The People Reloaded
The Green Movement and the Struggle for Iran's Future
Edited by Nader Hashemi and Danny Postel
“A rich, consistently engaging anthology that makes an important effort to provide ‘an intellectual and political roadmap’ to understanding Iran’s tumultuous 2009 presidential election…” —Publishers Weekly
Since June of 2009, the Islamic Republic of Iran has seen the most dramatic political upheaval in its three decades of rule. What began as a series of mass protests over the official results of a presidential election—engendering the slogan “Where is My Vote?”—has grown into something much larger, indeed the largest political protest since the 1979 revolution.
The Green Movement has been described as “an Iranian intifada,” a “great emancipatory event,” a “grassroots civil rights movement a century in the making,” and “something quite extraordinary, perhaps even a social revolution.” What are the movement’s aims—are they revolutionary, reformist, or something else altogether? Does it have a chance of fundamentally changing Iranian politics or removing president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from office?
This momentous anthology explores these critical questions and others by assembling the key statements, communiqués, manifestos, interviews, and debates to have emerged from this vibrant social movement—many of which are translated and published here for the first time. This indispensable volume is the first to bring together the leading voices and key players in Iran’s Green Movement, providing an intellectual and political road map to this turning point in Iran’s history and a vital resource for the study of Iran, social movements, and the future of the Middle East.
“In bringing together these essential texts from and about Iran’s Green movement, Nader Hashemi and Danny Postel have opened the door for critical engagement with one of the most significant movements in the Middle East today.” —Orhan Pamuk, 2006 Nobel Laureate in Literature
“The editors of this collection have put together an extraordinary resource to help further the development of democracy and social justice in Iran. It brings together vital contributions to the debate about Iran’s future and invites all those concerned with this future to become active participants in its definition.” —David Held, London School of Economics & Political Science
“This anthology illuminates the ethical demands at the core of Iran’s Green Movement, one of the most vibrant and promising social forces on the global horizon. The People Reloaded plunges us into a defining conflict of modern political history: how nonviolent democratic resistance might succeed in the face of a repressive regime. Defeat often seems inevitable and change never seems to come fast enough. And then, all of a sudden, the dam bursts, time accelerates and nothing can stop it. This welcome volume provides an anatomy of how this process is unfolding in Iran today, whatever its eventual outcome.” —Simon Critchley, New School for Social Research
“Words, yes, words and justice and bodies–that’s all the Iranian human earthquake called the Green Movement has had on its side from the start of is peaceful insurrection. The bodies have been beaten and jailed and persecuted and the justice is a long time coming, but the words, the indispensable words that have always been at the heart of that country’s history, the words are finally available in one crucial and moving and thought-provoking book. Here is proof—as if Gandhi needed proof, as if King needed proof—that the people of Iran will prevail.” —Ariel Dorfman, playwright and author
“The People Reloaded: The Green Movement and the Struggle for Iran’s Futureincludes very insightful, informative, and original brief analyses by outstanding Iran specialists such as Asef Bayat, Ervand Abrahamian, Fred Halliday, Reza Aslan, Juan Cole, and Robin Wright. Readers may take their pick among numerous readable articles from inside and outside Iran and find new and varied views that shed much light on the genesis, development, and future of this important movement.” —Nikki Keddie, Author of Modern Iran: Roots and Results of Revolution
“For all those who are interested in the new shapes of democracy in our world, and who felt deep solidarity with the Iranian protests last year, and horror at their suppression, this collection offers precious insights into the historical sources and future potentials of this great movement.” —Charles Taylor, McGill University
“This anthology on the Iranian Green Movement is the most impressive collection of writings on one of the most inspiring and democratic movements of our time. This volume is a rare resource for anyone who is interested in the understanding of post-Islamist social movements.” —Ali Mirsepassi, New York University
“The events of June 2009 marked a turning point in Iranian politics. This timely collection of essays and articles is of capital importance not only for all those who take an interest in Iranian affairs, but also for students of democratization and of social movements.” —Houchang E. Chehabi, Boston University