09 Nov

Solidarity with the political communique of the art universities in Iran

Note: The XLII. Student Parliament passed the following resolution in the 1st ordinary session on 8.11.22. The AStA supports this resolution.

Since the death of 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish Jina (Mahsa) Amini in September of this year by the Iranian morality police, a variety of protests have been taking place in the country. What began as a political protest for women’s rights is now much more: a revolutionary movement that is united against the regime. In addition to the protests on the streets and in universities, the oil industry, various unions and civil society organizations (e.g. teachers’ unions, farmers’ associations, pensioners’ associations, etc.) have also been on strike for several weeks. The struggle for women’s rights is linked to the struggle of workers against exploitation, as well as to the struggle of many ethnic groups for equal rights. This can be seen, among other things, in the extension of the movement’s slogan “Woman, Life, Freedom!” by the workers, who also demanded “Work, Bread, Freedom! Elementary for the movement is that these demands are not competing, but interwoven with each other to denounce the overall system of the regime. For too long, the population has waited in vain for change through elections; nothing has changed. Therefore, the goal of the movement is: overthrow the government!

But the protesters are risking their lives through civil resistance. This is because the police, the Revolutionary Guards (Passdaran) and the paramilitaries (Basidj), guided by the ruling politicians, are using excessive force. Over 400 people have already been killed during the protests. Tens of thousands have been arrested. With each passing day, the level of violence against protesters increases. Students are particularly affected by this. As in 1979, the universities are the spaces of the revolution. Students smash symbols of patriarchal oppression, occupy rooms and block lectures. For this, they have since been officially declared enemies of the government.

“The demonstrators should not overwork the patience of the system. (…) We tell our young people once again: today is the last day of unrest. Do not come to the streets anymore” said the leader of the Revolutionary Guards on October 29. Since then, this threat has been put into practice: countless students are arrested, tortured, forced to confess, and brutally beaten during protests at and in universities.

But the students are not defenseless. They continue to collectivize, organize peacefully, despite the brutal violence they encounter.

The political communique from the students of various art universities is an example of this. We do not want to speak for them here, but share their communique – it speaks for itself!

Communique of art and architecture

There’s nothing left from the University you’ve built for us. Or rather, from the university you’ve destroyed. You’ve never had any influence in the construction of anything and will never have. Today we all know that talking to you is pointless. Someone who watches daily the deaths of young and hopeful human souls and still remains silent about it, will never be touched by words. From the Universities, only a corpse still remains. Our words now can be seen as the final nail sealing the University inside of a coffin.

However, other things have been destroyed: Your Authority.

We believe that good teachers can change the world and that not all of them deserved being called one. In the long and useless years of our education such teachers can be counted in one hand. Today as well, just a small number of them are on our side. Of these, many were taken to unknown locations or were physically assaulted. The rest of the faculty, who were never good teachers, could have used the opportunity to learn from their students, whose hearts are beating for humanity and humanitarianism, and to become good students themselves. Even many years after been guided by your sterile brains and policed by your filters there is something left of the idea and thoughts of the young people that they will leave the university not with a bachelor or master degree, but with a big “NOTHING”.

You have shown that you don’t care about society and you still call yourselves artists and thinkers and sign your writings with large letters. You, who come to class these days like faceless bodies, undisturbed by the presence of executioners in every classroom, undisturbed by the fact that life has been and continues to be extinguished.

The university is our space. It doesn’t exist without us. Just like you no longer exist. Our presence has always been far from violence, a presence to reclaim human values ​​and a presence for humanity. To this presence you have responded with the harshest forms of violence. Our fellow students, who are unable to leave this country since their passports were taken, are now also not allowed to enter the university campus. Our bodies are full of wounds from stunt guns, from batons, from the branches and from the torture of your feral thug squads.

What is the difference to look at a prison or at a university? Now that you no longer exist either, and no going back is possible. One day we will reclaim the university as our space. That day is not far away. We will never forget the blood of our loved ones. We now come from the mad Equator sun and will melt your meat cleavers.

Collective Statement by Iranian University Students in support of the more than 40 days of protests in the country, met by violent repression from the government:

  • University of Arts – Tehran
  • The Fine Arts University in Tehran
  • Art and Architecture Faculties at the Kurdistan University
  • Art Faculty at University Al-Zahra, Tehran
  • Persian Literature and Foreign Language Faculties at Alameh-Tabatabie- University, Tehran
  • Tabriz University of Islamic Art
  • Free Art and Architecture University, Suhanak
  • Art University, Isfahan
  • Art and Architecture University, Gilan

The XLII. Student Parliament of the TU Berlin has decided to support the political communique of the art universities in Iran. It would like to express its deep solidarity with the demonstrating students and all protesters who are currently risking their lives in the fight for freedom!

Furthermore, we hereby call upon the university administration of the TU Berlin to take a public position on the brutal events in Iran and especially those taking place at and in Iranian universities, and to join this expression of solidarity!

We also call on the German public to show solidarity with the protesting people in Iran and to participate in the protests taking place here!