Iran is in the middle (or at the end if you believe the revolutionary guard) of a massive protest. The protest began as a rejection of the economic policy long held by the Ayatollah that can be described as “War, God, Me...maybe you”. Meaning the Ayatollah’s economic policy is just “you can all go fuck off.”
Unlike the last massive demonstration that occurred in Iran in 2009, “elites” are not participating. The 2009 protest was about unfair and obviously rigged elections, led by the candidates who were unfairly and obviously rigged against. It was the largest protest since the Islamic Revolution in 1979 that ultimately transformed Iran from a largely secular society into the harsh theocracy we know today. The 2009 demonstration was, in a sense, about fairness. Another way to look at it is through the lens of our political process. It’s a rigged democracy that gives us the choice between a really shitty candidate that supports the rich above all else and a less shitty candidate that supports the rich above all else. The protest in 2009 was about Iran not even having the choice of a less shitty candidate.
These protests are different still. These protests are about income inequality. These protests are about the poor getting sick of being fucked over. These protests are not unified by political candidates or demagogues, but are instead amorphous collections of people who are fed up with the corruption and mismanagement of public funds. They are sick of foreign wars. They are sick of their labor being undervalued. They are sick of looking at the outside world and seeing a lifestyle the theocratic regime is not capable of providing. These protests are like most protests we see in the world today, the young looking at the previous generation and saying, “wait, you fucking idiots fucked us and there’s fucking nothing we can do? Fuck this, fuck you, burn it down.”
Upwards of 450 people have been arrested and more than 20 have been murdered. Media outlets always report that the victims of riot police were “killed”, which is absolutely not true in any way other than literal definition. When a protester dies at the hands of police, that person was murdered. I don’t care if it is a self-defense situation, you’re the reason the protests are happening. Maybe fucking listen before you start killing.
The oddest thing, though, is that our current government is supporting these protests. If you look at the reasons the protesters have given for their actions - income inequality, religious subsidies, endless war - I think you might find some similarities between there and here. The Iranian protesters are demographically young and poor. They’re being fucked exactly the way we are. Their protests are ours, too. These protests should be happening in every country. Everywhere people are being fucked over in the same way.
Unfortunately, there’s a solid chance we’ll be murdered. Then again, they’re already murdering us all slowly. Pick your poison.