A Global Day of Action for Iran

Last week, Iranians were back out on the streets in numbers, braving beatings and tear gas with bullets whizzing over their heads – risking arrest or, worse, life and limb. Fissures are even becoming apparent in the higher echelons of the Islamic Republic. Like Mir Hossien Moussavi’s initially reluctant leadership of the opposition, the cracks in the elite structures are fostered by the continuing strength of increasingly defiant demonstrators, and vice versa.

Even if crowds in Iran haven’t been as big since the brutal crackdowns, the many smaller demonstrations that persist are telling a story of real street power and how it can affect real change at every level -- even at the top.

There’s also been support for the protesters outside -- something else for Iranians to feed off of. Regular rallies and vigils in cities across the world are showing solidarity with Iranian protesters -- green abounds; moments of silence observed; people sing and converse; foreign supports mix with the Iranian diaspora. What should be one of the biggest of these protests is due to a city near you in a few weeks: United for Iran’s Global Day of Action on July 25th.

An apolitical event, the Global Day of Action is sponsored by a who’s who of top rights individuals and groups, including Tehran-based Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi, the New York-based International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, and well-respected titans of rights work like Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International USA, and Reporters Without Borders.

Just as the hundreds of thousands in marching silently Iran’s streets in the election's aftermath were united only in their desire for a fair reckoning of disputed resultes, so too has the Global Day of Action focused itself specifically on the human rights of the Iranian people. The march has four simple demands: international community support for the rights of Iranians, the release of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, an end to the official violence, and a right to free press, expression, and assembly -- all guaranteed by Iran’s own constitution and international obligations.

As the organizers of the Global Day of Action say, Iranians are the only ones that can make political decisions. But people everywhere can voice their concern that the basic rights of Iranians are preserved.

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