Talk:Ashura protests

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Arrests list[edit]

Surely it's not necessary to name that many people? I've left in those who seem the most notable (those who have WP articles to be precise) but naming everyone arrested does not add a nny encyclopaedic value IMHO. HJMitchell You rang? 23:26, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

I think that it is useful to have at least a partial list of the people arrested in this article. The list on the page was just a partial list of particularly prominent people arrested who were mentioned in news articles (certainly not a complete list of everyone arrested). It is a long list, because a lot of notable people/family members of notable people were arrested in the aftermath of the demonstrations. Maybe a subset of the prominent people arrested could be listed on this page, and another article could be started called something like "List of people arrested following the 2009 Ashura protests?" What do you think of this idea? CordeliaNaismith (talk) 23:53, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
I think, if we're going to give individual names, let's make some criteria, for example, to be included, they must:
  • be notable enough for a WP article (whether one actually exists or not)
  • have plaid a significant part in the protests

AND

  • their arrest is documented in multiple reliable sources

I'd also say that it's probably not a good idea to list family members of notable individuals (unless they meet the criteria above) and keep the description short, like:

  • (name). Arrested on (date) at (place if known), (profession-e.g jurnalist, cleric lawyer, whatever)

--how does that sound? (BTW, new title is fine by me). HJMitchell You rang? 00:11, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Ok, I have consolidated the info & restored a partial list of persons arrested. What do you think? CordeliaNaismith (talk) 00:53, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
Incidentally, do we know what happened to those arrested? I can't comprehend a custody that can accommodate 1,500 people at once. SGGH ping! 12:36, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Article name[edit]

Yes check.svg Done

I do not like the re-name to "2009 Ashura Riots"--how about "2009 Ashura Protests"? I know that number of google results doesn't necessarily indicate what would be the correct name for the article, but "ashura riots" gives about 400 results while "ashura protests" gives over 44,000. A quick look at the google results makes it look to me that pretty much the only group that is calling the events the "Ashura riots" is the Iranian government...CordeliaNaismith (talk) 23:51, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

"the current dictatorship"[edit]

Resolved

Just had a quick look at this shiny new article. Though I personally agree it is a dictatorship of a sort, this may be a bit POV. Perhaps "the current regime" or "current rulers"? I have already linked the word to the dictatorship article. Though perhaps "theocracy" would be more accurate?--220.101.28.25 (talk) 01:10, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

FYI Iran actually gets a particular mention in theocracy --220.101.28.25 (talk) 01:15, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
Politics and Government of Iran says "The politics of Iran takes place in framework of a republic with an Islamic ideology" other articles call it a "theocratic republic" and/or Islamic republic. Hope this helps! --220.101.28.25 (talk) 01:40, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
I just went ahead and changed it, it now links to the governments and politics of Iran as an add.- Knowledgekid87 (talk) 02:19, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

"Belligerents"[edit]

Can someone dig up a better infobox than this "military conflict" template. Calling the protestors "belligerents" - or even the Basij, really - is not appropriate. Wnt (talk) 00:57, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

This would be military conflict and then it wouldnt as it has involved the military of Iran in conflict however the protests are not from another country. I would just leave it be unless someone can find a better infobox. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 01:23, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
"Commanders" are missing. Khamenei is certainly the "main commander" of the armed side. Also Weapons are missing. In the Persian version of the article, the weapons of the armed side are mentioned. Should we add these? Xashaiar (talk) 04:28, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
I have been reluctant to do so, as this is not a war but more of a conflict with the military and protesters. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 04:33, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
I do not care about "war" or "protest" as name. But Weapons used by Basijs and security forces should be added. No? Xashaiar (talk) 04:52, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
I do not think it makes a diffrene, in the end you have the dead and the wounded, and adding what weapons one side used is not something I have really seen on english wikipedia in a military conflict box. I would not add the weapons because it could easily tip the POV balance between the sides. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 05:46, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
To be clear, what strikes me as a violation of POV, or just a blatant violation of fact, is the categorization that the protestors were "belligerents". I think by and large they were seeking a chance to peacefully express themselves, no? Wnt (talk) 06:48, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
You do have a point there but then again it did result in people dead, if there was a way to change "belligerents" I would as that word I dont think is the right one to use. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 07:00, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
I agree that something else would be better, as the term used doesn't reflect the nature of the conflict at all. Belligerents is what I would use if there was a legitimate conflict, with some semblance of balance. Perhaps something more bland, like "Disputing Parties"? 74.68.98.203 (talk) 19:30, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
I also agree a different infobox would be better...is there a WP infobox for protests? I was just looking around some pages related to protests from the American Civil Rights Movement and I didn't see that protest-related pages had infoboxes. If there isn't a protest-related infobox, I think it would be nice for someone to make one...because I agree with what was said above that this infobox is not really appropriate for this topic, esp. the term "belligerents," but then on the other hand also think that it does provide a useful summary of the info in the article. Also, I have changed "unknown" in the number of casualties on the police/basij side to "none known?"--does anyone object to this? I suspect that if any of the police or basiji had been killed in the protests, it probably would have been reported in the news, and also since the protesters were peaceful/unarmed, probably no police were killed CordeliaNaismith (talk) 14:53, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
I have requested help from Template talk:Infobox military conflict Hopefully there can be a solution to this, if not the conflict box can just be removed as it is causing possible POV problems. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 19:48, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

