Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Nonviolent Guerilla Tactics Are Now Needed in Iran

Today, the Iranian protesters have met the most ferocious brutality thus far. Reports indicate the Basiji have begun to kill protesters in massive numbers. Certainly, this has instilled fear in the hearts of those who have been putting their lives on the line every day hour of every day.

Over the past several days, I have posted about the conflict in Iran, especially regarding nonviolent methods that can be used to shake the system into profound change:
If what I have read and seen via video clips is actually true, it appears that Sayed Mohammed Khatami's plan is not being followed. The swift and violent response by security forces has been potentially overwhelming against the protesters, who are still attempting to demonstrate in the same way as before. The Basiji have known exactly what was planned and, with their superior forces, they have beaten, arrested, and killed many people.

Unfortunately, the protesters are mistaken that large demonstrations are going to bring about change at this point. They must look closely at their strategic organization and begin to redirect their efforts using a broader variety of methods, something Khatami was trying to propose yesterday.

How should they do this? I will try to list a variety of approaches and methods that will lead to confusion and frustration within the government.

Here is my list of recommendations:
  • Spread out the leadership - utilize adults and students of all types, not politicians
  • Stop visible protests. Announce this publicly before the government expects it.
  • Go underground
  • Go low-tech: Stop cell phone usage and limit Internet usage
  • Print out thousands of leaflets outlining the illegitimacy of the government, state demands and goals for the future
  • Drop the leaflets from the tops of buildings in busy locations. Don't stay around. Leave quickly, so as not to be arrested.
  • Print up posters with a large green tsunami wave and "Allahu Akbar" printed in the center.
  • Quickly put up the posters throughout Iran, including on the walls of homes of the Basiji.
  • Develop an internal "Radio Free Iran." I would call it "Green Wave Radio." Broadcast for 1/2 to 1 hour per night, explaining the same information as on the leaflets. Move the broadcast location each night.
  • Avoid government agencies in whatever way possible.
  • In factories and offices, s-l-o-w the work down to a crawl...
If the brutality of the government continues during large protests, eventually an emotional fatigue and a sense of disempowerment will set in among the opponents. The government will then have a greater chance for success.

The opponents' leaders need to regain the upper hand. Now is the time to redirect the passionate energy that has grown over the past several days. Don't let the energy die! Simply recalibrate it for now because, when the time is right, large demonstrations will again play a role.

Then back off again. Redirect. Vary the methods. Nonviolent guerilla tactics are needed at this time - hit and hide, hit and hide, hit and hide.

With smaller, empowering methods, the Sea of Green can keep the government off balance. Eventually, once they recognize that their power is completely false and goes unheeded, they will capitulate.

Sea of Green, go for smaller victories. Empower yourselves! Never give up!


  1. Those are some good ideas. I'll be sure to pass them along.

  2. Thanks, Steve. I appreciate it. Feel free to visit regularly.


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