Critique, Not One More Execution

Question for Journalists Who Refused to Give Voice to Call for Strike in Kurdistan

by Maria Rohaly

(UPDATE: Scott Lucas responds and discussion continues here)

I have been disturbed to notice, over the past few days, that there has been no media coverage of the very significant all-Kurdistan call to strike in response to the May 9 2010 executions of the beloved Farzad Kamangar, Shirin Alam Hooli, Farhad Vakili, Ali Heidarian and Mehdi Hosseinian.

We are all aware that the mainstream mass media is driven by interests different from pure news coverage so we are not surprised by their failure to cover even a significant event like the call for general strike in Kurdistan. But I have been surprised to note that Iran news and analysis mainstays Enduring America and Street Journalist have studiously avoided mention of the call for strike in Kurdistan.

Without speculating as to the reasons for the omission of coverage, I have posted the below question to our friend Scott over at Enduring America and will eventually post similar to Street Journalist:

Dear Scott,

You may have asked, regarding the executions of May 9, “But what will the response be inside Iran?” But it seems that you are not interested in reflecting some of the most significant responses from inside Iran in your pages.

Although you are aware of a very significant response to the executions of May 9 from Kurdistan – a call for general strike in Kurdistan, issued by an organization with known capabilities to organize and mobilize the population – you have studiously omitted any reference or mention of this strike in your pages.

This call for general strike – a nonviolent action that is in direct response to and in protest of the executions – is a significant, organic, grassroots action. It is issued from an organization that belongs to the people and not by “leaders” such as Mousavi, which people would never have chosen for leadership had he not been ordained by the current regime. If successful, this action could change the course of the ongoing movement for freedom in Iran. We all understand the significance of a successful general strike in Kurdistan.

Yet, while you conduct pre-event analysis for every “green”-related event day (e.g., 22 Bahman, and now June 12), you have pursued your work in these pages as if a significant mass-movement in reaction to the May 9 atrocity, in the form of a general strike, was not being planned and implemented. Yesterday, as it was being reported elsewhere that leaflets about the May 13 strike were covering Kurdistan, and that the government was bringing in additional repressive forces to dampen the strike’s effects, you ignored it.

Your readers, not to mention the people of Kurdistan, deserve an explanation for your careful omission of coverage of these significant events.


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