ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Archive for June 2009

TOR and Beating State Repression.

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Timothy M. O’Brien has a very relevant article on TOR over at O’Reilly’s:

“Anonymous proxies are in the news this week as Iranians are using proxies outside of Iran to communicate information about ongoing protests to others within the country. I’ve received several queries this week from non-technical colleagues about proxy servers. Is it legal to run a proxy server? Does running a proxy server violate my agreement with my broadband provider? I decided to track down some experts and get some perspective on different proxy servers and the laws surrounding them. In this entry, I speak with Andrew Lewman, the Executive Directory of the Tor Project about Tor and I also get some legal guidance from Peter Eckersley of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
In this interview I ask Andrew to briefly introduce Tor and talk about some interesting useage statistics that show adoption of this anti-surveillance technology from within Iran. He answers a question about whether Tor is “unstoppable” and comments on the legality of running a Tor node. For the full interview, listen here. ”

The MP3.

Also see Measuring Tor and Iran.

And Tor bridges.

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30/06/2009 at 18:48

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Persepolis 2.0

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30/06/2009 at 13:52

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Rubber Stamp And Repression.

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No surprise really:

“Iran confirmed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president and said a row over his June 12 re-election was over, leaving opponents who cried foul with few options.

Iran’s top legislative body, the Guardian Council, said a partial recount on Monday had disproved complaints of irregularities by pro-reform opponents, who said the count was inadequate and that only annulling the election would do.”

Else where in Iran journalists are being locked up, as the Guardian reports:

“Iran’s media crackdown since protests over the disputed election earlier this month means more journalists are in jail there than in any other country, including China or Cuba, according to Reporters Sans Frontières.

The press freedom campaigning body said that more than 33 journalists were in jail in Iran, up from just a handful before 14 June, when protests over the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad began. Iran has leapfrogged China and Cuba, according to RSF.

At least 25 journalists arrested since the disputed election remain in prison, the Paris-based organisation said on Friday.

This clampdown has also seen Iran jump above Burma, which RSF claims has 14 journalists in jail, Eritrea, which has 17 jailed reporters, Cuba with 24 and even China, where 30 reporters – out of the 166 that RSF claims are imprisoned worldwide – are jailed. China was previously the biggest international jailer of reporters, according to RSF.”

Read more at RSF, What is going on in the silence of Evin prison?

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30/06/2009 at 01:07

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Matt On Stonewall And More.

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Matt over at ignoblus reminds us that it is the anniversary of Stonewall, June 28, 1969. Here’s a Beeb program on it.

I also recommend reading several of his posts, On Left and Right and Antisemitism.

this is meaningful because people often mistake all revolutionary tendencies for Left revolutions:

Here’s the trick about spotting the transformation into a white revolutionary movement: The piece that makes them the most revolutionary is anti-Semitism, because it creates for them a ruling class. The invention of a fake ruling class transformed a reform-oriented conservative movement into a revolutionary movement. Jared Taylor [editor of the white nationalist journal American Renaissance], for example, does not embrace the anti-Semitic theories that William Pierce [late leader of the neo-Nazi National Alliance] did. Taylor apparently worked in international finance at one point, and he doesn’t see himself as separate from that, despite the people railing at the banks and the Federal Reserve. It would be a mistake to call vanguardists and mainstreamers factions; they’re ideological tendencies, and they can both exist within a single organization.”

On the radio:

Leonard Zeskind looks at the white supremacist movement over the last 30-plus years, and the politics of the disparate groups that make up the movement–from neo-Nazi skinheads and Holocaust deniers to Christian Identity churches and David Duke. His book is Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement from the Margins to the Mainstream.

Hegemonic whiteness and anti-racist antisemitism:

“Matthew Hughey writes at RacismReview.com:
Moreover, in my doctoral work, “White Guise: The Common Trajectory of the White Antiracist & Racist Movement,”

I found that white male racists and white male anti-racists relied on strikingly similar racist worldviews. (For example, both groups relied upon and often accepted views of blacks and Latin@s as culturally or biologically dysfunctional and dangerous, while simultaneously treating racial “otherness” as a kind of “epidermal capital” which served as a temporary alleviation of their collectively-shared understanding of whiteness as “bland,” “boring,” and “meaningless.”) These shared dimensions of what I call “hegemonic whiteness” were solidified in the nation’s founding as a white male supremacist state. And while these racialized and gendered violent foundations may be invisible to most, their influence is continuously present among varied contexts of predominantly white male groups like white supremacists, American Legion outposts, and even some “white antiracists.”

