Thursday, July 8, 2004

DANESHJOO VERSUS MULLAH

I went to the Gustaf Adolf's square (King Gustaf II Adolf founded Gothenburg in 1621) around 5 P.M. CET. I saw lots of red flags so I was a bit worried that the demonstration had been hijacked by the Worker-Communist Party of Iran! Luckily the "red-flag-waving commies" left before the demonstration started. It was said that the event was arranged by the Constitutionalist Party of Iran and the Iranian Student Association of Gothenburg. You have a broad spectrum of political parties and organizations involved in the Iranian ideological debate, working both from the inside and in exile. For example, I found the Iranian Renaissance Movement on I.S.A.o.G's link page.

At 6 P.M. it was time for us to start walking up the Avenue. I met up with an Iranian acquaintance and some of his friends. They carried a different kind of flag, Derafsh Kaviani. Here is an excerpt from Iran Zamin's post, The Legend of Kaveh Ahangar (Kaveh the Blacksmith):

Kaveh's flag was later on famous as Darafsh and it was customary in the ancient Persia that every king would add a jewlery to the darafsh. When Arab Muslims invaded Iran, the darafsh was seized in a bloody battle fought around Nahavand (a city with the same name in today's Hamadan province in the mid-western Iran) and taken, among many other war spoils. The Arabs burned the flag and used the valuable items.


Here are some of the slogans we shouted:

"Say hey - Say Ho -- The mullah has got to go."
"United Nations -- pay Iran Attention."

I didn't manage to take pictures or using the video feature with my new Canon PowerShot A310 digital camera. [Editor's comment: I am not sure if I already have used up the batteries, or if it something wrong with it. I have to go through the manual again and see if I can get the camera working properly, or if I have to re-format the CompactFlash-card.] I am sorry that I didn't manage to get some snapshots from the demonstration, but you could get a glimpse of it if you watch the local news program. [Editor's note: Click on the time "22:15" below the title "Våra senaste sändningar:". If you see someone with a black & white baseball cap, waving a Gadsden flag ("Don't Tread On Me"), that's me!] The reporter in segment says that around 1,000 people participated in the demonstration.

I got permission from Allen Forkum to print out the Tir 18 cartoon, so I distributed it to a few people at the rally. The demonstrators ended the walk at Götaplatsen. They played Sorud-e Ey Iran and then it was time for some speeches by different politicians and student representatives, and a few songs performed by musicians. I ended the evening by having a hamburger at McDonalds.

UPDATE 07/09/04:
Listen to Prodos' interview with Aryo B Pirouznia, Coordinator, Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran.

UPDATE 07/10/04: Please note that the news video has moved to Swedish Television's (SVT) archives. Click on the time "22:15" below the title "Torsdag". You could watch the segment until Wednesday, July 14. I will ask around and see if I can get hold of some photos from the demonstration.