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Though this current regime may even one day come to a blistering end, I fear the worst for what may come next while there’s no true direction.

By Shadi Bozorg The progression of events leading up to Iran’s Dec. 2017 into Jan. 2018 protests cannot be described in simplified terms. Easy as it is to tweet messages of support for the freedom-fighters in the streets, it’s vital to comprehend what’s really going on. As always, there’s much more to these protests than what the media has chosen to show us. As the days have unfolded, I, a woman born in Tehran currently living in Canada, have been struggling with how to feel about it all. My first seriously bad gut feeling kicked in as soon as the Trump administration became a sudden fan of the same Iranian people they’ve repeatedly banned from entering America. One wonders what motives really exist there, but war happens to come to mind first. The history of Iran’s politics is deeply complicated and often misrepresented. Like any country, corruption has existed in the creases of the nation since it’s conception. However, since the downfall of the Shah (The King) and the uprising of an Islamic regime run by Ayatollahs and Mullahs, the people of Iran have lived without any true liberty. The Shah’s regime was as unethical as any nation led by a King can be, but the uprising against him created an opening for an even more deeply corrupt, silencing, and ruthless leadership to be put in place. The Islamic Republic of Iran was born in 1979 and continues on today. Countless people were murdered, tortured and put in jail fighting against the new rule, but they ruled nonetheless. Today, Iranian citizens are no longer willing to accept the current landscape; prices of food are at all time high, unemployment is at record levels, and life has become increasingly more difficult to sustain. Despite the government’s ruthless and well-known torture tactics and murder rates, an uprising has come underway. This has been viewed as a virtuous change on the horizon, hope for a better future.

Facing political instability on its anniversary, Black Lives Matter presents an energetic new game plan.

After fours years of rapid national expansion, the future of the Black Lives Matter movement is uncertain. The 2016 presidential election of Donald Trump and the concurrent Republican sweep of Congress radically transformed the national political landscape. And for advocacy organizations like the Black Lives Matter Network, the prospect of garnering nationwide policy change has plummeted. In the first half of this year, the organization has spent much time recoiling from this conservative revolution. Both the Washington Post and BuzzFeed have reported a slowdown in BLM street protests. And in a recent NPR interview, Black Lives Matter network co-founder, Patrisse Khan-Cullors referred to the movement’s national prospects as “devastating.” However last week, on its fourth anniversary, the BLM Network took account of the movement’s victories to date and articulated a robust new game plan for operating in Trump's America moving forward. In the 55 page report, organizers sketched out how a localized, intersectional agenda can keep the movement’s momentum going during this time of political uncertainty.

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