Customers who bought this also bought:

So the USHMM shooter was apparently influenced by a book called Iron Curtain Over America. I hadn’t heard of this book, so it drew my attention.

On the Amazon page, customers who bought this book also bought an interesting list:

o The Synagogue of Satan probably needs no explanation
o James Petras’s antisemitic Rulers and Ruled in the US Empire
o Koestler’s bizarre The Thirteenth Tribe
o The Revolution: A Manifesto by Ron Paul
o Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid by Jimmy Carter
o And something called The Transparent Cabal”

Matt often finds stuff that the rest of us would miss, well worth a second read, finally on Sean Wallis’s racist “joke”.

Written by modernityblog

28/06/2009 at 00:00

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Heavy Hand

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The Iranian State used the security machinery, militia and bullets to put down the recent protests and in some ways they succeeded, in the short term.

However, the situation in the medium to longer term is not so rosy, the very legitimacy of Iran’s theocracy has been shown to be a sham, only held together by the use of force.

So we should expect more protests and more revolutions in the Middle East, when conditions permit.

These protests were just the first step in overthrowing the brutal regime in Tehran, and that must be the work of the people of Iran, and only they can truly succeeded.

Marg bar coupe d’état.

Update:
The BBC has a more considered and rather conservative view.

UPI see Ahmadinejad faces post-protest troubles.

Reuters highlights Iran bans Mousavi ally from leaving the country.

AP finds the dictatorship true to form, Dozens of journalists among jailed in Iran

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27/06/2009 at 13:34

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On Strike.

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This blog is on strike for the whole of the 26th June 2009 in support of Iranians facing a brutal crackdown by the theocracy over there.

Please read more at The Poor Mouth.

Semi-normal service will be resumed on the 27th.


Update:
More at Justice for Iranian workers

Update:

See Seismic for the case of Iason Athanasiadis.

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26/06/2009 at 01:23

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Whatever Happens?

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Bernard-Henri Lévy puts some strong arguments at Huff Post:

“Whatever happens, young people, who were believed to be enthralled by the principles of political Islam and who a month ago, upon Ahmadinejad’s return from Geneva, had supposedly planned a triumphal reception for the president-non-elect, will have said, loud and proud, with an audacity matched only by their political intelligence, that this president shamed them.

Whatever happens, there will be in Tehran, Tabriz, Ispahan, Zahedan, and Ardebil, millions of young people who in a matter of a few days will have become, like the timid Mousavi, in a sense larger than themselves–and will have understood that they could, with their bare hands, without provocation or violence, keep a power at bay.

Whatever happens, this extraordinary event–which is a miracle, as a popular uprising always is, and which was endowed under this circumstance with the blind mimetism and un-self-consciousness that is peculiar to the Angel of History when it thinks it is going forward, but is actually looking backward–will seem to have reproduced topsy-turvy the very scene in the same streets, surrounding the same barracks and the same shops, that was described thirty years ago by Michel Foucault, who never imagined that the real revolution was still to come, and that it would be the exact opposite of what he described.

Whatever happens, the people know, from this point on, that they are the people and that there is not a regime on earth that can remain in power against the people.”

Written by modernityblog

25/06/2009 at 17:50

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Had A Change Of Heart?

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John Simpson shows how the dramatic events and social eruptions in Iran have even touch previous supporters of the theocratic regime:

“He’s done some pretty dreadful things in his life, from attacking women in the streets for not wearing the full Islamic gear to fighting alongside Islamic revolutionaries in countries abroad.

And yet now, in the tumult that has gripped Iran since its elections last week, he’s had a change of heart.

He’s become a backer of Mir Hossein Mousavi, the reformist candidate who alleges fraud in the elections. He’s saved up the money to send his son to a private school abroad, and he loathes President Ahmadinejad.

He’s not the only one.

I had to leave Iran last Sunday, when the authorities refused to renew my visa. But before I left, another former senior Revolutionary Guard came to our hotel to see us.

“Remember me,” he pleaded. “Remember that I helped the BBC.”

I realised that even a person so intimately linked to the Islamic Revolution thinks that something will soon change in Iran.

The 11 extraordinary days I spent there was my 20th visit in 30 years. I’ve been reviewing the material we recorded, taking a second look at what was really going on.

I think that these last weeks may turn out to be as momentous as the Islamic Revolution I witnessed there 30 years ago.

The Revolutionary Guards with second thoughts illustrate some of the deeper forces driving a crisis which I believe could change Iran forever. “

Written by modernityblog

25/06/2009 at 14:34

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Selma.

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Selma in Tehren wrote this:

“Don’t let this fire die …

June 23, 2009 by From Tehran, with love!