Campaignbox[edit]

Protestors clashing with police doesn't make a war. It should be removed immedietly because it's being misused here. I will adress the POV issue later.Kermanshahi (talk) 19:10, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

Other than the term "Belligerents" was there any other things in the conflict box that would have been war like? It was a military conflict between protesters the Basij, and "Yar Moharam" forces (Not just the police). - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 19:24, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

It was not a military conflict, it was an armed conflict. It was a riot. People fought with police and basij which are also security forces. A military conflict would mean a war between two countries' armies or an armed insurgency.Kermanshahi (talk) 15:08, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Do you know any better infobox?--WIMYV? (talk) 20:56, 7 January 2010 (UTC) Not all articles need to have an infobox. The Iran student protests, July 1999 article for instance doesn't have an infobox, neither has the Iranian Constitutional Revolution article. The Iranian Revolution article uses the historical events infobox but most articles don't have an infobox at all. The Military Conflict infobox is made specifically for wars. If you have an article about a War or a Battle than you can add this infobox.

Protestors clashing with police however does not classify as a war or military conflict even if paramilitary units were used. If this were a civil war and the rioters were armed and had attacked the security forces and attempted to seize control of the city with force and had fought this way with the military and police, like insurgents do in some other countries (like somalia or iraq), than you could have added a military infobox and called it battle of Tehran, or the Ashura fighting, whatever.Kermanshahi (talk) 21:48, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

An infobox is an infobox, no matter what the primary use of the infobox was when created. The infobox does not make any suggestion toward a military conflict. It provides useful info. Though I would like to see the list of weapons used by the terrorists (Basij and Pasdaran and apparently some members of the Hezollah of Lebanon) against peaceful demonstrators. Xashaiar (talk) 22:00, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved. Rough consensus is that 'protests' is the term that is more encompassing and the more frequently sourced in the article. Arbitrarily0 (talk) 19:54, 23 July 2010 (UTC)


2009 Ashura riots2009 Ashura protests — Since the protests were mostly peaceful "protests" seems to me to be a more accurate title than "riots". Also, I think that the events were mostly referred to as "protests" by the news media. Thoughts?|Relisted billinghurst sDrewth 03:21, 12 July 2010 (UTC)| CordeliaNaismith 16:46, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

