Saturday, May 17, 2003

The riot that we started!
"The food tastes bad" This was the word around the self service restaurant of the dorm. I took the word to our room with the pot of dinner food (we used to eat at room). Students received daily inexpensive food from the dormatory restaurant. We felt it was one of our fundamental rights to receive quality food for a cheap price. It was less than a year from the last food riot in the huge and highly packed dormatory compound of the university of Thehran. It was more than two years before Khatemi, the mysterious years of Rafsanjani as the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran. In those boring days making some noise over the food quality could be so much adventurous. It was almost the only excuse that students used every now and then to riot. No direct political demonstrations in those days, as if there are so many of them these days!
My roomate and I collected a few other friends and took them to the restaurant. I also took the food back with me . There, our friends received their food. We argued with the workers for a while and then emptied our pots on the floor of the restaurant. Our small riot started from there. For the next hour we marched around the campus, made a lot of noise an collected many students. Our next target? street.
The dorm officials tried hard to stop us or at least prevent us from going out. When they got disappointed the dogs appeared. The small gang of bearded, pro-regime, tough guys that always appeared at this times to scare students. We called them dogs because they were used by the dorm officials to violantly damp student uprisings. they also couldn't prevent us from going out. We blocked the street. I was there right in the middle of it. I didn't know why but I didn't care. Still I am not sure why we blocked the street that night and I still do not care that much. In the last riot we had tried to be very organized. We tried to behave like civilized people who had a justified cause for their unrest. We forced the university officials to come to the dorm. They gave us speaches and asked us to choose representatives, write down our demands and deliver it to them. We did but before we deliver it some of their dogs tore the paper up and threatened us big time. That was all. We got nothing. They ridiculed us. So, this time it was only about outrage, about expression of anger, about yaling in the middle of the street only for the sake of yaling. As far as we could see there were cars, hundreds of them, blocked by us, with angry drivers playing the horns constantly, and boy was that what we begged for?
We moved back into the dormatory premisses only after we were tired (or relieved?). Some more demonstration inside and the story found an unprecedented happy ending. Some smart ass students noticed a half creasy man called Abedi at the spot. He usually hung around the dorm and everybody knew him. They dragged Abedi to the middle of the crowd, grabbed a chair, made him stand on it and had him give one of the most comic reformist speaches I have ever heard. I would say it was as hilarious as the recent speaches of Khatami!
I went back to my room around the midnight wondering if all these was worth sleeping with empty stomach. But hey, my friends and I had ignited a student riot that night.


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