MOVE PROTEST OFF BRIDGES!
by Julie Jigsawnovich
Although human rights are a noble cause, specifically exploiting bridges as a protest venue risks endangering critical infrastructure, not to mention historic landmarks.
An Iranian expatriate group is planning to exploit city bridges around the world as their venue for demonstrations against human rights abuses in Iran. According to their Facebook group, “…we will form a human chain across any bridge in any city/country (i.e. Tower Bridge in London) holding the massive banner, putting it on display where thousands of passer-bys could sign petitions or donate money, media attention will be unimaginable.” They’ve already translated their proposal into English, Persian, French, Spanish, Arabic, German, Dutch, Italian, Japanese, Swedish, Hebrew, Turkish, Romanian, Portoguese, Urdu & Polish.
The IRI regime’s determination to crush opposition sometimes spills beyond their borders into physical attacks on their citizens living abroad. An Iranian who some refer to as a human rights advocate was gunned down in broad daylight by Iranian intelligence agents in Switzerland. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kazem_Rajavi and http://www.globalsecurity.org/security/library/congress/1990_cr/h900510-terror.htm ) Former Prime Minister of Iran Shapour Bakhtiar was assassinated in Paris, France by agents of the Islamic Republic. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shapour_Bakhtiar ) And a German court found that the assassination of Iranian-Kurdish opposition leaders Sadegh Sharafkandi, Fattah Abdoli, Homayoun Ardalan and their translator Nouri Dehkordi in Berlin was ordered by Iranian intelligence minister Hojjat al-Islam Ali Fallahian with the knowledge of supreme leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and president Ayatollah Rafsanjani. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mykonos_restaurant_assassinations#cite_note-0 )
Plus the Islamic Republic of Iran provides financial support to at least two resistance groups who’ve engaged in terrorist actitivities. (See http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/other/des/123085.htm #12. and #15.) Soon after the Iranian presidential election in 2009, there were reports that members of Hizbollah were flown to Tehran to help the regime crush protests. Since the election, thousands of political protesters were arrested, efforts to crush the opposition movement became more severe and reports of human rights abuses in Iranian prisons increased dramatically. (See http://www.iranhumanrights.org/ ) Human rights defenders inside Iran such as Nasrin Sotoudeh (See http://www.facebook.com/NasrinSotoudeh ) are increasingly being arrested, perhaps in an effort to silence them and slow down reporting on Iran’s human rights abuses.
Even if the Iranian regime does not target bridges occupied by Human Chain Project members, there remains the potential for false flag attacks to be expoited as a pretense for a retaliatory attack on Iran. (See http://thinkprogress.org/2008/07/31/cheney-proposal-for-iran-war/and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_flag#As_pretexts_for_war ) Attacks on bridges around the world could draw many nations into the conflict.
Wars are expensive and tend to require borrowing with interest (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_debt and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_public_debt#History )–which translates into huge tax debt burdens (national deficits) on the backs of citizens in favor of huge profits for the owners of bonds, banks, weapons manufacturing and infrastructure rebuilding corporations.
Support human rights and the right to protest without endorsing high-risk venues. Contact the officers who issue protest permits in your city and ask that they move protest off bridges to safer sites away from critical infrastructure.