivan for nothing while he is making money off it.
    Come on– grow up! Our society doesn’t work that way. My survival is just as important to me as the Iranians’ survival is to them.
    I don’t care whether you approve of my survival or not. My time is valuable to me. I am not going to be Sullivan’s slave.
    If this is going to be a “blog burst,” we should establish SEVERAL hubs, so they can’t easily block out all the links by blocking one hub. Joe Katzman at Winds of Change has already volunteered to be one of the hubs that collects links. And that’s very nice of him, too!

  • Sina

    After all bad news which divided people and make them enemy(eg. white hate black, french hate american, british hate french, arabs hate iranian, west hate east, etc.) this is a very good news that i see many people care about others and support freedom for them not because they are iranian because they are human and suffer for life and they’re guilty because they born in some place… (i saw this in 9/11 too, some people cried for the victims who wasnt american or didnt live in america) i think sometimes troubles make people closer!
    thank you all

  • cathac

    Button, one of the advantages of our society is the ability to make choices, and this is one of those situations. No-one is being forced to contribute and no-one is being hurt by people making a contribution.
    Joshua is right, your clumsy attempt to insinuate that anyone who does contribute is either a sucker or some sort of “drone” smacks of nothing more than spiteful pettiness.

  • button

    Cathac, you’re right: I have a definite authoritarian problem. ROTFLMAO !
    When I was a little kid during WWII, Spike Jones had a famous song… “When the Fuerer says this is a happy place…” So I absorbed these bad ideas by osmosis like little kids often do.
    And anyway, I wouldn’t make a good “little” person. Although I am only 5’3″ tall, I have big contents that have been miniaturized like a Sony product, so I think big ;-)

  • webgard

    I dont get it. I can follow your logic Mr. Jarvis… and I am sure that you and Andrew and others have nothing but good intentions. But what is it that you think you can accomplish with the bottons and everything?
    I have 3 points I’d like to make:
    One, people in Iran are not exactly sitting around waiting to see what the Blogosphere has to say. I can’t see how all this will have even the slightests affect on the affairs, good or bad.
    Two, Dont get me wrong… everybody should have that botton on their sites, on their shirts even… but the date: July 9th, 2003, changes the msg from “I support democracy” to “I support demonstrations”… which could be in some circles two totally different statements. There are some of us, including myself, that are oppose to this unorganized, violent attempt to change the system. And not becuz I grow flowers or had hippie parents, I must add. Because we’ve been through this before. and other than a few people killed and alot more injured it did not yield any results. It only made everybody angerier and less rational. And in my opinion, odds are, nothing will happen this year either. Sure, there will be a few days of riots and we’ll make the news around the world and everything. But fast-forward a month or so and everything will go back to the way it is, or was a month ago.
    Three, There will be consiquenses. Consiquenses that will not affect you. The angerier the people are, the angrier the government gets and vice versa… The whole thing might (might) blow up in our faces. I suggest you guys just let them handle it, since they will be directly affected by anything good or bad that may come out of all this. Its all a bit complex… atleast give it a little more thought.

  • Charlie T.

    That’s funny. I remember how rude Sullivan was to Eric Olsen last year, proclaiming that he wasn’t going to be a part of any “blogging community” (something Sullivan could well afford to do, from his position of relative fame). “This is the Wild Web, buddy, not a condo association,” Sullivan said at the time. Now, he expects all bloggers to sign on to his latest crusade.
    I think anyone who wants to blog about freedom in Iran can certainly do so whenever they please, without following Andy’s timetable.

  • Webgard: What do you propose we do? Ignore the demonstrations? Oppose them? Wait for outside military intervention? All I am trying to do is bring attention to the situation. That is all. Attention is a good thing because — no matter what you end up concluding — it is better if you know more. The story in Iran is getting surprisingly little coverage in many outlets and this little world is at least getting good at creating buzz that gets noticed so that stories get written and people become aware. How is that a bad thing? If it were all just about one day, you’d be right, I think. But I will continue to read and link to my Iranian online colleagues and I believe that others will and that ongoing bridge will be a fruitful outcome. Tell me if you disagree.

  • Iranian

    Jeff, you doing the right thing, although I agree with Webgard on the second point, but as an Iranian living inside Iran I feel we are very lonely and as far as I know the majority of people here will appreciate any help from outside.
    There’s three reason why Webgard opposed against demonstration and any attention to it:
    1- he is a supporter of reformist (like hoder) who want any change from reform (this is very good for them becuase they can get a official job, etc etc)
    2- living in such a country like iran may make you a surrender or a looser, you dont believe in anything, even in freedom, in change….
    3- again living in iran may make you opposed against anyone from outside (all the time they’re saying west is bad, east is bad, China is bad, Turkey is bad, Germany is bad, … and say many reasons why they are bad) they think independence is to deny anything from outside!!
    as an advice if you want to see what’s the opinion of iranian you can read trutsable media, i see reuters , bbc and many others very good.
    thanks for your support

  • Thanks for the supports. The funny thing is I agree with Webgard and Jeff in the comments.
    Oh no I’m number 13 in this Oh well.

  • webgard

    Well for one thing Jeff, I would take the date out of the banner… but hey, thats just me. Which brings me to another point:
    There are many different fractions among the people. Ogged gave a good run down of the fractions outside. and the media and the blogosphere are always concentrating on “the people vs. the mullahs”, neither of them will admit that “the people” are not that uniform in their opinions. even when I read Iraniangirl.blogspot sometimes she talks like her thoughts not only represent her but the country as well.
    I partly blame the blogosphere for the way Iraniangirl writes. There are only a handful of blogs being writen from Iran. And its not a good survey, since they are all rich enough to afford internet access on a semi-daily basis. But still they’ve been given this great opportunity to have their say and even represent their country.
    In my opinion, we dont need you to support any uprising. nor do we need you to ignore it or wait for a military intervention. We need you to share the experiences that you’ve had in America. To participate in some sort of discussion, to figure and organize more solid alternatives. I dont think we need your attention or your fame… it might be good to have your experiences though.

  • The situation in Iran is complicated, and the recent pro-democracy demonstrations are to be applauded. But don’t you think there is a danger that the man behind the coming general strike, reza pahlavi, is after power for himself? He is the son of a former shah, and has gone out of his way to get close to the hawks in washington, and I know of a few (vehemently pro-democracy) iranians who are certainly suspicious of him.