  • Comment The authorities in Iran claimed that "Nine residential buildings, 9 vehicles, 7 shops, 2 banks and 3 power stations were set on fire [by anti-government protesters].". That would, if it were verified by independent sources, justify use of the term riots. Skinsmoke (talk) 05:29, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
    • "Protests" is a more general term than "riots" though--in fact riots are listed in the protest wikipage as sometimes resulting from "protests or attempts to end protests." So calling the events "protests" isn't inaccurate even if there were some riots. The people involved are called "anti-government protesters" even in the quote above from the state media and there do seem to have been large peaceful protests as well, such as the one in the image that illustrates this article, File:Ashura_protest_in_Iran.jpg. Thanks, CordeliaNaismith 03:33, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose My argument here is not that there was no peaceful protest, but that the riots would be more likely to grab the headlines, as happened with the Poll Tax Riots in England, where there was much less damage than is alleged in Tehran. If 2009 Ashura protests is the common name in English, then I have no objection to a move. However, no evidence has been produced to demonstrate that that is the case so, as it stands, the proposal is not justified. A quick Google search shows 4,640 results for Ashura Protests and 7,750 results for Ashura Riots, which indicates that 2009 Ashura protests is most certainly not the common name. Skinsmoke (talk) 07:40, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
  • support 1. The protests were peaceful until the Basij militia and the terrorists started to kill many people on streets. 2. Because the majority of sources use the term "protests" this article must reflect that and get the title it used to have. Xashaiar (talk) 10:57, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Support The demonstrations were never planned to become riots or violent ; they were just protests. warrior4321 16:11, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment It really is irrelevant whether the protests were peaceful until such-a-thing happened, or whether it was intended or not that they would become riots (and how can we verify what the intent was anyway?). The key question is did the riots occur or not? I am prepared to accept an argument that Ashura riots is not a neutral term, but so far nobody has managed to dispute that riots occurred. In the absence of a case being made that Ashura riots is not a neutral term, the way we determine titles is by the common use in English. I am intrigued by Xashaiar's comment that the majority of sources use the term "protests". Can we have some evidence of that, rather than a mere assertion? I am prepared to accept an argument that demonstrates why the simple Google search figures are not an accurate reflection of the most common use in English, but we haven't had one so far. Skinsmoke (talk) 12:29, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
    • The top google hits for "ashura riots" are articles from Iranian state media sources (tehran times, presstv.ir...) So, it seems that the ghits resuts are skewed by the fact that the Iranian state media has been calling the events "riots." State media is not a reliable source on antigovernment protests, since Iran has one of the worst freedom of the press records in the world. Performing the same search on Google news, not only are there more results over all for "ashura protests (57 results) than for ashura riots (30 results), but also it looks that the sources that use the "riots" term are either unreliable (eg Iranian state media) or using the term in the context of a quote from a government source. From the Google News results, it seems that "protests" is the term mostly used by reliable sources as a neutral description of the events. CordeliaNaismith 19:10, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment That's a much more convincing argument. However, we should be aware that the western media is also capable of systemic bias and, given its overwhelming hatred of the regime in Iran (justifiable though that may be), is likely to skew the term to suit its prevailing ideology. It may just be that there isn't a truly neutral term. Looking at your results on Google News for Ashura protests though, it is interesting to note that a fair few of them refer to them as bloody protests or violent protests. I have to admit that the more I look at this, the more I am becoming convinced that Ashura riots is the more accurate term, and that Ashura protests is just whitewashing the violence that, judging from the international reports, undoubtedly occurred.
  • It's worth looking up the definition of riot. In England and Wales, it is defined as:
    • Where twelve or more persons who are present together use or threaten unlawful violence for a common purpose and the conduct of them (taken together) is such as would cause a person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear for his personal safety, each of the persons using unlawful violence for the common purpose is guilty of riot.
  • The United States has a different definition:
    • A public disturbance involving (1) an act or acts of violence by one or more persons part of an assemblage of three or more persons, which act or acts shall constitute a clear and present danger of, or shall result in, damage or injury to the property of any other person or to the person of any other individual or (2) a threat or threats of the commission of an act or acts of violence by one or more persons part of an assemblage of three or more persons having, individually or collectively, the ability of immediate execution of such threat or threats, where the performance of the threatened act or acts of violence would constitute a clear and present danger of, or would result in, damage or injury to the property of any other person or to the person of any other individual.
  • By either definition, these events were undoubtedly a riot. Skinsmoke (talk) 20:09, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment: Well, any source will have some kind of systemic bias, but still I don't think it's appropriate to use the term used by state-run media in the place of the term used by independent news outlets in the title of our article. By calling the events "riots," it seems to me the Iranian state is framing the antigovernment protests in a way specifically designed to shift sympathy away from the demonstrators (because not only is "riots" a negative term in general, but also, according to the lede of our article, Ashura is a day "during which any kind of violence is forbidden," making rioting during Ashura a religious as well as civil transgression). I just do not think that "riots" is a neutral description of clashes between police and protesters. The legal definitions that you've pasted above (such as "persons who are present together use or threaten unlawful violence for a common purpose") don't seem to apply to a situation in which unarmed protesters are attacked by police forces, and fight back. Here, for, example, is an excerpt from an eyewitness report by an undercover journalist, which was published in Slate magazine 1:

At the Hafez Bridge, we joined the masses and quickly came face to face with riot police and Basij militia, who wasted no time in shooting tear gas into the crowd. People dispersed, but there seemed to be more protesters coming in waves around every corner. More police, too.
The makeup of the crowd was much more varied than I remember from the June protests; many women in chadors, men with small children, the elderly.
For the first time, it also became clear to me that the dynamic had shifted: Basij were trying to intimidate, but they seemed scared. The protesters held their ground and often fought back, despite having no weapons other than rocks and pieces of asphalt.
We walked across the Valiasr Intersection and headed up Palestine Street, where we met another large crowd that was forming in an alley. As they began to march forward, a group of 50 or more helmeted police attacked. The protesters retreated momentarily and then rushed toward the police, with those on the front lines hurling stones. Seconds later, a round of cheers went up as several bloodied young men returned waving batons and helmets they had seized from the police.

