This site is Markos's and he can do what he pleases with it. If he doesn't want to change the site green, he doesn't have to change the site green. But he should stop patronizing all of us who give a damn about the situation in Iran and want to try to figure out a way to help, and he should certainly stop comparing us to Al-Quida.
This is not your fathers Iranian revolution. The year is not 1979. It's also not 2008. The protestors are not shouting death to America, they are shouting death to the dictator. They are a group of young progressive Iranians who are not just trying to get rid of Ahmenejad, but trying to get topple the whole Islamic Regime. And they are asking for our help.
There's a reason why most of the protest signs you see in pictures at rallies are in English. There's a reason why a number of the opposition sites are in English. There's a reason why Iranians are Twittering in English.
Their protests are not just about being heard in Iran. It's about being heard across the world. It's about informing the international community about the way the people of Iran feel. They are doing this because they want the people of the world to help them. They are asking us to help them spread their message, because their accounts are being suspended and their websites are being shut down. They have called out for people of the world to protest Iranian embassies in their own countries. While we don't have an Iranian embassy in the US, protests have be popping up across the country. They are mostly led by Iranian ex-patriates, but whenever there are people there who are not of Iranian descent, they welcome their support with open arms (as my friends who have been have told me).
While this revolution is being fought on the street, it is also being fought on the internet like no other has before it. This enables all of us sitting on our ass in America to help then Iranians if we choose to. Personally, I am not going to shut up just because I'm an American. I am going to do what I can to help the people of Iran, even if it's just in my own small way.
If you feel like I do, there are things that we have been asked to do that can help the Iranians and make a difference. Somebody has published a full list of simple steps you can take here. I'll highlight a few of these that I think are the most important.
- The easiest and one of the most important things you can do is if you have a Twitter, to change your time zone to GMT +3:30 and your location to Tehran. The reason for this is that security forces are searching for bloggers based off of their time zone and location searches. The more of us that list ourselves as Iranians, the harder it is for security forces to identify legitimate Iranian bloggers.
- This one requires you to be a little more web-savvy than I am, but if you have the ability to create new proxy addresses for Iranian bloggers, please do so. You can get these proxy addresses to the bloggers by sending them privately to @stopAhmadi or @iran09, and they will get distributed discreetly to bloggers who need them. Whatever you do, don't publicize the proxies or they will be blocked by security forces.
- Continue to get the word out. Take your lead from legitimate bloggers, and help spread good information and provide moral support.
The protesters are relying on help from the world, and watching to see what kind of support they get. If they are successful in achieving the reform they are looking for, I can guarantee they'll remember those who supported them along the way. And when it comes time for diplomacy with a new Iranian regime, they'll remember it.
UPDATE: For those of you who were asking how to set up a proxy, you can find info here. http://emsenn.com/... (h/t UnaSpenser)