Crowds have been gathering outside the gates of Zero Towers. They were peaceful to begin with, concerned by the delay in announcing the Charity of the Month, worried yer man Zero had been taken unwell. A few days ago concern turned to impatience, and flowers laid at my gates were replaced by placards telling me to get a move on. Last night they started flinging shit at my windows. Fair enough. It has been nine days since payday.
I can explain the delay. This month’s chazza was inspired by a Refugee Week viewing of Persepolis, a cracking animated film about a girl growing up in Tehran under a fundamentalist regime. I saw it with an Iranian man who’d fled the country; I’m that right on. Watching it knowing he’d had to leave his wife and children in Iran and dropping him off at his empty flat in a wreck of an estate in the arse end of Zero City fired up the old ‘humans are completely shit to each other/something has to be done’ thought combo.
I wanted to find a charity that supports women in Iran and there’s your delay. Seems totalitarian states don’t indulge that kind of thing. There are a few organisations knocking about but they tend to be short-lived and without any real online presence. That’s crushing censorship for you. There’s the One Million Signatures Campaign that calls on the Iranian Parliament to reform laws that discriminate against women but they only take signatures and donations from Iranian nationals. That makes the protest more powerful but it doesn’t do nothing for your cash-spreading blogger.
In the end I’ve gone for Amnesty International, a choice of colossal obviousness but if seven days of research doesn’t turn anything up then nuts to it. They love a bit of human rights campaigning and although they don’t have a presence in Iran they do good work for its people. A member of the One Million Signatures campaign was recently released from prison and thanked Amnesty for its “attention, work and support beside the help and support from many other people and organisations.” My contribution will pay for more of that kind of thing and that’ll have to do until Klaatu gets his act together, comes back down and starts telling these pricks to knock it off.
Photo credit: Marjane Satrapi/Sony Pictures Classics