Protest on banknotes in Iran – activists’ way to avoid censorship

A group of Iranian activists found an ingenious way to protest against government censorship – through banknotes covered with various drawings and handwritten messages. Numerous images have been circulating on the Internet lately.

What started as a small venture in Iran in Dec. 2017, continued as massive protests in 2018 throughout the country. Iranian activists found a very creative method to get round government censorship and started drawing images and writing messages on banknotes, then took pictures of them and posted them on the Internet.

“Banknotes are our un-censorable messengers,” one activist wrote on Telegram, the most popular messaging app in Iran.

The government does efforts in limiting messaging services and social media and has already banned numerous videos and photos on the Internet that are related to this subject.

The protests moved however on Twitter, where thousands of photos presenting protest messages written on banknotes have been posted over the weekend. The movement gains more and more popularity and various hashtags are used, such as “#Onehundredthousand_talking_banknotes”, which gained more than 8000 tweets since April 28.

Although Twitter is now officially banned in Iran, there are some officials that still have active accounts. The site can be accessed if users utilize proxy services.

One message that has been retweeted more than 125 times until now was posted by a user that goes under the name of @N_a_r_r_a_t_o_r. The message contains an image of a banknote featuring a drawing of a female protester holding and waiving a hijab. This was meant to be a tribute to the movement of numerous Islamic women who protested against the compulsory dress code in Iran.

Another message that was retweeted more than 200 times belongs to the user @Iran_white_rose, who says that this banknote protest is “a bridge between social media and society”.

Last year’s protests mainly focused on the skyrocketing prices and economy, but soon enough the protesters moved to target political leaders of the country, expressing their desire for Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to step down.

Iran has reportedly arrested no less than 5000 protesters at the beginning of this year. This has been described as Iran’s biggest unrest in the past decade.


Source of photo: @SHERIII89 on Twitter