by Denise Romano
The “Internet Uprising”
This is a whole different kind of revolution.
For Mehdi, whose last name is not being used for his protection, 27, this type of change is the first of its kind. “This is the first internet uprising, and from now on we are going to have these,” said the Iranian-born Mehdi, who now lives in New Jersey. “The (Iranian) government is killing themselves trying to shut down internet sites and e-mail, but the news is still coming up and people are getting it out.”
He mentioned the surrealism of reading Tweets about dorms getting attacked in real-time. “Imagine if people had iPhones in the streets and were twittering as it happened right then,” he said, adding that one percent of Iranians have access to the internet, and that word of mouth is also spreading the news. “This is what is going to happen. You will have so many pictures from one event that it can be put together into one big picture. It’s amazing.”
A New Type Of Protest
As for the ongoing situation itself, Mehdi does not approve.
“I think its horrible, any kind of violence is horrible, even if basic,” he notes. “It should not be allowed. Far more people are dying, and it is not good.”
But Mehdi does approve of U.S. President Barack Obama. “I think he is the smartest man in America right now,” he said adding that the US should not be meddling in other countries’ affairs right now. “What he is doing is the best anyone can do: letting Iran decide their own fate.”
The Iranian media is claiming that the resistance is being backed by other countries. This is obviously false. “They say that there is fraud because they (Ahmedinejad) won,” he points out. “But if nothing is going wrong, why is everything being kept secret? Just the fact that they are blocking other media is fishy. If you haven’t done anything wrong, you shouldn’t have anything to hide.”
He said the government had a horribly planned coup d’etat and it failed. “Each step they take is in the wrong direction and it is backfiring on them,” he said.
But some good may come out of the situation.
“These protests are going to become a symbol and a new way of protesting all over the world,” he said. “Maybe someday people in China will come out and sit, not doing anything. The power of silence has opened a lot of doors for a lot of countries. They are actually doing something by doing nothing.”
He also said that the protests are getting less and less violent, because you can’t just shoot or hit people who are not saying or doing anything. “The fact that there is a color – green- has added so much value to the protest,” he said. “It is a symbol to all the people.”
The Power of Not Saying Anything At All
Mehdi also said that he doesn’t think this is a revolution.
“What this crowd is for has nothing to do with overturning the government,” he said. “They are here to have an Islamic Republic of Iran. They want a Republic not a country. We are very proud of being Iranian. We want to be Iranian first, then Muslim.”
Mehdi then said that charismatic leaders Mousavi and Obama are using the same strategy that seems to be working – silence. “Mousavi is saying ‘They are killing you, so stop hurting them back and they will stop’ and Obama is saying ‘Don’t go interfere with someone else’s country,’” he said, adding that both leaders are using their power correctly.
Mehdi feels that in order for this to continue, everyone must unite. “People from all parts of the world are participating and that is amazing,” he said. “Having this voice and support is what brought this nation together.”
For more news, follow Mehdi on Twitter, @OnlyMehdi.