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)
Longreads posted an excerpt from from Alec Nevala-Lee’s new book, Astounding, recounting the events that led to L. Ron Hubbard creating a religion and its origins in the golden age of science fiction: Dawn of Dianetics: L. Ron Hubbard, John W. Campbell, and the Origins of Scientology. In the summer of 1949, Campbell was thirty-nine […]
People who live in the LGBT-identified Sydney neighborhood of Darlinghurst are getting letters through their door signed by "Jesus" that blame queer people for extreme weather (drought, hail); "Jesus" also takes credit for felling the (admittedly horrible) former PM Malcolm Turnbull.
In 1922, the devil appeared at several teen dances in Hutchinson, Minnessota. Apparently he’d manifest “in the middle of the dance floor with fire streaming from eyes, mouth and tail” and attempt to break up the sinful festivities. A reward of $5,000 was offered to anyone who would shoot the devil next time he turned […]
A picture can be worth a heck of a lot more than just a thousand words. If you’ve squinted for ages trying to get just the right photo, you might have the right passion for a career behind the camera. You might even have the right equipment, but do you have the know-how? The Beginner-To-Expert […]
In case you hadn’t noticed from the sleigh bell-heavy music and the hues on your Starbucks cup, the holiday season hasn’t shown any more patience this year. But that doesn’t need to be a bad thing, especially if you’re hoping to get a jump on your shopping. Retailers aren’t waiting til Black Friday to dish […]
What do you get for the techie who has everything? How about giving them a Raspberry Pi and letting them make pretty much anything. Or better yet, do it for yourself with the Ultimate Raspberry Pi eBook Bundle. This trove of ideas and education unlocks the unlimited potential of this mini-computer, whose affordability and versatility […]