By Henrik R Clausen 2 January 2010
Today, January 2nd 2010, protesters in 28 cities stood up against the brutal Iranian regime, for freedom of expression, freedom of religion and the separation of the Iranian state from Islam. And, not least, for regime change in Iran and for holding the current rulers accountable for their crimes. Pictures and impressions are from the rally in Copenhagen, where 200-250 Danes and Iranians participated in the rally.
(Report and pictures can be reposted freely. Full size pics at Facebook.)
The rally was held at 17:30 in the evening, well after nightfall in Denmark. It was encouraged to hold torches as well as Iranian flags. The rally blended well with the lights in Rådhuspladsen (Town Hall Square) in Copenhagen. The thermometer (the red column in the background) shows minus 4 degrees centigrade.
The flag of Iran sports a lion and a sun, not a halfmoon or the abstract symbol of the Islamic Republic. Islamic invaders stole the country many centuries ago, and crushed a proud, independent culture. Iranians want their country and their freedom back, including freedom of religion.
The banners read: Stop the killings Stop the torture Stop the disappearances We are all together Support the public demand for: Freedom & Equality in IRAN.
Iranian-born actor and comedian Farshad Kholghi, who is known for speaking out against the regime, held a speech. He is adamant that the regime can be destroyed now! He managed to escape the madness before being drafted for cannon fodder in the 1980-1988 war against Iraq. Much better to have his great skills in Denmark than having them wasted in a minefield.
More banners. Translated in left to right order: Support peaceful protest for free elections and free media in Iran. My only fight is against the darkness. To fight it, I do not draw a sword, I turn on the light. Murder Torture Rape Hold Ahmadinejad responsible.
The lion, not the halfmoon, is the symbol for the nation of Iran.
An Iranian-born poet had come from Stockholm to join the demonstration. She read poetry in Farsi (the language of Iran).
Another banner put the problem with the Jew-hating, fanatical Iranian president succinctly: A Natural Disaster
Jette Plessner Dali from Dansk Folkeparti was present. She is a staunch supporter of Iranian freedom, as is her party.
Yet more banners, this one in memory of a demonstrator killed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard: They took her life, but not her dream. Rememer Neda! FREE IRAN
The light of the demonstration blended well with the lights of Copenhagen by night, a stark contrast to the darkness that has occupied Iran for over 30 years.
The rally was held by the Danish dissident group Frit Iran (www.fritiran.dk). The speeches were brief, relating various sides of the battle for a free Iran. The overarching theme is that election fraud and extensive violence has destroyed the legitimicy of the regime, which is now resorting to rule by terror to stay afloat. It is the hope that the continued exposure of regime brutality, as well as the courage of dissident Iranians, will cause such embarrassment that the diplomats and other supporters will decide they cannot morally support the Islamic Republic, and will abandon their posts or even better replace the flag of the Islamic Republic with the lion-and-sun flag of Iran.
There is a media clampdown in Iran, where foreign reporters are barred from operating, but what gets out indicate that the demonstrations and protests continue, that Iranians are split between fear and anger, and that the regime engages in increasingly embarrassing manipulations and clampdowns in its attempt to control the situation.
Running a totalitarian state is not without advantages, however. The German government of the later 1930's would withhold crucial supplies to create artificial shortages, then weeks later declare that the national socialist system had miraculously conjured up exactly what the Germans needed.
In a similar vein, the food shortages in Iran makes it possible for the regime to purchase citizens into participating in pro-regime demonstrations by means of food packages. Packages which also include a letter declaring that criticising the regime constitutes an insult to Allah, that protesters are thus to be considered apostates from Islam, who by implication can be killed with impunity.
A regime that encourages indiscriminate killing merely to stay in power does not deserve to live.