Published in “Der Standard” (Austria) on October 18, 2009
Original title: The creative and subversive opposition

The Green Movement uses bank notes to protest
Defied Iranian presidential candidate Mir Hossein Moussavi is determined to continue opposing the administration of Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, as declared on his website last weekend. Resistance is obtaining new forms every day, and all of Ahmadi-Nejad’s attempts of making everything go back to normal have failed so far. Meanwhile, the president rarely dares to show up in public. On occasion of the memorial day of the poet Hafiz in Shiraz, Ahmadi-Nejad due to expected protests was able to visit the poet’s grave only to the exclusion of the public.

And at the universities, the atmosphere is boiling. Almost every day students hold protests, often resulting in clashes with the university-based Basiji-militia – the most recent clash was reported from the Free University in Tehran.

The Revolutionary Guards, who were attacked on Sunday, claim to be prepared to confront any kind of unrest. A new confrontation between the government and the opposition is expected to happen on November 4. On this day, revolutionary students 30 years ago took over the US-Embassy in Tehran, taking several diplomats as hostages for 444 days. This year, the supporters of Moussavi’s “Green Movement” are planning to stage a demonstration with the slogan “peace for the world and democracy for Iran”. A high turnout is expected.

Iranians have found multiple ways of expressing their discontent. Many of the circulating bills have the word “Islamic” crossed out with just “Republic of Iran” remaining visible. Even slogans of the Green Movement, among them “Where is my vote?” and “Down with dictatorship” can be found on those bills. Now a member of the Tehran City Council has asked the banks to not accept such money – something entirely unrealistic with regard to the millions of circulating bills.
(DER STANDARD/print edition, 19. October 2009)