Sunday, January 3, 2010
Pro-Government Protests in Iran
Authorities organized pro-government protests in an effort to counter the mass protests against Iran's leaders in the past several weeks. This is a relatively common tactic in authoritarian regimes. For example, China sometimes organizes anti-Tibet protests to counter the "free Tibet" movement. Pro-government rallies imply false majorities; they are an effort to propagandize in the face of mass demonstrations against rulers. Once their organizational apparatus becomes known, it is not likely that such demonstrations are terribly convincing to any audience, foreign or domestic.