Eclipse of hope: quick notes on Iran’s final sequence of 2019

by Shiva Tabari

40 days after the November Massacre, families that had lost their loved ones called for a national demonstration – a national mourning for those who we lost. At first it appeared to be an action which could bring solidarity between the different class projects, but soon the poor middle class, which is active in social media, spread the voice of some families whose main concern was political freedom and who had a clear affinity with some royalist opposition groups outside Iran. It was very hard to find a voice in the social media that significantly included the issues of the autonomous subaltern people. Although the poor middle-class families, that had lost one of their members, called for demonstration against Dictatorship, Censorship, Islamic laws and Corruption, nobody talked about the horrible fact that more than 50% (40 million) of our compatriots are under the poverty line and more than 4 million are under the starvation level. Systematically, the concerns of these people have been ignored.

On the other hand, the Islamic Republic was very active after the November massacre. They arrested many activists and kidnapped many families. In one case, they kidnapped a whole family which was active in social media – parents and their children (even their 11-year-old boy) and their relatives After the November massacre, the Islamic Republic agenda is also murdering activists. Every day, we hear in the social media that a dead body has been found in a dam, river or lake around different cities. Some university students have been mysteriously found dead in their dormitory or in abandoned buildings. It was clear to the people that they will face huge suppression in the demonstration of 26th of December, the ‘40th day after November massacre’.

On 26th of December, the Islamic Republic used all of its military power: police forces, more than 1 million para-military Basij forces, who are well trained for suppressing revolts, Revolutionary Guard Corps and the National Army. The Octopus, stretched his many arms and took control of almost every district in every city. Most of the demonstrations were quickly suppressed and, as in November, many people were arrested (there is no report of killed people yet).

26th of December was a day that people in Iran not only watched an eclipse of the sun, but also the eclipse of their hope for emancipation. Certainly, there are many reasons for this deadlock. Part of it is due to the powerful police state that has been created by the Islamic Republic, and another part would be the lack of solidarity or any kind of effective collaboration between the project of the poor middle class and the project of the autonomous subaltern people. In fact, all the class projects lost their hope in reaching their goals: the poor middle class faced its inability to form a powerful alliance against the ruling class, the subaltern people faced their loneliness in their life crisis and struggle to take control of means of subsistence, and the ruling class faced this reality that they have no connection with the people. On the night of 26th of December, after a stressful day for Ayatollah Khamenei, he tweeted hopelessly:

“The first-rate factor in the Soviet dissolution was their separation from the people. They had nothing to do with their people. There was no relationship between the Soviet leadership and the people. That is, their leadership couldn’t count on the people.

In a situation where the Islamic Republic is facing hard sanctions, their regional rivals (Israel, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain) are doing everything to destroy them, people in Lebanon and Iraq don’t want their puppet states, and even their own people are preparing to make a revolution against them, who can they count on for help? Who can give them hope or help them to regain their confidence? Russia and China. Today (12/28/19) Iran, Russia and China will start their joint naval drill in Gulf of Oman and northern parts of Indian ocean. A big international victory after a big national defeat.