About the Day
Nearly two years have passed since Iranians of all walks of life took to the streets to peacefully protest the disputed June 2009 election. As government authorities bore down on Iran’s citizens, shooting protesters point blank in the streets, arbitrarily jailing peaceful demonstrators, torturing detainees, and instituting politically motivated executions, the world craned its neck to watch the first of many movements sprout across the Middle East.
Today, many of Iran’s best and brightest – human rights lawyers, students, women’s, human, and civil rights activists, journalists, filmmakers – face extremely unjust prison terms for daring to voice dissent. Hundreds also endure systematic persecution, detentions, torture – and worse – simply for their faith, ethnicity or beliefs. And though the protests in Iran have lessened under the heavy hand of Iran’s authorities, the gross human and civil rights violations have only intensified.
With much of the world’s attention now focused on the Arab Spring movements across the Middle East and North Africa, the focus on struggles for human rights has turned away from Iran. However, Iran’s movement is continuing. Nobel Laureate, Dr. Shirin Ebadi, has compared the movement in Iran to a “fire under the ashes” with glowing embers that can re-ignite at any time. When the opportunity emerges, the movement will rise to meet it. The February 2011 demonstrations – during which at least two young protesters were killed – proved the strength and perseverance of the movement and surprised the IRI yet again.
Extreme pressure from the international human rights community has continued to affect positive developments, as evidenced by the UN Human Rights Council’s appointment of a Special Rapporteur to monitor the human rights situation in Iran.
In an effort to focus the world’s attention back to the escalation of human rights abuses in Iran since (and before) the disputed 2009 election, United4Iran encourages citizens worldwide to continue their tireless advocacy by remembering, renewing, and recommitting support for the Iranian people and their aspirations.
The goals and demands of the day can be found here.
In a 24/7 news cycle world, we often expect quick resolutions and immediate conclusions. However, as history has shown, movements take time. Momentum in movements is challenging to realize and sustain and takes patience, trust and determination. To ensure human rights are adhered to and sustained, grassroots activism and engagement is a necessity in every society.
Click here to read various ways to renew your efforts, suggested alternatives to rallies, and examples of actions from past Global Days of Action. The recommitment can be on any level: as an individual, a team, or an entire organization. Recommitting to the cause of supporting human and civil rights in Iran can be as simple as taking part in the online Pledge Drive or by hosting a full event for June 12, 2011.
If you or your organization is interested in coordinating an event, please e-mail us at email@example.com so we can share your plans with the world via the U4I calendar and Google map. Further information, materials, an event map, and more details about the day can be found on 12June.org. This will also be the site where videos, pictures, and reports from the day’s events will be posted.
Please share footage of your actions by e-mailing pictures or links to uploaded videos to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also include a short summary of your event, where it took place, who it was hosted by, and what was done.