Iran Transition Council. A Proposal for Mass Movement

Any discussion of the opposition, political prisoners, protests, activism, organization, tactics, etc.
هر گونه بحث در مورد اپوزیسیون ، زندانیان سیاسی ، اعتراضات ، فعالیت ها ، سازمان ها ، تاکتیک ها و غیره.
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Targeting members of the opposition is counter-productive. Work with each other!
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omid
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Iran Transition Council. A Proposal for Mass Movement

Post by omid »

The following is not criticism of the Iran Transition Council (ITC). Rather, it suggests further tasks, in addition to what they have achieved thus far.

Listening to the interview of Hassan Shariatmadari by Ali Nourizadeh, it becomes clear that the Iran Transition Council (ITC) has hit a significant obstacle in the U.S.: The absence of visiblilty of the popular support for it has caused the U.S. government to avoid dealing directly with the ITC.

Arguably, in hindsight, this ought not to be a surprise: By gathering together academics and major opposition figures, in a closed-door effort at constructing the beginnings of a transitional government/process, foreign governments--who are never as tuned-in to the regime's opposition as Iranians are--see the ITC as intelligentsia without popular support! Faced with the very potent, and meticulously maintained, imagery of tented women, one cannot blame them!

But this can easily change. And I am submitting a specific method for so doing.

During the interview, Mr Shariatmadari's de facto proposal for solving this was--in emulation of #اعدام_نکنید #StopExecutionsInIran--that 'the people' must start a hashtag against the proposed Iran-China deal: #TheCountryIsNotForSale. (In Persian and English, of course. Notably, and characteristically, it immediately got forked into two, by the interviewer and the interviewee: #TheCountryIsNotForSale and #TheNationIsNotForSale) Rightly, he suggested that if this goes viral, then the ITC can claim popular support, and thus recognition from international governments. (This is a reduction of a longer argument which ought to be listened-to in context.)

The concept is sound, but the implicit 'method' is not. Merit, and popularity, of the idea expressed in a hashtag are necessary for virality, but far from sufficient. This may sound obvious once stated, but only so!

There is a fundamental misunderstanding of how virality occurs on the Internet. The Internet is chaos. It is randomness perceived as patterns. Why one hashtag fails but another (even a variant) succeeds is not due to merit, but to luck! Witness no shortage of popular causes which generate no tweet-storms, despite numerous attempts. Merit is necessary, but far from sufficient. Organization replaces reliance on luck.

In our case, the means for snowballing has to be constructed. There are eighty million voices out there, wanting to shout out against the regime; we need only co-ordinate them.

In brief, the proposed method is as simple as this:
  1. gather email addresses for everyone interested in participating;
  2. devise a concise and meaningful hashtag, in both Persian and English;
  3. email everyone to start a tweet storm;
  4. gather up more email addresses.
I have already laid much of the technical foundation for this, which will soon be set in motion. But, I need ITC's, and everyone else's, help.

For interested people to discover this service, they need to be told about it. The problem becomes easier once a small mass of participants forms: Through posts, retweets and word-of-mouth, they will inform others. But the crucial obstacle is in forming that initial mass of participants. For this, the ITC and others can help by informing their base. The ITC might be averse to formally backing this initiative, but they can certainly retweet my announcement about this service. Similarly with any other member/organization of the opposition.

So, please, let's get this moving!

omid
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Details: Why Email?

Post by omid »

Why not just start by tweeting the hashtag? Why use email? Because it'll get nowhere! Twitter/Instagram timelines are cluttered, and posts are easily missed. A means of coordination is needed, for all Iranians, worldwide.

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Details: Street Protests Versus On-line Protests

Post by omid »

On a typical street in Iran, nearly everyone is against the regime. But, it is very hard to start a protest. This is because no-one wants to be the first to step forward, fearing that others will not follow. And, others will not follow a first, because they know that a second, third...thirtieth is needed before a semblance of safety-in-numbers can be attained.

This is particularly so when, over forty years, the public has been demoralized; and often waits, prostrate, for some external event or actor to bring about an end to the regime, instead of creating it themselves! They've seen protestors picked off, one by one, after every uprising or protest.

The proposed system will eliminate risk. Everyone can participate, without fearing the risk of being the first to step forward. As well, they need not join, or avow support for, any single party (e.g. monarchists vs republicans). Furthermore, once a large mass of participants forms, action will amount to a national poll of Iranians. Thus, it can be used to demonstrate Iranian public-opinion to the world; and the regime, too, could not deny the weight of opposition to itself.

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Details: The Choice of Hashtag

Post by omid »

Ideally, the hashtags ought to be less than 10 characters.

As with most things, this will not get off to a flying start. Success has to be built gradually, and persistently. The choice of hashtags will affect the outcome, as a key factor.

Variants must not be propagated eg FreePrisoners vs FreeAllPrisoners. Or اعدام_نکنید versus اعدام_نکن.
This must be actively discouraged, as it will reduce the support count, and will fork the unified voice.

A pattern-of-success attracts popular support. Start with achievables! Keep in mind that a focus of the early attempts must be to increase the visibility of this service, not only to effect political change.

Who gets to choose the hashtags?

This might emerge naturally. Major organizations such as ITC could debate their choice beforehand. Major personalities such as famous political prisoners may attempt their own. As well, suggestions could be put to test on this site's forums or elsewhere, to try them beforehand. I will see how things pan out; the procedure for limiting the number of campaigns will be determined as we go.

The chosen hashtag will be displayed on a dedicated page, on beeroon.org.

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Details: Action, not Information

Post by omid »

This service will be used only to synchronize actions, not for spreading news: There will be no mailings denouncing the various ills of the regime; we've heard enough of those, for forty years!

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Details: Who I Am

Post by omid »

A typical Opposition question, I'm afraid! <sigh>

It should not matter who I am. I am nobody! It is my words and actions that matter.

Edit: The best way to reach me is via the email address in my profile, on this site.

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Details: Anonymity

Post by omid »

As on this site, participants need not reveal their identities. They can remain fully anonymous. Even the email account need not be under their own names: So long as they routinely monitor it for new emails, they can use any account they wish, using a fake name!

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The Harkat List

Post by omid »

Here is the Harkat list.

Now, all that's needed is for people to get fake email-addresses, to join it!

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The Harkat FAQ

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