Wednesday, October 28, 2020

The Relativity Of Breath – A Juxtaposition

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Islamic Republic's impudence has taken aback many Iranians who don't understand how shameless Khamenei and his thugs must be to ignore and refute all facts and incidents happening in Iran but talk about police brutality in the US.

May 25, 2020 has become a date to remember! Not only in the US but surprisingly, in Iran too. George Floyd would have never imagined his death would be a turning point in policing in many US cities, even Congress is drafting a bill for police reform, and Islamic Republic would try to take advantage of his death to bash US! However, Islamic Republic’s impudence has taken aback many Iranians who don’t understand how shameless Khamenei and his thugs must be to ignore and refute all facts and incidents happening in Iran but talk about police brutality in the US.

In this article, we try to compare the 12-day protests (May 26- June 6) in the US with November 2019 protests (Nov 15-19) in Iran. Death of an African American caused both peaceful and riots in the country. But in Iran, sudden gas price hike was the last straw for many to take on the streets. In US, Many politicians, officials including House and Senate representatives and media outlets support the protesters. However, in Iran, ALL officials and media called protesters “thugs, hooligans, and agents of the enemy.”

US Protests (May 26- June6)Iran Protests (Nov 15- Nov 19)
Days125
Cities Involved500+ (of 4727)190 (of 1245)
Protesters Died17+Amnesty International: 304 incl 23 children
Reuters: 1500+
International Human Rights Org: 450+
United Nations: Based on unconfirmed reports: 400
June 1,2020, a parliament rep on TV: 224
Officers Died36
Injured1000+4000+
Arrests11000+7000+
Trump Tweets About156
Khamenei Tweets About105
Officials, Media PresentationMany0
Internet Blackout0All over the country
Media Blackout0All over the country
Live Foreign Media Coverage74+0
Protests in Other Countries510
Tweets are counted in the same time-period as mentioned for protests. Khamenei tweets are counted in both his Farsi and English accounts. Threads are considered one tweet. (+) means the exact numbers are not known and reports have mentioned “at least”.

US PROTESTS

May 25, 2020: George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American, dies while in Minneapolis’ police custody. A police officer kept his knees on George’s neck even after he shouts, “I can’t breathe”, which becomes the slogan for protests.

May 26, 2020: Protests begin in Minneapolis against racial disparity and police brutality.
The 4 police officers involved in George’s murder are fired. FBI investigation begin. Protesters vandalized some police cars and a few stores.

May 27, 2020: Protests spread to other cities across the country, including Los Angeles and Memphis.

May 28, 2020: Minnesota Governor orders National Guard to take control of the city and prevent more violence and vandalism. He said the protests have transformed to disrupting cities.

May 29, 2020: The police officer who killed Mr. Floyd is arrested and charged with murder.
President Trump calls looters “thugs” and warns them they may get shot.
Protests in New York City and Atlanta turns violent and clashes start when protesters threw bottles and rocks at cops in Brooklyn, NY. In Atlanta, they destroyed CNN headquarters. In Detroit, a 19-yo and 21-yo are killed in separate incidents. In Oakland, CA, a federal security officer is shot to death. In Kentucky a man is shot to death.
Canada PM says, Canadians are watching US in shock and horror!

May 30, 2020: Minneapolis Mayor says peaceful protests has turned into domestic terrorism and imposes curfew.
In Indianapolis a person is shot to death and 3 injured.
Iran Foreign Ministry condemns violence in the US and asks for “protesters’ voices to be heard” and repression of Americans to be stopped immediately.

May 31, 2020: Protests spread throughout the country, National Guard is deployed in more than 27 states to assist local law enforcement. Pepper spray and tear gas used to repel looters in several cities. Officers using “excessive force” against protesters are fired in different cities across the country.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry says “events in Minnesota exposes human rights problems in the US.”

Media presence and live reporting in US protests.

June 1, 2020: Two autopsies rule Floyd’s death as murder.
Trump threatens to use military force inside the country if protesters continue violence.
China urges US to eliminate racial discrimination and protect minorities.
Ghana President sympathizes with Floyd’s family and hopes for ever lasting change in US.

June 2, 2020: Mostly peaceful protests continue.
Germany FM calls on US for “press freedom”.
New Zealand PM says she’s “horrified” by Floyd protests and what’s happening in the US.

June 3, 2020: Pope Frances calls racism “intolerable” and violence “self-defeating”.

June 4, 2020: Protests continue across US and other countries.
Buffalo officers are suspended for shoving a protester to the ground.
Ireland PM expresses his “genuine revulsion” towards police’s violent response to protesters.
Netherlands PM calls Floyd’s death “unacceptable.”