I’m not a political activist or a theoretician. I judge the situation based on what I see and ‎read in the news. And I’m stuck here with a proactive frightened feverish head that I ‎can’t stop.‎

Last night nursing my bruised shoulder, I was thinking …‎

If we get the chance to stand up, if this movement is not suppressed at this stage, if things ‎continue as they are… What I fear most is that, we get used to it. ‎

That the world loses interest and this new shiny strange toy loses its novelty and ‎glamour… then… like what happened to many other struggles for freedom in other places ‎of the world, people would no longer even bother to follow the news, let alone supporting ‎the cause…‎

We need to have a plan … we need stronger, more experienced leaders for the movement ‎‎… we need the world to hear our voice and put pressure on the government to accept the ‎will of the Iranian people.‎

Don’t let this fire die … let everyone know what goes on here … ‎

Written by modernityblog

25/06/2009 at 01:45

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Daily Kos And Paid Thugs.

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The Daily Kos has good coverage and a piece taken from the Guardian:

“Newspaper Roozonline has an interview (in Persian) with one of the young plainclothes militiamen who have been beating protesters.

UPDATE: Robert says the man is paid 2m rial per day, which would be about £1220 for ten days of work. A hefty fee, even by UK standards. A reader writes: “You can imagine what that kind of money means to a villager from Khorasan”.

The Guardian’s Robert Tait sends this synopsis:

The man, who has come from a small town in the eastern province of Khorasan and has never been in Tehran before, says he is being paid 2m rial (£122) to assault protestors with a heavy wooden stave. He says the money is the main incentive as it will enable him to get married and may even enable him to afford more than one wife. Leadership of the volunteers has been provided by a man known only as “Hajji”, who has instructed his men to “beat the counter-revolutionaries so hard that they won’t be able to stand up”. The volunteers, most of them from far-flung provinces such as Khuzestan, Arak and Mazandaran, are being kept in hostel accommodation, reportedly in east Tehran. Other volunteers, he says, have been brought from Lebanon, where the Iranian regime has strong allies in the Hezbollah movement. They are said to be more highly-paid than their Iranian counterparts and are put up in hotels. The last piece of information seems to confirm the suspicion of many Iranians that foreign security personnel are being used to suppress the demonstrators. For all his talk of the legal process, this interview provides a key insight into where Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, believes the true source of his legitimacy rests.”

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25/06/2009 at 01:32

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Links of Iranian Links.

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24/06/2009 at 22:16

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Just Citizens?

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Just Journalism has an informed piece, Citizen journalism and the crisis in Iran:

“The restrictions on journalists

Since 13 June, thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets to protest against an election perceived to be fraudulent. The resulting restrictions on foreign journalists are intended to prevent the protesters from disseminating information inside Iran that will reach global audiences. While there have be no attempts to censor the words of reporters, they have been banned from attending the ‘unofficial’ demonstrations.

These limitations have been felt in several ways. Channel 4’s Lindsey Hilsum reported as early as 13 June for Channel 4’s ‘Snowmail’ blog, that journalists were being prevented from leaving their hotels. The BBC’s John Simpson was briefly arrested, Tim Marshall reporting for Sky News had his Press Card revoked, and the BBC’S John Leynes was ordered to leave the country.

Another form of blocking the international media soon emerged, as the flow of information became obstructed in both directions. Peter Horrocks, Director of BBC’s World Service explained the disruption experienced by BBC viewers as being caused by “heavy electronic jamming of one of the satellites the BBC uses in the Middle East to broadcast the BBC Persian TV signal to Iran. Satellite technicians have traced that interference and it is coming from Iran”. It is clear that the Iranian government was doing all it could to prevent foreign journalists from covering the election protests for the outside world.

The result of these limitations has been that the information being presented to audiences in the UK has come largely from Iranian citizens themselves, who have been documenting events as they happen with the technology available to them. This reliance on ‘citizen journalism’ has implications for the way news is read and viewed by UK audiences.”

Written by modernityblog

24/06/2009 at 17:42

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Flesh Coverage.

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Flesh is Grass’s coverage is much more in-depth and informed than my feeble efforts:

“In Iran things are the opposite of subsiding. We learn that the election was rigged, with more than 100% turnout in many regions. This assessment is based on the Iranian government’s own data. They are a living insult to their people, and they are not even attempting to hide this:”

and
Reports that Ahmedinejad came third

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24/06/2009 at 03:09

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Iranian Links More.

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24/06/2009 at 02:18

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Iran YouTube

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Here’s another YouTube channel with plenty of footage of events in Iran.

Or see their site http://www.citizentube.com/

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24/06/2009 at 00:58

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