Mission Free Iran was present for all three demonstrations in Washington DC on June 12, 2010 to commemorate the beginning of the ongoing uprising in Iran, to support the movement for freedom in Iran, and to tell the criminal Islamic Republic in Iran to go to hell.
The 11am demonstration, which was organized by Human Rights and Secular Democracy for Iran (a group that calls for secular democracy and referendum to determine the future governance of Iran*), was well-attended, loud and colorful.
While the main event was the participants’ vociferous calls for support for the people struggling in Iran and for an end to the Islamic Republic, there was plenty of interesting activity going on in the background: Iranian American Youth had arranged for several mobile billboards to drive back and forth on Wisconsin Avenue in front of the Islamic Republic’s Interest Section within the Pakistani Embassy. These billboards are very effective in catching the public’s eye and reminding them that the movement for freedom in Iran is alive and growing in its determination to achieve clear objectives: freedom and a secular and democratic form of governance.
Coincidentally, there has been a campaign ongoing for the past couple of weeks by an American religious organization, the American Values Network. Their campaign signage, which is controversial in some regards, has been posted on Metro buses and bus stops in Washington DC. Several Metro buses emblazoned with the below banner drove by during the protests on the morning of June 12:
The 11am protest was also treated to impromptu street theatre, jointly implemented by members of the Worker-communist Party of Iran (WPI) and several of the other participants attending the program. In the below video, Majid, dressed up as a mullah, dances around while miming the bashing, stabbing, beheading, and other violence that is done by the regime to members of the community. Subsequently, Saeed comes along and pretends to bop him on the head, bringing about the fall of the Islamic regime as embodied by Majid-the-Mullah. As the Islamic regime (Majid) lies collapsed the ground, others in the crowd pretend to stomp on him or skewer him with their flag poles. Shir-o khorshids and random papers are laid across the defeated regime:
During the 11am protest, an announcement was made that the Seda O Sima (National Iranian Radio & TV Broadcasting) Building had been taken over. A wave of emotion swept through the entire crowd upon hearing the news, and tears rolled down many a cheek. However, it was later learned that Seda O Sima had not fallen into the hands of the opposition.
Also during this protest, the crowd chased off a lurking representative of the Islamic regime, as can be seen in this video (must be logged into Facebook to view). When this guy came back out after most of the crowd had gone on its march, Saeed from WPI pulled out his camera and basically told the regime agent to smile pretty for the camera because his photo was going to be posted for the whole world to see who is working for the murderers of the Islamic Republic.
While the organizers of the 11am protest led their group on a march to the White House, Mission Free Iran stayed behind to continue demonstrating in front of the Islamic regime’s headquarters in the United States, while waiting for the 2pm protest organizers to arrive. The Secret Service police assigned to the demonstration site for the day kept asking us how much longer we were going to be there. We had to let them know in no uncertain terms that we were not going to leave the Islamic regime alone for one minute on that day: we would continue our protest.
At around 2pm, the Washington Left Alliance arrived to begin their protest. This group was fired up and it showed in the chants and in the signs that they brought. Also during this protest, Majid-the-Mullah was resurrected, this time in a critique of the reformist movement. He wrapped himself in a Mousavi-green cloth, to show that a “reformed” Islamic Republic is fundamentally the same thing as an “unreformed” Islamic Republic, just with green color instead of black (people attending this protest demand a secular and democratic form of governance in Iran and will not accept a so-called “reformed” Islamic Republic):
At one point, there were demonstrations against the regime on both sides of the street, as the Left Alliance wrapped up their protest and Solidarity Committee/Iranian American Youth began theirs. As promised, the Solidarity Commitee/IAY (green) protest did include signage that stated “No to theocracy, Yes to democracy!” and these signs were taped prominently to the lead vehicle for the green protest, indicating that the organizers of the event have taken responsibility for endorsing the idea that theocracy should be brought to an end in Iran. Unfortunately, we missed the opportunity to coordinate chants on both sides of the street – next time we’ll try to make that happen, to really shout down the Islamic regime! The video clip below shows the actions against the regime on both sides of Wisconsin Avenue:
MFI left the scene of protest at about 4:15pm, as the green protest was getting ready to start their march to Freedom Plaza.
All in all, it was a successful day full of protest against the Islamic Republic, and in support of our brothers and sisters in Iran who continue to struggle, suffer, and die for their freedom.
* Note: MFI has characterized the organizers of the 11am protest as being primarily monarchist/nationalist. We received a request to revise our designation of this group as follows: “Our group is firm in pursuing a complete separation of church & state for Iran, & also the establishment of a Secular Democracy in Iran by way of a just & democratically executed Referendum in Iran.”