Friday, June 11, 2010

Paris group announces human chain for June 12 anniversary

In a video posted to YouTube, the Paris chapter of Where Is My Vote announced its intention to organize a human chain of green-clad, masked protesters to mark the anniversary of the June 12 disputed election and honor the faceless political prisoners being held in the Islamic Republic's jails.

The short film shows the preparations for Saturday's event which will begin at the Mur de la Paix (Wall of Peace art installation, southeast of the Eiffel Tower) and extend to the Invalides at 2PM, June 12, 2010.

In a tongue-in-cheek reference to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's claim that the Islamic Republic is the freest democracy in the world and that any legal group can obtain a permit to stage a demonstration, the video begins with one of the group's members going to the Paris police headquarters. He exits a short while later, holding up his fingers in a V sign and brandishing a permit for Saturday's protest. 'It says we can do everything. Wear masks, make a human chain, expose Ahmadinejad,' says the organizer.

'Who said it was difficult to get a permit in France?' asks the cameraman. 'Ahmadinejad,' responds his associate. 'They said, wear masks, hold hands, and go all the way from the military school to Invalides.'

View Paris - protest - 2:00 PM - 12 June 2010 in a larger map

The organizers are then shown distributing and posting fliers around the city -- from crepe shops to rug stores to telephone booths.

Where Is My Vote has been particularly active over the past year and has launched spectacular protests. In the lead-up to the February 11 anniversary of the revolution, they splattered the IRI embassy with green paint and famously heckled a garden party organized by the Islamic Republic's embassy which led His Excellency the ambassador to get into a scuffle with French police. In August, they covered the windows of the Iran Air office with stickers bearing slogans against the Islamic regime:

Iranian film among Democracy Challenge finalists

A young Iranian director's short film has garnered enough votes to be among the 18 finalists of the Democracy Challenge competition, organized by the US government and featured on YouTube. The film with the greatest number of votes by midnight, June 15, 2010, will be declared the winner of the challenge to create a short video that completes the phrase 'Democracy is...' and will be awarded with the chance to meet industry insiders, democracy activists, and government leaders in Washington DC, New York, and Los Angeles.

Farbod Khoshtinat, 21, entered the competition with a short film called 'ATTN: Mr. Democrat.' He is currently one of the front-runners, but needs more votes to win the challenge.

Khoshtinat, aka Fred, attended the 'Seda-va-Sima' high school where he obtained a degree in cinema. He graduated from Tehran's University of Applied Science and Technology (Elmi Karbordi) in 2007.

After founding Persian Underground Cinematic Arts, he directed the wildly-successful video of 'Ye Mosht Sarbaz' (Bunch of Soldiers) by rapper Hichkas in 2008. The regime's radio-television used a short segment of the clip in a propaganda program which compared rappers to drug-addled Satanists:

Director Bahman Ghobadi called on Khoshtinat's talents to edit all the video clips in 'No One Knows About Persian Cats' which won the special jury prize in the Un Certain Regard category at the Cannes film festival last year.

His short film 'ATTN: Mr. Democrat' features animation by Taraneh Golozar and a beautiful score by Shahin Pajoom.

To help Khoshtinat win the Democracy Challenge, please vote in the following manner:
Sign In to your YouTube account
Go to
Click on VOTE, search for ATTN: Mr. Democrat
Click on green thumbs up to vote

A new video of Neda's death

A new video posted on the Internet shows the last moments of Neda Agha Soltan. It also provides a fleeting glance at the face of the person -- a balding, gray-haired man -- who filmed the original footage of her death.