In the nine remarkable months since the fraudulent June 12 election, more and more people in Iran have come to appreciate the preeminent role civil disobedience plays, and must play, in their struggle. In the process, millions are turning into seasoned activists simply by coming face to face with the dictatorship in all its malevolence. For every person
who has been thrown in jail and tortured, dozens more have become politicized. This has largely been a spontaneous process — and while spontaneity has on occasion helped foil the government’s tactics of suppression, it also has its drawbacks. Among these, it increases the odds of being outmaneuvered by a regime that is very powerful and cunning when it is able to set the rules of the game, as happened on February 11. If the Green Movement is to succeed in its quest for democracy and human rights in Iran, it is thus crucial to understand the techniques of nonviolent civil disobedience and how they may be applied most effectively in the current circumstances.
Some in Iran’s sprawling Green Movement have adopted the tactics of nonviolent civil disobedience on moral/philosophical grounds, while others have done so out of purely practical considerations. In the interest of maintaining unity, the movement is well-advised to adopt the most common factor as the point of reference, namely the utility and efficacy of peaceful civil disobedience as the only viable political tactic in today’s Iran. (This is not meant to … >>>