To the residents of East Boston, the faded townhouse on a working class block is just a house. But to Iran’s ruling regime, it is the epicenter of a foreign plot to overthrow its Islamic government.More on Gene Sharp from the Wall Street Journal.
The house belongs to Gene Sharp, an 81-year-old author whose books on the use of nonviolent methods to undermine authoritarian rule have been read by would-be revolutionaries all over the world.
In the wake of widespread protests in Iran after a disputed presidential election, a mass indictment accused more than 100 Iranian politicians and activists of following the instructions of Sharp, as well as spying for several other US academics. So far, about 80 of the accused have received prison sentences, while at least one has been sentenced to death.
The indictment, which appears to target Iranians with connections to the West, has led to soul-searching among some US scholars, some whom have curtailed communications with Iranian dissidents to avoid putting them in jeopardy. Others, like Sharp, see the charges as a badge of honor, and a sign that their arguments are hitting home. They have no intention of scaling back their activities.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
The theorist of non-violent political action, Gene Sharp of Maverick Square: