Last Thursday, January 6, shortly after noon, some three dozen protesters with an overflowing internationalist spirit gathered in front of the Iranian embassy in Bogotá to let the representatives of the reactionary Islamic Republic of Iran know that “The eyes of the world are on Iran,” especially with regard to the situation of the political prisoners that it has in its clutches.
Carrying posters with the images and a brief story of some of the fighters on the front and designs from the campaign with text in English or Spanish on the back, as well as a couple of banners with enlargements of the ad that appeared in the New York Review of Books, the protesters chanted insistently for several minutes: “The eyes of the world are on Iran...,” “We demand from the Islamic Republic of Iran: FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS NOW!,” “We demand from the U.S. government: NO THREATS OR WAR MOVES AGAINST IRAN, LIFT U.S. SANCTIONS!,” while a couple of protesters wrote one of these slogans on the pavement.
After dispersing in groups as they had arrived, the protesters regrouped about three kilometers to the south in the Plaza de Lourdes, a park in the Chapinero sector that is visited by mainly foreign tourists. For more than an hour, the protesters circulated around twelve blocks of the sector while each one read from the poster that they carried about the case of the corresponding prisoner. After every three readings, they would stop while a speaker read excerpts from the Emergency Appeal or from the IEC [International Emergency Committee to Free Iran's Political Prisoners] statement “Eyes of World on Iran as JCPOA Talks Resume,” denouncing the nefarious “two historically outmoded strata” in Iran, and around the world.
During the whole route, several of the marchers interacted with pedestrians, street vendors and store employees, and on the whole were warmly welcomed, while in some cases they had to address questions about why the protesters were committed to a “far-off” or “other people’s” cause. It was a good opportunity to make clear how and why the freedom fighters in Iran are OUR people, and the cause of defending them (and their struggles) are OUR cause and should be embraced by many more people.
It was an afternoon full of internationalist fervor that was sparked the night before with a preparation session in which the participants in the internationalist action watched the documentary Nasrin, read various materials from the International Emergency Campaign, were infuriated by the murder of Heydar and worried about Baktash’s condition.1 Baktash’s death occurred only a few hours after this action. While his death was a hard blow to the participants who heard the news when they met to sum up the action, it also strengthened our sense of urgency to strengthen the Campaign more throughout Colombia.
Indeed, our eyes are on Iran and our hearts beat in unison with the hearts of the fighters in the Iranian prisons.