Nineteen ninety-seven was only the beginning of the student movement. Iran has such a young population, an entire generation has participated in it -- thousands of people, maybe millions, quite literally fighting for their liberty. And sometimes paying with their lives.
This movement should be what Western students are focused on. Not carrying unfunny signs comparing Bush to Hitler, or following around trade organizations like they're the Grateful Dead (to use one of Naomi Klein's unusually apt phrasings), gestures that reek of moral narcissism and matter only to the protesters themselves. The current Iranian regime, horrible as it is, has proved itself to be worried about its international popularity.
Think of what students living in freedom could accomplish for their kin in Iran, simply by holding up a bunch of signs. Millions of students across the liberal democracies, in Japan and in Sweden, in Australia and in South Africa, demanding that all student leaders be freed from the prisons they languish anonymously in.
It's almost enough to take your mind of a tuition freeze for a second.
Monday, May 29, 2006
Jordan Michael Smith: Iranian students need solidarity
Smith writing in the Ottawa Sun via The Spirit of Man,