June 6, 2020: Peaceful protests continue across US and the world.
The Buffalo officers are charged with assault.

IRAN PROTESTS

November 15, 2019: Government announces 200% increase in gas prices while denying the news the day before. That’s the excuse people needed to start protests. Ahvaz is the first city to spark the nationwide demonstrations. Ahvazis started protests by blocking roads.
Slogans are heard against Khamenei and the whole Islamic Republic regime.
Protests spread through the country. A couple of banks and gas pumps are set on fire.
The first person is killed in Sirjan in the evening.
At night, protests intensify in parts of the country, including Tehran.
Mobile internet is disrupted in a few cities.

November 16, 2019: “Mullahs must get lost” is chanted in Tehran and other cities.
Tear gas is fired at protesters by oppressing forces. Khomeini’s ring symbol is set on fire in a square in Shahriyar.
Oppressing forces start shooting at empty-handed protesters.
Protests spread to many other cities.
Netblocks confirms internet shutdown across the country. Officials admit to shutting down the internet “due to security reasons” and it’s “unknown when it will be reconnected.”
Reporters admit they’re under pressure to not covering the news.
Attorney General calls protesters as “thugs” and warns them they will be arrested.
Videos circulated on social media showing security forces shooting directly at protesters with live bullets. Witnesses say the same and confirm casualties on the videos.
Witnesses report killing of people in Behbahan and Marivan.
Schools are closed in big cities for 2 consecutive days.
Witnesses from different cities talk about more shootings, killings and injuries.
Videos and witness accounts indicate groups of “security forces” vandalizing and looting stores, banks and personal properties of people, blaming it all on protesters to have an excuse for crackdown.

Regime’s agents destroying personal properties and blaming protesters for it.

November 17, 2019: More than 1000 people have been arrested.
Death toll increases but nobody knows the exact number since there is complete media and internet blackout.
A group of parliament representatives prepared a draft to revert the gas price to what it was but Khamenei stopped them. Khamenei both made a public speech backing the decision to increase gas price and also send a secret message to representatives not to pursue their plan.
Reuters in an article published on Dec 23, 2019, report Khamenei had a meeting with high ranking officials and ordered “do whatever it takes to shut it down”. In the same report, quoting from its sources, Reuters writes more than 1500 were killed and more than 7000 arrested.
Local witnesses report direct shootings at protesters continue!
Students at universities in Tehran, Isfahan and other big cities join the protests.
All media are officially banned from reporting on the protests.
Khamenei calls protests as foreign agents and “thugs”.
White House condemns the killing of protesters.

November 18, 2019: Tanks and heavy weapons were brought to Mahshahr to quash protesters. DShK and machine guns are fired at protesters. According to some reports, 100 people were killed in that clash, many shot from behind.
Protests continue, 62 are confirmed killed. IRGC threatens protesters with serious consequences.
Vandalizing banks and government buildings continue in coordinated attacks throughout the country by a group of officers clothed in specific fashion.
IRGC and intelligence agents keep arresting people, including protesters, activists who were out on bail, students and so on.
16 bodies and about 100 injured are transferred to Kermanshah hospital, alone.
Khamenei’s banner is set on fire in different cities.
ICT Minister admits internet is shut down by the Supreme National Security Council’s order.

November 19, 2019: Footages of people shot in Kermanshah and Quds City are shared online.
Amnesty International confirms 304 deaths in the first 5 days based on verified videos and activists’ reports. It’s mortified that a “bloodbath” is happening behind internet shutdown and media blackout. It also reports more than 4000 injured.
UN voices concern over protesters’ lives (after 5 days).
Hospitals became a place for security forces to arrest injured protesters. They also would force families of victims not to interview with media, pay a hefty amount as “bullet money” and bury their loved ones in total secrecy.

Neither the instigating factor nor how the 2 governments responded to protesters could be compared, that’s how different the approaches have been. But that doesn’t stop Islamic Republic’s propaganda machine including Khamenei and the Foreign Ministry to paint a ghoulish picture from US and a merciful picture from the regime.

Media outlets and other countries officials were silent during 5 days that empty-handed Iranians were being slaughtered but the same officials can’t stop talking and praising violent protesters while condemning the US government for controlling looters and arresting aggressive protesters. Islamic Republic agents used the same tactics as prior protests in 2017, 2009,… but nobody paid attention! This was a concise article based on facts and numbers to show the hypocrisy surrounding international organizations and politicians who after days and months only voiced their “concern” over the brutal crackdown and massacring of Iranians!

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