"Ashura riots" just doesn't seem to be a neutral description of these events. CordeliaNaismith (talk) 23:30, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

  • Comment And how is that different from most events we describe as riots? The riot is usually a response to an attempt to disperse the crowd. Take a look at the Wikipedia article on Riot for plenty of other examples. The problem here is that there are plenty of sources in the Google search quoted earlier that did not come from Iranian state media. There are media sources in the Arab world, the United States, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Botswana and India that all refer to the events as a riot (I spent ages going through the list earlier, identifying the sources, but my computer crashed, so I lost the lot. I have no wish to spend another two hours of my life repeating the process). These are cases where the editorial itself refers to the word riots, rather than quoting Iranian sources or the Iranian government. There are also a few cases where the Iranian media refers to them as protests (proving that our preconceptions don't always turn out to be correct!). I notice that the passage quoted from Slate makes no mention of the crowd attacking buildings and setting fire to them, something which is corroborated in the press reports unearthed by the Google search. It is that response of the crowd which makes this a riot rather than a protest. You do not protest by burning down somebody's house or business! Skinsmoke (talk) 16:43, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment: You've made several interesting points, and I appreciate that you're actually looking at the sources and trying to figure out what would be the more neutral/accurate term to use. I'm still convinced that "protests" is a better title for the article, however. To summarize & respond to your points:
  1. The events meet the legal definition of "riots" by US/UK law. Since there were both large peaceful protests and riots, the riots are more notable and therefore should be in the headline, similar to the Poll Tax Riots in England.
    • This is your stronger argument. Riots aren't inherently more notable than protests, though. Since antigovernment protesters are very literally risking their lives to protest, protests in Iran are very notable. Protests in England happen every day, and therefore are much less notable. Calling the article "Ashura protests" doesn't imply that there wasn't any rioting. But the problem with calling the article "Ashura riots" is that using the term "riots" in the title doesn't include peaceful protesters such as those observed by the Slate journalist: The makeup of the crowd was much more varied than I remember from the June protests; many women in chadors, men with small children, the elderly.
  1. News sources from a variety of countries call the events "riots."
    • I've just had a more careful look at the list of sources also. The sources using "riots" are mostly reporting on the government response to the events, rather than the events themselves (and most are directly quoting or paraphrasing the government response). So it's not really relevant in trying to pick the title for our article that, say, Reuters India has published an article entitled "Iran media: German diplomats involved in Dec "riots", because Reuters India is reporting on what the Iranian media says. There are a couple of exceptions (the Jane's article and the Today Zaman article look fine, and use "riots" in an editorial voice for example), but the vast majority of independent sources, including sources from around the world (in a quick glance, I see sources from Iran, US, UK, Lebanon, Australia, Singapore, Kuwait, Dubai...) call the events "ashura protests" when reporting on the events themselves. "Protests" is the term used by the majority of independent sources--it's not even close.

Since most reliable sources call the events "ashura protests," so should we. CordeliaNaismith (talk) 19:13, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

NPOV[edit]

I have tagged this article as POV because it is filled with sentences like "The Iranian Government security forces opened fire on protesters on the Shi'a holy day of Ashura, a day "symbolically about justice" and during which any kind of violence is forbidden," "Irregularities during the 2009 Iranian presidential election caused resentment among many Iranians," "outspoken political dissenters were detained.[5][6] However, dissenters continued to speak out against the Government, leading to further protests in December 2009" and "Security forces opened fire on the day of Ashura, the Shiite holy day "symbolically about justice", a day which any kind of violence is forbidden," which do not sound neutral or objective but like outright propaganda?

