The bells are tolling DANGER in Iran. The earth trembles and corruption at every level of government is killing us. We Iranian citizens are the sole victims of every natural disaster. Our homes crumble in every earthquake. We die every day on dangerous roads. We are left to burn in the ravaging fires in precarious buildings. Even the air has been arrested and forbidden for us to breathe. But they who sit in their luxury high-rises, live long. Our oil fattens them, as they accumulate more wealth through illicit and violent means. Day by day our national natural resources are devastated as we, the people sink into a crippling economic crisis, unprecedented poverty, personal insecurity, national corruption, political irresponsibility, and meaningless, ridiculous slogans that bring nothing but more misery to the people of Iran. Our national sovereignty is reduced to a circus run by feckless and ruthless leaders who arrogantly instigate international animosity towards us. They cunningly employ the process of democracy to mock democracy. They bend and manipulate the election process by bending it to gain greater power and thus humiliate us. In each election campaign, we the citizens are treated like ignorant buyers who must not ask questions and demand no guarantees.
Throughout humanity’s social and political history, the emergence and growth of every uprising is based on three principles:
1. Bodies coming together,
2. Inquiry and examination,
3. Imagination and visualization.
From the suffering laborers of China and Babylon to the slaves of Egypt and Rome, from the peasants of Cuba and Mexico to the workers of Spain and Iran, the similarities among these suffering bodies that have shaped human uprisings is indisputable. Their unity is the most natural first line of defense instinct against tyranny. The continuous gathering and movement of bodies in unison is the first and strongest step towards change. But what will move these unified bodies forward? Inquiry? Questions?
Wherever and whenever human beings are jailed, exploited, and subjected to discrimination and contempt, they lift their gaze and ask themselves and others: Why? Why are we chased and hunted like animals? What is the reason for this inhuman cruelty? Why do they torture us? Why do they kill us daily under whatever pretext that suits them? This questioning, which is the essence of rationality, pushes these interconnected bodies forward, and leads them towards a constructive visualization: imagination is the most valuable and unique human asset. It is like a rain. It cannot be jailed or stopped. It will seep in, cleanse, nourish, and create a new landscape.
We Iranians, have long been searching for one another. Now we have found each other in the streets, in the factories of pain, in the offices of suffering, at the universities of suffocation, and in our frozen schools. At times, there were those who wanted to lead us, or be led by us; then others befriended us in order to abuse us. We looked at our past with regret and grief. After a century, we have finally learned that an effective and powerful uprising has no need for either a leader or a savior. What we need in our struggle against tyrannical domination is perseverance, human dignity and strong organization.
Today, the bells of Iran are tolling ALARM. They toll to bring our bodies together. All of us, regardless of ethnicity, nationality, religion or color.
We demand life, not war.
We call for dialogue and respect, not silence.
We ask for memory, not amnesia.
We seek dignity, not insult or humiliation.
We rise up for freedom, not repression.
We want democracy, not an illusion of it.
We seek justice against tyrannical dictators.
Some Signatures: Paul Auster, Antonio Gamoneda, Margo Glantz, Esmail Khoi, Eduardo Milán, Mario Bellatin, Siri Hustvedt, Pierre Joris, Jerome Rothenberg, Charles Bernstein, Elsa Cross, Sholeh Wolpe, Mohsen Emadi, Omid Shams, Reza Ghassemi, Shahriar Mandanipour, Ángel Guinda, Manuel Martinez Forega, Agustin Porrás, Dariush Arjmandi, José Angel Leyva, Philippe Ollé-Laprune, Benjamin Mayer, Pablo Soler Frost, Frédéric-Yves Jeannet, Safaa Fathy, Ahmad Yamani, Mihaela Moscaliuc, Michael Waters, Louise Lawler, Payam Fotouhiyehpour, Ali Asghar Fardad, Saeed Yusef, Masud Noghrekar, Artoro Loera, Sylvie Debs, Lyn Coffin, Guadalupe Nettel, Edward Telles, Rodolfo Mata, Ron Silliman, Peter Straub, Seb Doubinsky, Antoni Casas Ros, Luna Miguel, Jarkko Tontti, Saghi Ghahreman, Masud Tufan, Sepideh Jodeyri, Trinidad Ruiz Marcellán, Ismael Santos, Jennifer Mackenzie, Jared Schickling, Mary Jo Bang, Rob Stafford, Laurent Maindon, Pete Jordan, Reuben Woolley, Bjarne Kim Pedersen, Pouya Azizi, Nasrin Madani, Naeimeh Doostdar, Sasan Amjadi, Ursus Sartoris, Panos Bosnakis, Diana Naecke, Risto Niemi-Pynttäri, Mercedes Luna, Antoni Sanchiz, Isabelle Ingold, Jennifer Langer, Hossein Dowlatabadi, Catherine Davidson, Jeffrey Ruoff, Jorgen Mikkelsen, Mario Domínguez Parra, Rosamaría Bolom, Suzanne Roberts, Scott Ezell, Joyce Davis, Tom McColl, Eloísa Otero, Giorgio Lavezzaro, Irena Corsini, Manouchehr Dousti, Roozbeh Asadian