Some people believe that the Green Movement is dead and the Islamic Republic of Iran is among those who have announced this movement’s death several times. As we are approaching the third anniversary of the Iranian Green Movement, this question is wondering our minds if this movement is dead or not. The rise of the Iranian started in June 13th 2009, right after the Ninth Presidential Election, and in following two months people on and off peacefully demonstrated on Tehran’s streets; these demonstrations brought millions of Iranians to the streets in support of Mir Hosseing Mousavi, the reformist candidate. After the regime crackdown and increasing use of violence by the regime street demonstrations stopped and people disappeared from streets. The main reason presented by the Islamic Republic and some other analysts claiming the movement’s death is the stop in street demonstrations. However, this reason simplifies a rise as big as the Green movement too much.
Iranian people went to ballots on May 14th 2009 and the day after in spite of their expectation Mahmood Ahmandinejad was brought out of ballot boxes with a very unexpected gap between him and Mir Hossein, 14 million more votes. Sixty percentage participation had made everyone including the conservative head of parliament, Ali Larijani, that Mir Hossein is the next president. People who had come to believe that a big fraud has happened came to streets to ask the regime to respect their votes chanting, “where is my vote?”. Uploaded videos and photos on the Internet by people clearly show how a huge number of people peacefully heading toward Azadi Square in Tehran; no group or political party claimed to have organized and disciplined people on streets. It is critically important to know that this movement got formed, organized, and found its slogans by the public people and not the elite. This fact tells us that the Green Movement is a movement for rights not for truth.
Generally speaking, people come to streets mainly for two reasons; either they are brought to fight for a truth against an in-power false, that I call it more of an ideological protest/ fight; or they get together to ask for a right or rights they have come to believe that they are deprived of. “Where is my vote?” clearly showed that people are looking for a very specific right, right to choose their president. While ideologies claiming a truth bringing the mass through organizing and structured leadership, in the case of this movement the majority of people in a very specific time came to an unspoken agreement. I would like to emphasize that before the uprisings of 2009 there was strong movements in the country to gain more freedom and earning more human rights; however, the majority of Iranian had not felt that they are deprived of some worldly accepted rights or they did not care to go after it; for instance in 1999 student uprising which was the most important one after the revolution of 1979, the society did not support that and it did not went further than being a student movement. However, this time different factions of society with different ideas came across of one thing that was positive and specific, the right to choose the governor by the governed.
Different factions of society with different worldviews came to agreement in two points that I believe the biggest possible denominator among active forces in Iranian society: there are some critical human rights need to be recognized and respected by the regime; secondly, the road to this goal should be followed nonviolently. As the regime crackdown got more violent and protesters were brutally silenced, many were jailed, some got executed, people disappeared from the streets. This absence led some analysts out of Iran, and the regime inside, to believe that the Green Movement is dead.
If the life of a movement is in its streets demonstrations, we should say that the Green Movement is asleep. There are several reasons to believe that this movement is not dead or history. Firstly, a people who has come to understand individually their rights, there is no way to make them silent for a long time; the actual resistance in society in its different forms will continue until when those people being contented with the state of situation; even now the resistance in Iranian society is visible; why Iranian regime is overly sensitive/ react to any kind of meeting; feeling the society’s fast and strong heart beats the Islamic Republic has been reacting brutally against any meeting even no matter if it is for saving Uremia Lake, or a mourning ceremony for a well-known figure like Ezattoallah Sahabi in which they killed his daughter, Hale. In lack of access to direct surveys state’s reactions is a way to see what is the reality in the country. Also a considerable amount of activism on the Internet about this movement discloses the point that the movement is alive in spite of losing the streets to the repressive forces.