We – The Iranian Immigrants of all ages – just made a great showing in New York, of representing our much oppressed countrymen inside Iran. I was there for both days and certainly saw enough to know the majority of Iranians will build on their cumulative showing and will do even better in the future. I am certain of that – especially now that I see so many of our youth, breaking the old taboos and getting involved in politics relating to Iran.
Another great outcome was to see the latest swing in political positions taken by the American Jewish community, at least the New York Jewish community, also representing very well in the two day anti Ahmadinejad protests. Overall, I would say this group is no longer anti-Iran, but are now standing next to us, directly against the regime. You could tell from the speeches made by several speakers, including the NY ex-mayor Rudy Giuliani who was full of praises for the brave and defenseless people of Iran. Another speaker, the head of NY Jewish Union Labor, described the sad state of labor in Iran, and ranted about Ossanlou, the head of Iranian Bus Drivers Union, who remains in prison still.
Another interesting point about the Jewish protests was their familiarity with the process/culture of protests in America and how to get their voices heard. In a very peaceful manner, tens of them sat in the middle of a street blocking the traffic. Some of them eventually got arrested on charges of trespassing. When one of them was asked about inconvenience of getting arrested, he responded to the local NY TV Station it was nothing in comparison to what the unarmed people of Iran are facing in Iran.
Now the bad news.
Knowingly or unknowingly, the so called Iranian satellite media and personalities have already started hurting the strong coalition which appears to have been formed beyond their abilities to hurt. Thank god for the internet.
I say unknowingly, because I don’t see the problem as selling out, but more of ignorance and lack of will to create room for the youth. Most of these people are too old or had been reluctant to have properly learned a new language, hence can’t professionally follow their respective local news media. They are generally limited to Farsi media, mainly only, getting their news from sources which are directly and/or indirectly tied to the Islamic Republic.
Therefore, unknowingly, and in many ways they have become just mouthpieces for the regime propaganda. Another problem is that the managers and decision makers for Iranian satellite stations have a hard time providing space for the younger generations. There appears to be no retirement for the Political TV personalities, who seem to stay around for life.
These people are hurting the new coalition in other ways as well. Most often, and without having a good understanding of the recent movement, they try to push their personal preferences and ideals. We all know that this movement is an inter-net movement, but because the fossils are not on the internet, they gain very little understanding of how the movement is evolving, yet they form opinions based on their ONE New York trip and limited encounters with 5, 10 or 100 protestors.
The self-proclaimed Iranian political celebrities who appear in these TV stations, proved once again, their expertise is in speaking and making statements, instead of listening and hunting for the news, which is what a professional reporter must do anyways. To prove my point – none of them reported a single line about what anyone else, including Rudy Giuliani said in the rally. I wonder if they even know he attended the rally.
Instead of finding ways to help the movement, fossils try to claim or set strategies for the movement. These days all you hear from them is how great their role was in the rally, and criticism of everyone else involved. Again I was there and was personally witness to their well intentioned ineptness – something they will never get or accept. There is a reason retirement age is set at mid 60’s in most places at least here in America.