Emergence of the Organization
The "Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran" (SMCCDI), which many also refer to as the "Coordination Committee", the "Student Movement", or simply "Daneshjoo" (meaning Student), has been founded in the latter part of the Persian calendar year 1376 (1997) by a group of political activists and students who believe and desire the national-populist and secular fundaments, who desire a modern and intellectual state.
The organization and its members, from the beginning, based one of their most important strategies upon stating the truth as a rule, regardless of self-interest even if it were to cost the short term enmity or disagreement of some of the regime’s opposition who had in practice forgotten their main duty and had been looking towards the reformists within the regime hoping for change. Ever since the start of its activities, the organization has had a main share in enlightening the populace by revealing the truth and in coordinating the entire student movement. It should be noted that despite many proverbial cast stones from those newly formed gangs, political as well as student opportunists, and a few low-etiquette reporters of the opposition, this organization, since its inception, has operated as a very successful force beyond the traditional framework of strictly student organizations and has almost acted as an organization for the spreading of ideas. Both domestically and abroad, the organization has been recognized as the director of struggle-related efforts on the worldwide scene. Without doubt, the countless articles written in the media abroad in which reference has been made to the views and activities of the Coordination Committee, especially in regards to the deplorable state of human rights in Iran, the importance of secular rule, the real reasons the Islamic Republic makes scapegoats out of America and Israel, and the condemnation of terrorism are noteworthy topics and their extensive in foreign media say a lot about the unbiased and neutral assessment of foreign journalists.
Since the beginning, the founders and members of the Coordination Committee have distanced themselves from the classic and common political partisanship that unfortunately exists among many of the opposition of the current regime. The organization has been aware of this point since the beginning that the students of Iran are the kinetic force of the freedom and democracy movement in the country and that sooner or later, after the illusory reforms from within the regime meet their certain fruitless end, the student movement with a reassessment of itself can bring about the widespread realization of democratic struggles, which will cause the other social strata to follow its lead on the scene of soci-political struggles in Iran. This belief, now proven in practice in many countries around the globe, is based upon two facts: first that the students are from a young and modernist, generation devoid of the negativity of prior generations and seeking their ideals, and second, that the ideals and frustrations of the students are indicative of the deep and hidden frustrations and disenchantedness of main strata of society. At certain times, as a result of being in proximity of one another, students can initially start a great movement in an academic setting and then make it spread on the entire social scene.
Therefore, it was necessary for the founders and members of the Coordination Committee to pay attention to, and provide intellectual and moral support for many of the students at the time who did not have the means or the necessary background information on struggle tactics and strategy. Furthermore, some students may have lacked sufficient political awareness, so that the possibility existed that they inadvertently become tools in the hands of some groups dependant upon the regime or to become a platform for the advancement of some strictly selfish people.
Also, this strategy became necessary due to the fact that the students, who comprise a very large segment of society stronger than one million in numbers, do not all have the same beliefs. Sooner or later, in order to attain true freedom, they must be made aware of modern and secular views, and to attain these goals they must be encouraged to participate in global movements that transcend the basic group movements. And also, from the beginning, one of the fundamental organizational rules revolved around the important point that by learning lessons from the experience and defeat of that which was once known as the Confederation of Iranian Students, which unfortunately led to the political victory of a fundamentalist class in Iran, its results must be avoided. Therefore, to avoid the incorrect outlook of prior student activists who had mostly pursued European philosophies of the past century or religious philosophies, the Coordination Committee based its beliefs upon nationalism and populism as a rule so that it would be at the forefront of the organization’s voluntary efforts. It was also requested of all members that they avoid tying this organization’s goals with any other organization.
As the student movement is a vast movement, another policy that was implemented was the avoidance of any kind of hero building as the symbol of all students and struggle-participants. Instead, all priorities were to be placed on strengthening liberating and constructive thoughts so that Iranians can obtain liberty and their desirable form of government ever sooner without anybody being able to take advantage of the circumstances in their name.