Than in the protest section, rather than reporting the events objectively, quotes are used, not from people, but from pro-reformist articles, the result: "Protesters in Tehran gathered "From Imam Hussain Square to Freedom Square", "from east to west along Revolution Street", and it was on this day that "the political and religious symbology of Iran's Islamic regime was turned on its head".[10] The protesters made another symbolic move- a "symbolic journey from a square named after its most revered hero toward a monument dedicated to freedom, along a street called Revolution."[10]" is unbelievably POV, this should be immedietly changed to a proper written text which reports everything objectively. Meanwhile in the part about the demonstrations condemning the Ashura riots (which BTW, where much larger than the Ashura riots themselfes - a fact which was completely ignored by the writers of this wiki article), "On December 30, counter-rallies staged and organized by the government at various cities, including Tehran, Qom, Arak, Shiraz and Isfahan called for the death of the protesters, with government workers receiving the day off work in order to attend the demonstrations" the sentence "with government workers recieving the day off work in order to attend the demonstrations, was added in such POV manner and clearly to discredit those demonstrations.

Now although it is mentioned how rioters set fire cars, shops, banks and power stations (though other vandalism by the rioter isn't mentioned at all), this is such small part of the article. The violence by rioters (against people) is not mentioned at all, meanwhile there is a complete section devoted to alleged government violence against the protestors. The article is also clearly written with a goal of reporting only what is good for the green movement, this is illustrated not only by the POV quotes but by for isntance the way that whenever government claims are reported, they are immedietly rebuffed with other POV claims, leading me to believe they were only included to "expose" the government as liars (which is POV). An example is "Although official sources in Iran denied involvement of security forces in killing of protesters, at least one amateur video shows, the security truck which was deliberately running over the protesters.[16] Other evidence says that security forces were armed with guns and shot at protesters, including one amateur video showing a plainclothes security force directly shooting at protesters.[17]," with source 16 being non-existant and source 17 being a vehimently anti-Iranian blog showing a video of a gunman, of which there is no proof he is associated with the police of basij. In the article he is however labelled as a "plainclothes security force." All in all, this article definetly needs to be re-written.Kermanshahi (talk) 15:05, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the helpful and specific comments! Here are some quick thoughts on the issues you've raised.
  1. I agree that the sentences you've pointed out, "The Iranian Government security forces opened fire on protesters on the Shi'a holy day of Ashura, a day "symbolically about justice" and during which any kind of violence is forbidden," "Irregularities during the 2009 Iranian presidential election caused resentment among many Iranians," "outspoken political dissenters were detained.[5][6] However, dissenters continued to speak out against the Government, leading to further protests in December 2009," "Security forces opened fire on the day of Ashura, the Shiite holy day "symbolically about justice"" are not neutrally phrased.
  2. The direct quotes from the Time magazine article in the protest section aren't necessary.
  3. If there is a reliable source describing the size of the Ashura counterprotests, than this information should be included. The fact that government employees got the day off from work to attend counter-rallies is notable and relevant, and should be included as well, if supported by reliable sources.
  4. If there are reliable sources describing violence by rioters against people, then this information should also be included.
  5. I didn't have any trouble accessing source number 16 (here), and it's a reliable source which describes the amateur video about the same way as it is described in the article. I agree that the way that the sentence juxtaposes the video and the government claims is not appropriate.
  6. Source 17 is a blog, but it's associated with the Los Angeles Times, which IMO is a fairly reputable newspaper. I'm not sure what Wiki policy on the use of blogs associated with mainstream newspapers is, but could look into this.
Thanks again for your helpful comments. I'll try to come back soon and fix some of the issues you've raised.CordeliaNaismith (talk) 15:59, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, as for reliable sources, it's basicly the word of the government of Iran and all professional media in the country V the word of some rioters. The reliability of both could be disputed, what's clear is that as they are the conflicting sides here, both should be represented, which isn't happening. As for the fact government employees were given the day off, it should be included, but the way in which it was included was not neutrally phrased. As for source 17, according to WP policies blogs belonging to major newspapers can be used as source, however since the writer of this blog is clearly extremely biased, his biased views should not be put in that way, into the article. Now my problem is nto with the reliability of the LA-Times, but with the fact that this man was completely baselessly labelled as a plainclothed policeman, while there is no proof of that at all. The blogger claims this because of seeing an amateur video, but how do any of us know he is an undercover policeman? He could be an angry government supporter, he could be a terrorist, he could be a random gunman, he could be an agent of the CIA or even the Iranain Green Movement itself, sent to open fire for propaganda reasons. Who knows? It should just not be reported like that, especially since the government has denied opening fire on protestors and this video is being used in this article to prove them wrong. Kermanshahi (talk) 11:48, 29 December 2010 (UTC)