Sitting in front of my mother's desktop computer, I began to narrate, to my mother, about the protests happening in Iran. My mother, sitting on her bed, seemed slightly confused, with a questionable look on her face that hinted What the heck are you talking about?
Quickly, trying to find an analogy that my mother might comprehend, I began to compare the current protests in Iran to the protests that took place in Tiananmen Square two decades ago.
My mother replied, "What's Tiananmen?"
I was in shock. How could my mother not know about one of the most tragic events in protest history?
(I later realized I pronounced "Tiananmen" incorrectly. No wonder my mom couldn't understand what I was talking about.)
Then it hit me. Aren't the current protests in Iran similar to those that took place during the protests at Tiananmen square in 1989? Let's look at the similarities:
The rebellion that took place at Tiananmen Square (in Beijing, China) in 1989 boasted a populace of majorily college students. They represented the democratic part of the country, when the entire nation was strictly socialist/communist ("dangerous thoughts" indeed). Thousands, if not millions, of Chinese college students flocked to the country's capital, protesting at the square for roughly seven weeks. They wanted reform. They wanted change. They wanted democracy. Their protests continued to hold ground until the day of the Tiananmen Square massacre, where militiamen quickly finished off the rest of these "troublesome" students.
In other words, these protesting college students--who wanted a democracy, who wanted economic reform, who wanted to be free from the authoritative regime of China's socialist party--were killed.
For better clarity, some of you may know of a well-known scene at this rebellion, when a lone college student stood in front of the path of several tanks. He stood there, his gaze locked onto the steel-plated behemoths, in what seemed like a demand to halt. This, my friends, is one of the most famous scenes at this exact protest.
Now, let's look at Iran's situation:
The protests of Iran occurred right after Iran's recent presidental elections. According to the media, there are strong hints that the elections were fixed, that someone tampered with the ballots. (A strong indication of this fixation, as the media has put it, was through the strong, telecommunications jamming during the elections.) The majority of the protesters are a mix of women and upper-class, young adults, all wanting radical change in their stunted system of government. These protesters consist of the voters that largely agree to the losing candidate's views, Mir Hossein Mousavi. As of now, military forces have been dispatched to get rid of these protesters, opening fire on large crowds and attacking random "violators".
So, what are the similarities here? In both cases, the protesters wanted radical change--the first scene from socialist/communist to democracy, and the second scene, from a strict, religiously-dominated form of government to a more representative form of democracy. How both protests came to be had slightly different reasons, but similar goals: With China, failed economic and political reforms had launched students to protest. With Iran, the protest ignited from the possibility of a fixed election (there are background reasons, but for journal purposes, we will not discuss them here).
On another note, I found some really vivid pictures of the protests happening in Iran and other parts of the world. You can see the protests from a wide variety of perspectives. Warning: Some of these photos are extremely graphic (as in, there are pictures of blood and severed body parts), so please don't click this link if you are of the faint of heart:cryptome.org/iran-protest/iran…
And with this, I leave you some food for thought.