The Coordination Committee and its officials have stated time and time again that based upon the history of the political changes and the Cartesian logic leaned upon by regimes such as the Islamic Republic due to their ideo-religious and fascist characteristic on the one hand and their closed Mafioso-oligarchic structure on the oether, they have zero potential for political reform and are incapable of any kind of responsiveness to the legitimate demands of the nations under their rule and the future generations of these countries: demands for humane, countrywide, and even global concepts such as liberty, equality, democracy, modernity, social services, and the pursuit of national interests. Therefore, from the very beginning the Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran has very transparently stated time and time again that the policies of the Islamic Republic are deceitful, baseless, and strictly designed to mislead public opinion in the West and that the more this regime survives the heavier the burden of the Iranian nation while the wealth and capabilities of our country are plundered and destroyed ever more.
Along this line, while many of the political observer, and seemingly enlightened politicians had tied their hopes to the promises of the reformists from within the regime- who believe the religious regime should survive at any cost- and were trying to rationalize the existence of the religious regime domestically and abroad with baseless dialectics, the Coordination Committee and its known members repeatedly, in meetings and press interviews, emphasized that the country of Iran in the following months and years will be pregnant with many events in which the common root to all of them is the gradual awareness of the masses and the need for a strong movement in tune with the need to overthrowing the stone age religious regime with non-violent means in order to establish a free and enlightened society based upon the public vote through a national referendum under the observation of the United Nations.
Also, many times this assurance was given by the Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran and by its members that despite the religious beliefs of sections of Iranian society and the expensive actions of the widespread and influential propaganda machine of the regime, each day, more than before, the rule of the mullahs will lose its fake and make-believe legitimacy among more segments of society. Ultimately, due to the fundamental and ideological interests of the regime, which clashes with world advancement, the Islamic Republic will become a threat for the free world; therefore, with the materialization of pre-revolutionary conditions domestically, simultaneous with pressure from abroad, it will fall apart and be tossed into the trash bin of history.
The repeated and progressive statements of these positions, despite the claims and reactions at the time of some of the political and student organizations who were dependant upon the regime helped inform the public on the true nature of
the gullible people, the political players, the so-called domestic intellectuals, and- unfortunately- the tabiidi intellectuals who tended to the thesis of reforms from within the corrupt establishment, spreading the false notion that the possibility of reform of the theocratic establishment existed as they opened their proverbial political kiosks for business and continues to do so. The officials of the Coordination Committee have repeatedly through radio and satellite programs and also via many writings which are available widely and through the Student (daneshjoo) website and are [also] distributed through the sites email list, have stated that the religious regime uses these opportunists and/or gullible people strictly as a tool to prove its pointless claims in order to buy time, and that at the opportune time and when it feels danger, the regime will not hesitate to sacrifice them as well.
Also, pursuant to these efforts, the Coordination Committee has repeatedly stated that all political organizations that truly believe in democracy and national interests are in total opposition to the survival of the Islamic Republic in any form whatsoever. Therefore, all the true opponents of the clerical regime and its misleading religious technocrats, must base the main axis of their struggles upon secularism, national rule, intellectualism, and modernism, which include all the national desires, in order to speed up the struggle and to prevent the confusion of the masses. In order to attain these goals, they must create the necessary organized force- via civil disobedience- by ever sooner alerting the public opinion of the countries of the world and by creating a principled unity over these common goals in order to overthrow the theocratic regime and replace it with a government by the people.
During these meetings, the officials of the political committee of the Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran stated that in reaction to the Islamic Republic there are no more than two paths: the first path is to join this regime and become polluted in its criminality and thievery- this path was laid out in front of the gullible and the opportunists- and the second path is to create a fundamental change to wipe out the entirety of the regime and any proposed variant of it. The Committee and its members chose the second path, and in order to attain it, has tried from the very beginning and continues to be steadfast along this path.
