Following the wave of solidarity for Kobane across the Kurdish communities, the Kurds of Iran also staged large demonstrations in major cities across the Kurdish region.
Almost all the protests ended with no visible violence, and the authorities had issued permits for the protests.
However according to reliable accounts, the authorities had warned against any anti-regime slogans, and permits were issued conditional to pre-approved slogans, Muxtar Zarei stated in his Facebook status.
Protesters mostly chanted in support of Kobane and the resistance demonstrated against the Islamic State militants, ISIS; however, anti Turkish, US and Israeli slogans and acts could also be heard and seen, apparently, another condition placed by the authorities to allow the protests.
Many protesters defied the curfews to chant their own slogans, and at times brave protesters were heckled to refrain from patriotic slogans. In one instance in Sanandaj protest, a woman was chanting, “Syria, Erdogan, tell the truth, with war and treachery Kobane will not surrender” when a group of protesters snatched the mic out of her hand and started chanting partisan and irrelevant slogans.
Apparently, the protest in Mariwan turned ugly. Many participants who are also active on social media complained of the security forces’ needless interventions that resulted in dispersing and arresting of the protesters.
According to Kurdistan Media, PDKI official website, so far 51 rally organizers have been arrested across the cities, including Tehran.
In my view, by allowing the protests, the regime wants to portray that it cares about the plight of the Kurds in Kobane and elsewhere; with the protest permit card, the regime also tries hard to impose its own agenda in the protests on the protesters and the organizers.
Furthermore, sense of national solidarity is also very high among Kurds, especially Rojhalati Kurds who have long been oppressed in Iran and have little room to voice their grievances against the brutal clerical rule of Islamic state in Iran.
These latest protests were held for Kobane; however, in essence the protesters and organizers wanted to convey a different message that despite the tyranny, the resistance movement in Kurdistan of Iran is as lively as it has always been and could flare up when needed and desired. The wave of arrests can well explain this reality and the regime’s worse nightmares.