Iran protests: “a fire beneath the ashes”

Submitted by Matthew on 31 January, 2018 - 10:41 Author: Kaveh Abbasian

On Monday 29 January, many women took off their scarves in many parts of Iran, especially in Tehran, put it on a stick, and got on boxes and waved it around, like the woman from the iconic picture from early in the movement.

The action is referred to as “the girl from Revolution Street”. That is where the first woman did this action — on top of an electricity substation on Revolution Street. People have laid flowers at that substation since then. The pictures of people copying her are being posted on the hashtag “Girl from Revolution Street”. It is a radical act. It is a huge thing to do.

The protest movement is not continuing on at a massive scale but it is like a fire that’s alive under the ashes. You see it happening here and there. The movement has created a lot of hope, but there is repression.

Many of the people whom the state could not arrest have had their families arrested, or interrogated. At Tabriz University of Arts, one of the students on the list was not present to be arrested, so the police took his father instead, who has now been disappeared. The student has been told that his father will only be released if he hands himself in.

Several prisons are seeing hunger strikes by prisoners arrested during this movement.

The Haft Tappeh sugar cane workers’ company is still on strike. Many other strikes are still ongoing elsewhere in Iran, but they are not necessarily politically-motivated. They are strikes about their living conditions and unpaid wages.

Outside Evin prison, families continue to gather, but the crowds are smaller, since most students have been released. But the students have been released on massive bails, awaiting judgement.

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