In July this year, I wrote the following article, remembering the anniversary of 18th of Tir (i.e. July 9, 1999), the bloody day that Iranian students all know very well:


Two years ago, a couple of months after the July uprising of 1999, I wrote the following article, remembering the 16-Azar (i.e. Dec 7, 1953), another bloody day for democracy that symbolized the sacrifices of Iranian students of post-1953 years:


Today we are a few weeks from the anniversary of 16-Azar.  I think 16-Azar can remind us that we do not want to trade one retrogressive regime with another, and that Iranian students have been struggling for democracy for over half a century, commemorating two days that show this challenge under two dictatorial regimes.


In fact, what is notable today is that there is a strong movement of pre-university youth in Iran, that ever since the years of 1320-1332, such a movement was never this strong.  In post-1953, only the otoboosrAni movement of 1348 was a notable pre-University youth movement.  In recent years, the youth movement has shown itself on occasions such as the periods of soccer games in Iran. 


I think the presence of a strong youth movement in the years after the fall of Reza Shah and following World War II, was because on one side there was a half-democracy in Iran, in those years, and on the other side, the atmosphere in the world, was very international and the youth in different countries compared themselves with their counterparts in other countries and were demanding what their peers had.


I think the situation is somewhat similar today and the movement of the youth in Iran is an added element to the movement of Iranian university students and it is hard to say how these two movements will complement each other in their struggle for democracy and progress.


Wishing for a future_oriented democratic secular federal republic in Iran and long live the pro-democracy movement of the youth in Iran.


Sam Ghandchi, Publisher







* The above article was first posted on Jebhe BB on Nov 22, 2001


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