Sunday, January 7, 2018

so you've hit the streets. Will reformists join in? The case of Iran

 "As I have argued elsewhere, the dominant strategic thinking within the reform movement was initially pessimistic about the viability and consequences of protest. Grievances were so deep, they feared, that mass mobilization could stir up emotions, spawning radicalism and providing hard-liners with an excuse for repression, possibly leading to civil war.
Each time conservatives cracked down on reformist activists and blocked their initiatives within the state, the reformist leadership and intelligentsia called on the supporters to be calm. For example, when a prominent reformist leader was arrested, a reformist newspaper wrote that the arrest 'might be a plan to agitate emotions, and we should not give any opportunity for repression. Thus, at this time, any [protest] gathering will serve the interests of authoritarians.'
One leading reformist organization even coined the term 'active tranquility' for this strategy, which calls reformists to keep pushing for their demands but avoid confrontation, with a view to gain the trust of hard-liners. Reformists also saw the ballot box as the main pathway to peacefully push for political change and incompatible with mass mobilization.'"

So when your natural allies don't want to join your protest, what can you do?  I would also like to remind you that the Philippines reformed due to street protests.  Also, it's a good time to read Martin Luther King's Letter from Birrmingham Jail.

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