Pro-Democracy Protests of the Iranian Students and the Pro-Reform Spin of Main Stream Media


Sayeh Hassan
by Sayeh Hassan

Today thousands of Iranian students took to the streets to make the National Student Day in Iran. The protests were nationwide with students protesting in Tehran, Mashad, Shiraz, Esfehan, Kerman, Gilan and Tabriz just to name a few.

The students were not alone as ordinary people, particularly in Tehran joined the protests to show solidarity with the Iranian students. In Poly Tehchnique University students broke down the main doors to the University to allow for people on the streets to join their protests.

Iranian students from various cities were able to post video clips of the protests on You Tube, Facebook and Twitter to make sure their voices were heard clearly by the International Community.

The videos showed students shouting slogans such as “death to dictator, Basiji have shame and leave the university, we are men and women of war, fight and we will fight back, what happened to the oil money? it has gone to the pocket of the Basiji, Freedom, Freedom and Iran Iran. There has also been reports of protestors shouting “Mousavi is an Excuse, the Entire Regime is a Target”. Students also sang the student solidarity song “Yare Dabestani” (The Classmate).

It is interesting to note that there was very little “green” or any sign confirming that people were supporting Mousavi as an " opposition leader" in these videos. In fact brave students in Tabriz University had written their slogans on red cardboards asking for drastic social change such as equality and freedom for everyone. There was very little if any reference to Mousavi or reform during the protests. At least in Tehran University, for the first time inside the country after 30 years, students raised the Iranian Flag without the Allah symbol in the middle (which represents the Islamic Regime). Protestors also did not take the attacks of Basij and security forces quietly and fought back with bricks and rocks.

While Iranian students were on the streets risking their very lives shouting “the blood in my body is a gift to my people” (contrary to its official Islamic Regime version which states “my blood is a gift to the supreme leader” ), as they have so many times before, in order to bring real change and democracy to Iran, the main stream media like CBC, CNN and BBC were busy putting a reformist spin on today’s protests, rather than reporting truthfully and candidly on the students wants and demands.

It seems like regardless of what the Iranian people want the main stream media will continue to mis-report on the real demands of the Iranian people.

Being a Canadian I am particularly disappointed about the way CBC has chosen to report on today’s protests in Iran. In one of their news reports CBC states “The protests were the largest in months, as university students — a bedrock of support for the pro-reform movement — sought to energize the opposition with rallies at campuses across the country. The opposition has been reeling under a fierce crackdown since turmoil erupted over the disputed presidential election in June.”

It seems like along with other main stream media they are determined to carry out a pro-reform agenda which only benefits the Islamic Regime, by not reporting on the real demands of the Iranian students, and the Iranian people. The real demand of Iranian students is Regime Change and Democracy, not the sham Reform by Regime insiders.

It is more important than ever for the non-main stream media and bloggers to work hard to make sure the real voices and the real demands of the Iranian people are heard.

sure the real voices and the real demands of the Iranian people are heard.
On a different note Iranians abroad also organized protests in solidarity with the Iranian students and their pro-democracy demands. Iranians in Toronto gathered at Mel-Lastman Square starting at 3pm tonight and shouted slogans such as “down with the Islamic Regime, Regime change for Iran, Freedom for Iran, Free political prisoners and house of terror (Iranian Embassy in Ottawa) must be closed.” The Lion and Sun had a very strong presence as always and despite the cold weather and the first snow of the winter there was a larger turn out.

Today the brave Iranian students took another big step towards freedom and democracy in Iran, and showed the Islamic Regime that torture, arrests and its militia ( Sepah and Basiji’s) no longer have an effect, and people of Iran won’t stop until they topple this murderous, criminal, terrorist regime.

In Solidarity with the Iranian Students

Down with the Islamic Regime
Long Live Freedom in Iran


more from Sayeh Hassan

Majid Tavakoli, a student

by vildemose on

Majid Tavakoli, a student at Polytechnic (Amir Kabir) University in Tehran, was arrested on his way out of the University after he gave a moving speech at ceremonies/protests held on the National Student’s Day in Iran.

The Latest from Iran (8 December): The Half-Full Victory?

According to the Amir Kabir student newsletter, Tavakoli was arrested last winter and served three months in jail after an appearance at commemoration ceremonies for former Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan. Tavakoli also spent over a year in jail after a 2007 arrest, and according to sources, he was tortured.

A human rights activist who has been working in Iran for years told me that Tavakoli’s arrest does not bode well because the regime may try to make him a scapegoat, painting him as the leader and instigator of the massive protests that took place today. “His only chance is that the international community supports him,” claimed the activist. That is a dramatic statement: usually families and friends of a prisoner take a back-door route to getting release orders; an appeal to the international community comes only to cases that look hopeless.

This was Tavakoli’s last entry on Facebook, posted on Saturday:

Only two more days (to 16 Azar). I have spent ten exhausting days on the road with more than 100 hours of driving and now I have to leave for Tehran. Looking at my mother’s tearful eyes and father’s anxious glances and despite all the difficulties only the true wish for freedom can maintain my drive and steadfastness. And so once again I welcome and accept all the dangers, standing next to my friends with whom I am honoured and proud to be on 16 Azar shoulder to shoulder we will shout against tyranny. For Freedom.




Iran's tri-colour flag

by vildemose on

Iran's tri-colour flag without the IRI emblem waved by the students at Khajeh Nassir university today




by benross on

Excellent article. Indeed the spin is on 'reform' as a proposition for IRI survival. But I don't think it will have any profound impact, specially when we have people like you Sayeh. Keep-up the good work.

Sayeh Hassan

I don't

by Sayeh Hassan on

I don't believe pro-democracy movement and the reform movement are the same thing, as one is looking to overthrow the current regime and the other one is seeking to create some improvements within the current system.

I am not sure if the monarchy comment is meant for me but I've never advocated monarchy and I am not a supporter of it.  I think it will be up to the people in Iran to choose what kind of system they want, but I also think it's pretty clear they don't want an Islamic one. 


Sayeh Hassan 


interesting point, but...

by Anonymous8 on

but the reform movement is also a pro democracy movement, so it is not exactly spin as the pro reformist slogans prove.

the best thing we can learn from these pro democracy movements is that they have rejected a Monarchy system so we can finally move past that popular spin.

Shazde Asdola Mirza

As usual, another great analysis Sayeh khanoom - god speed

by Shazde Asdola Mirza on

Every voice counts! Every action counts!

Maryam Hojjat

Thanks Sayeh!

by Maryam Hojjat on

It was very well written description of 16 Azar the Nationaql Student day in Iran.  It was very good analysis of media such as CNN, BBC, CBS &... which was covering the real issue of Iranians' demand for  freedom, democracy & a secular govenment with prereform movement.  These bloodsackers are not satisfied after 30+ years of what this brutal regime has brought to IRAN & IRANIANs.