Geneive Abdo: The following text was given to insideIRAN.org by a group of intellectuals who are leaders in the Green Movement in Tehran. They are also the authors of this manifesto.
- We suggest that a Green Council of some ten or so leading and known political and/or intellectual leaders (or whatever number is deemed appropriate) be formed in the absence of Moussavi and Karroubi. Members of this council would have to accept the ultimate leadership of Moussavi and Karroubi and their representatives, given the participation of these men in the election, their popular legitimacy inside the country, and their resistance to the despotism of Khamanei and those behind him. This council, during the absence of these two men, would (a) establish the goals of the Green Movement; (b) coordinate forms of protest and demonstrations; (c) propagate the goals and actions of the Green Movement and propaganda against the coup regime.
- The leadership of the Green Movement and/or the council needs to make a call for Greens to form individual Green groups across the country. This announcement would build on Moussavi’s idea that each person is a form of mass media. The size is not important. What is important is the construction of a country-wide network of Green “cells.” Certainly, many such cells already exist, having come into existence due to the initiative of individuals. But the network is not large enough. No success can be achieved without expansion of these cells. They are the heart of the movement. Given our experience on the street, a call for such cells will be greeted with acceptance. But it needs to be done quickly. Our social capital is not endless.
- A call needs to be propagated that Greens need to work harder on establishing their links with the working class and the urban working lower class. This movement cannot be successful if links are not made with these classes.
- We believe that the Green leadership needs to propagate actively the need for all local Green cells and even individuals to pass the word, either orally or through leaflets and pamphlets, about the goals of the movement and about future demonstrations and other forms of protest. We know that individuals and certain groups have been doing this. But more needs to be done in this regard.
- In the face of the brutality of Khamenei’s regime, the leadership of the Green Movement needs to choose methods of protest that will lessen the costs associated with protest for individuals yet maintain and expand popular mobilization behind the movement. Suggestions are strikes, boycotts, silent demonstrations similar to what we had on the anniversary of the election, days for wearing green, and organizing specific times when all Greens drive their cars—these are just some of the methods that can be utilized, until the full force of the working and lower classes enters this struggle for the future of our country.
- Expansion of the propaganda war. Greater systematic attention must be paid to the issues of corruption, the economic performance of the regime, murder and rape at the hands of the Khamenei regime, the linking of Khamenei with Ahmadinejad (with focus on his 19 June 2009 speech, in which he announced that his and Ahmadinejad’s views were very close).
- Regime morale—“name and shame” must be utilized. If possible, the names of those serving in security and basiji services engaged in beating, raping, and imprisoning the people need to be found and actively propagated through the Internet, mass media, and leaflets. Failing this, just pictures of these forces taken when in action or just on the street need to be propagated inside and outside the country.
- The names of those elites with extensive property and wealth abroad need to be found and propagated.
- We need to resurrect Moussavi’s statement, according to which those individuals—from regular basiji and other pawns to the leading officials of the regime, from Khamenei down—ordering and/or participating in violence against and killing of people will be eventually held accountable. This needs to propagated consistently, through mass media from abroad and leaflets and pamphlets here in Iran.
- The point needs to be made consistently that, given the certainty of the eventual victory of the Greens, there will be a policy of forgive but not forget. If officials from low positions to high positions who have not participated in or ordered the murder and rape of people come to our side, we will accept them. However, there is a time limit on this.
In conclusion, we would like to stress that this piece was made by us only as a set of suggestions and an expression of serious worry over the current state of the Green Movement. The above text is the result of debates, study, and the varied of experience of Greens on the frontline inside Iran, and our collective opinion of what is needed by our movement. We understand that most of what we have proposed without doubt can be improved and perfected as we move forward. In addition, we realize that many of these suggestions are not new. However, most of them have not been implemented or have been implemented only partially, which has resulted in a temporary but severe weakening of the Green Movement. We hope that the decision-makers outside of Iran will take seriously these suggestions. It no longer can be naively assumed that the despotic side of this regime simply will collapse due to its inner contradictions and power struggles. We on the ground have to create pressure and the conditions for its implosion. We here in Iran are looking for decisive participation from Green leaders abroad. The movement here in Iran can be rejuvenated and propelled to victory if such leadership is provided. If not, we regret to say, we feel this movement will just become another failed attempt to bring freedom, dignity, and respect to our country.