The critical situation of Iranian society and the prospect of an uprising and the overthrow of the clerical regime have reached such a point that the state media is compelled to admit it. On August 1, the state-run website Etemad Online, in an article , under the context of an Interview with a Researcher, addressed the issue of social media and the hashtag “#NoExecutionsInIran #اعدام_نکنید”. It acknowledged that while social media only connects people, what causes these protests is the explosive situation that is rapidly taking shape in Iranian society.
It also acknowledged that Iranian society is in a state of “uprising” and that any dissatisfaction would quickly turn into protests. The article reflects the explosive situation of the Iranian society. Translation of parts of the article is as follows:
“Etemad Online” state-run website -1 August 2020:
Any Dissatisfaction in Iran quickly turns into a protest / People take the risk of protest to fight for a better life
Collective actions and social protests are the results of social contradictions and feelings of relative deprivation, poverty and inequality or tyranny and authoritarianism, and illegitimacy. Therefore, it is necessary to pay more attention to the vital role of communication in the formation and functioning of social movements.
Digital communication networks are an integral part of social movements and street actions. Sometimes the pressure in cyberspace receives a proper response due to the fear of mobilization in real space …
Some mistakenly think that communication technology alone and without involvement of people can bring change, while communication technology serves as to link the people.
And what worries the proponents of maintaining the status quo and forcing them to repress or retreat is the bond between people in an autonomous space; That was, the case in the city or was the case by creating the hashtag “#NoExecutionsInIran #اعدام_نکنید”
Whether governments want it or not, the street is an undeniable part of the protest. Social media not only does not prevent people from going to the streets, but it also facilitates them to be in the streets.
The governments must decide, either to allow for a legal street protests or wait for the streets to be occupied by the people.
When the crisis pervades the existing structures, when corruption has advanced to the Peak of Damavand, when poverty and inequality have doubled sufferings of people, and the devaluation of the national currency has made the poor poorer and the rich richer, when the disgusting smell of discrimination, has made a society hateful, it is not difficult to predict the future.
Uprisings are the product of crises in people’s living conditions. It is an unbearable situation that forces dissatisfied people to protest. In fact, people’s distrust of governing institutions is an essential factor in protests and uprisings. People do not participate in protests for fun or entertainment; they take the risk to fight for a better life. In protest movements, the relations among the protesters is very important. Social media provides these links in the best possible way. But not to prevent them to go to the street, but on the opposite, to facilitate them to go to the street.
Whether virtual or real, every act is an exercise in creating an autonomous space and preparing for collective action and occupying the streets. Didn’t you see the protests of November 2019 just a few months ago?
Despite the persistence of crises and the inability of the governing system to reduce and resolve the current structural crises, collective action – both virtual and real – has no end; As I have said many times, the Iranian society is in a state of uprising until further notice.