Iranian protests

Green MP Keith Locke at a protest outside the Iranian Embassy on Friday 12 February 2010

Iran has shown once again how authoritarian governments are scared of the internet. The regime has just announced it is cutting off access to Google’s email services. This follows big protests in Iran last week on the 31st anniversary of the 1979 revolution. I participated in the protest outside the Iranian Embassy in Wellington last Friday, pictures of which are on my Facebook page.  I was impressed with the spirit of the protesters, most of whom had travelled on an overnight bus from Auckland. The singing and chanting went on for hours.


In their leaflet, the protesters made a distinction between the 1979 revolution: “a left-leaning revolution against the Shah and for peace and prosperity” and the current Islamic regime, which they believe ‘crushed’ the revolution.

They were particularly upset at the execution of Iranian dissidents. Two young men, Mohammad Reza Ali Zamani and Arash Rahmanipour were executed on 28 January for the ‘crime’ of ‘enmity against god’. For more information see their website:

Of course, the regime tries to portray the democratic movement as a tool of the West, which is a big rich in that almost all Iranians are critical of Western support for Israel and the imposition of sanctions on their country.