Another struggle tactic of the Coordination Committee was to alert the strugglers for freedom, the freedom-lovers, and the disenchanted Iranian masses to their main identity and desires. Additionally, it was believed that to succeed, the people should be able to identify their compatriots. Along this line, the declaration of the existence of The Third Force is among the analyses that the Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran offered to the political strugglers and the nation of Iran in the fall of (the Iranian year) 1378. Today, pursuant to the predictions made back then, large segments of Iranian society, especially the university students, the youth, and other secularist strugglers, have found their popular struggle identity within the framework of this name, and therefore consider themselves a part of this force.
The clear understanding of the advantages and opportunities that have materialized in the technological world, and the utilization of its products, which has turned the modern world into a worldwide village, along with getting inspiration from the saying by Mikhael Gorbachev that if the Internet had existed dictatorship would never have lasted for 70 years in the Soviet Union, encouraged the founders of the organization to establish the Daneshjoo (student) website from the very beginning and through it and its widespread email lists, to continuously notify the political observers worldwide on the situation of the country and the struggles of the students of Iran.
Without doubt, the Daneshjoo (student) website, while documenting the beliefs and orders of the Coordination Committee, which has placed the dissemination of the news within the framework of the widespread activities of this organization was unprecedented in its category at the time and pioneer in its struggle strategy. In many cases, the site helped save the lives of and provided guidance to the political activists who participated in various demonstrations. The site helped close the sham voting booths of the regime abroad, and also caused various international reactions against the regime of the mullahs. And, the site will continue its unfettered support of student activists until the organizations mission of the complete overthrow of the Islamic Republic regime and the establishment of a true secular democracy are realized.
Some Highlights of the Organization's Activities
The Coordination Committee, since its inception, based upon its charter, has put its greatest effort in coordinating the struggles against the ruling fundamentalists, spreading awareness among the students, and alerting the international sources about the real situation in Iran. Without doubt, shattering the layers of doubt created by the Islamic Republic and the humongous propaganda organizations dependant upon the international oil profiteers of the political atmosphere in Iran- which were all fueled by the enourmous wealth of national resources of Iran- was no small task at hand. The members of this organization, since the beginning, saw to a structured struggle for a long term struggle against the ruling regime; and, the sharpest weapon in this struggle was the awareness of the Iranian masses and their ability to understand the true identity of their struggle. Along this path, various communication and news networks as well as think-tank and preparation groups were established domestically and abroad. It is noteworthy that the selfless support by radio stations and satellite TV stations abroad has been a great help in pursuing these goals.
The dissemination of awareness and popularity of secular democracy have helped condemn the fundamentalist and terrorist belief, helped create understanding and unity among political groups domestically and abroad through specific radio and television programs, and helped increase the awareness of the western public through participation in radio and television programs or the press such as CNN and NPR.
The setup of opposition demonstrations and various meetings domestically and abroad, the successful requests of boycotting the theatrical elections of the regime, the establishing and coordinating of speeches by some of the domestic students when abroad, the establishment of close-knit connections with international organizations such as Amnesty International and the United Nations, the various meetings with very influential officials and international policy-makers, the setup of teleconferences between the domestic activists and the high officials of international and government organizations, the attraction of national support for the student movement and sending help to their members, the obtaining of political asylum and entry visas to European countries and America for the activists of the movement, the attraction of international attention via translations and the widespread dissemination of the writings and letters of the students such as the famous letter of Ahmad Batebi that received widespread attention, the intellectual guidance of the movement of the young students via more than 60 televisions programs and tens of radio shows- unprecedented in the past, the invitation of top American officials and policy-makers such as Michael Ledeen to the Internet Q and A sessions and by this means providing major support for the advancement of friendship among the two nations in the hours that the Islamic Republic was trying to portray America as the enemy of the Iranian nation and the widespread reflection of this meeting through the mass media, the documentation of the beliefs of the organization on the condemnation of terrorism by the Iranians via the reliable international media, and the establishment of the reliable Daneshjoo (student) site where the English section alone has more than ten million hits a year are a part of the activities of the past six years of the Coordination Committee.