Palo Alto and Stanford have seen a flurry of activity among Iranians since post-elections riots in the past several weeks.
A week ago today, over 100 Iranian- Americans met at Stanford to protest their native country’s recent presidential elections, using the Oval and Palm Drive as the rallying-center for Bay Area Iranian-Americans.
The protests were remarkably subtle, measured affairs, demonstrating the complicated nature of the uprising in Iran. Instead of unleashing wrath at the Iranian regime or targeting any particular enemy, the Stanford-based protesters chose to decry election fraud and the regime’s control over technology, NOT the Iranian regime itself. The Stanford protests, in other words, were a straight reflection of the protests within Iran.
This was a message carefully cultivated by the event’s organizers. The Iranian-American web portal Payvand event page and the Facebook event page included these blunt instructions:
* Please do not bring any flags of any kind
- Avoid anti-regime rhetoric–focus on the elections.
Both pages also made clear that the events were not sponsored by Stanford’s Persian Student Association, despite significant overlap between the group and the protests.
** Please note this event is NOT organized by Stanford Persian Student Association (PSA). I am merely using the PSA email list to inform all current and alumni Iranian students of such demonstration.**
This is not to say, however, that the protesters were in favor of the regime, either. The Mercury News reports, for instance, features the telling line:
Most of the Bay Area Iranians interviewed Wednesday asked that their last names not be revealed because they fear the Iranian governmen