Civil disobedience: gas bills


Civil disobedience: gas bills
by Balatarin

Introduction: The popular Farsi website, Balatarin, continues to play an important role in bringing news and information to Iranians worldwide, and to be a meeting place for Iranians inside Iran who use the social networking website to brainstorm and debate about the latest development in the country. As we stand witness to their struggles, some of the discussions on Balatarin are highlighted and posted in English on Voice of Balatarin, the site's English weblog. We will be cross-posting some of those entries here, inviting you to join the discussions on Balatarin.  This is the entry's direct link.

Another idea for civil disobedience has been brewing on Balatarin for some time. As you may know, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad implemented a plan to cut government subsidies from services and main food staples of Iran, in order to cut government costs. According to the plan, instead of subsidizing anything, the government will be paying a monthly financial assistance amount directly to families. Cutting subsidies from staples such as bread and gasoline have already sent shock waves through the Iranian economy, but as monthly bills for utilities such as gas and electricity reach Iranian households, sometimes quadrupling the amount families are used to paying, the "shock" has found new meaning.

About a month ago, Balatarin users first discussed not paying those bills when people started complaining. The issue came up again this week. Whereas originally it was anticipated that the household energy costs would go up gradually over a five-year period, it appears that utilities bills are showing astronomical jumps in some cases. One man in Kermanshah said that his gas bill which never exceeded 25,000 tooman (about $25), has now jumped to 664,000 tooman (about $664), according to Deutsche Welle Persian.

The gas bills likely herald the astronomical rise in other prices in Iran, or at least they have created a panic to this effect. Balatarin users have been active for the past month, proposing protest gatherings (not too popular in this case), tampering with usage meters (somewhat popular, though some also objected to the idea of breaking the law), and non-payment of the monthly bills (possibly the most popular and already implemented by many citizens). For their part, the government has issued ultimatums and warnings that non-payment of bills will lead to disruption in service. As Iranians put winter months behind, and disruption in residential gas supply becomes less of an obstacle, it seems Iranians are getting ready to flex their consumer muscles to object to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's economic policies which have increasingly seemed not-well-planned and ineffective. One thing is certain--whatever is decided seems to be unfolding before our very eyes on Balatarin. So stay tuned!

Until next time, stay with us and let the dialogue grow!

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Also see previous blogs, Attack on Camp Ashraf, Lights, Camera, Action! BalaMusic Goes Live!, The Oxford Conection, A Funeral.


more from Balatarin

Where's the money for promissed free gas, electricity, houses?

by Roozbeh_Gilani on

In Mojtaqba khamenei's london and swiss bank accounts. 

"Personal business must yield to collective interest."


Perhaps it would be the incompetence of

by Cost-of-Progress on

the clergy that will be their demise.

Whoever said that the clergy (of any creed, let alone islam) knows anything more than religious mumbo jumbo, let alone governing a whole country??

Have Iranians had enough of the divine intervention yet?

I doubt it. 





Mash Ghasem

قبض‌های گاز در داخل ضريح خمينی

Mash Ghasem

25فروردين :قبض‌های گاز در داخل ضريح خمينی:شيوه اعتراضی برخی از شهروندان تهرانی به برگه‌های قبض گاز

خودنويس: برخی گزارش‌های تاييد نشده از تهران حاکی است در جديد ترين شيوه
اعتراضي، برخی از شهروندان تهرانی برگه‌های قبض گاز خود را به نشانه اعتراض
به داخل ضريح آرامگاه آيت الله خمينی در بهشت زهرا تهران انداخته‌اند که
مي‌تواند در پاسخ به ادعای ۳۲ سال پيش او که مي‌گفت آب و برق را مجانی
مي‌کند باشد. //


Baleh ??!! baleh !!!

by Shemirani on

آب و برق را مجانی‌ می‌کنی،

اتوبوس هارا  مجانی‌ می‌کنیم.....مملکت محمدی میسازیم

این است انقلاب شکوهمند


Merci Balatarin great info site !!

Multiple Personality Disorder

Wow! A blog by Balatarin!

by Multiple Personality Disorder on

I visit website everyday but somehow I've never paid any attention to their English blog section.  Thank you for posting this blog here, and for all the links that was included in the blog.

Ari Siletz

The Sandis Empire begins to collapse!

by Ari Siletz on

Thanks Balatarin for keeping us informed on the latest news and commentary detailing the strenghtening civil disobedience activity in Iran. This way streets empty of protesters will not be mistaken for a dormant movement. The IRI economic chickens finally coming home to roost should make for action packed reading, and hopefully also action packed participating.