For more than a month, Iran has been rocked by mass demonstrations in its major and outlying cities, but the origin of these protests has been obscure.
It seems that the protests were sparked by the unprecedented publication of the full national budget, which revealed increased spending for Revolutionary Guards and especially their secret wings and affiliates who work to shore up Shia groups abroad, especially in Syria and Iraq; it also revealed the funds allocated to backing Shia causes in Yemen, Lebanon and Gaza.
The spending infuriated Iranians workers who had been struggling under austerity blamed on sanctions that had been partially lifted under the terms of the Iranian nuclear deal -- and they took to the streets.
It's widely believed the national protests began in the north-eastern city of Mashad. However, 10 days before the break out of the national protest movement, citizens were already publicly expressing their anger on the streets at the draft budget. On the message sharing app Telegram, member of parliament Mohammad Taghi Akbarnejad shared his experience walking anonymously among people demonstrating in front of the parliament building:
I was in the middle of the protests, and a woman in her late 50s came to me and asked, ‘Are you an MP?’ I answered, ‘I am here like you.’ She told me, ‘If you can go to parliament, tell them I made a mistake becoming a teacher. You’ve turned as all into beggars. Please tell Mr. Khamenei, tell the president, tell everyone, tell them we are desperate. We don’t need this revolution. We hate the clerics.’
Later a woman in her 60s approached me calmly to tell me to hide my clerical robe. ‘The people are thirsty for your blood!!!’
I didn’t take any of this personally, I tried to show solidarity.
The Draft Budget That Inflamed Protests in Iran [Tori Egherman/Global Voices]
(Image: voanews.com, PD)
Rick Wiles, host of the racist and anti-semitic “Christian” media outlet TruNews, reveals that meatless burgers are “plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy products, is part of a satanic plot to alter human DNA so that people can no longer worship God.” Listen up: When you go to your favorite fast food restaurant, you are […]
A couple of weeks ago, I was thrilled to hear Subgenius founder, the Reverend Ivan Stang, interviewed on the Comedy on Vinyl podcast (previously) and to discover that the Church of the Subgenius was selling a $35 Salvation/Membership/Ordainment kit that was chock full of goodies.
You can’t get close to God on commercial. Prosperity gospel preacher and measles aficionado Kenneth Copeland is closing in on his first billion dollars made. “If I flew commercial, I’d have to stop 65 percent of what I’m doing, that’s the main reason,” he said. Copeland said he was a “very wealthy man” and acknowledged […]
Even if you feel like AirPods are worth the price tag, you’ve got to admit there’s a certain anxiety that comes with using them. What if I lose them? What if they get wet in the rain? Or drenched in sweat? Or fall into the drink you dropped them into? Shiny tech is great, but […]
With the quick-fix appeal of video games and their own cell phones, it can be tough to keep kids focused on supposedly “educational” toys. And while it may seem counter-intuitive to fight tech with more tech, we’re all in when it comes to the Toybox 3D Printer. We’re not sure if anyone had envisioned a […]
Whether you’re an artist, designer or just organizing a photo album, photo editing software is a must. And software designers know it: Platforms like Photoshop and Lightroom have a ton of helpful features, but you’ll pay for them in spades. Luckily, there’s some competition in the photo editing arena. Right now, Skylum’s Luminar software is […]