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Whiskey & Immigrants is our new podcast which introduces listeners to regular, everyday immigrants. We hear their stories, how and why they came to America, expectations vs reality and much more. We hope you’ll join us.

Subscribe now on iTunes

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What Sanctions Mean to Iranians

Trapped between the Trump administration and the local authoritarians are ordinary people. Amazingly, even under tremendous pressure, Iranian society has remained dynamic. In fact, the whole country is abuzz with peaceful struggle these days. Women are protesting against the mandatory head scarf, but this is just one example of dissent. On March 28 alone, Radio Zamaneh, an Amsterdam-based Persian-language radio station, reported five gatherings, rallies and strikes across the country over issues ranging from mass layoffs and the distribution of water to a pipeline being built through a town.

The recent phase of activism is impressively creative: Farmers in Isfahan Province have turned their backs on imams during Friday prayers in protest against the government; small-business owners in the town of Marivan rolled out a long stretch of empty tablecloths on the street to symbolize poverty. BBC Persian has estimated that about 17 protests and strikes per day are organized by labor unions and activists across the country.

More than it will hurt the government, Mr. Trump’s decision to abandon the nuclear deal will affect these grass-roots movements. It will damage political activism and peaceful, creative expressions of will to change.

For the working class and for low-income people, new sanctions and renewed isolation will mean fewer jobs, less security and more poverty. As a result, the poor will be forced to change their priorities: The time and energy they could dedicate to peaceful protests will be consumed by struggling to provide bread. Or things could take another turn: Extreme poverty may create such high levels of frustration that people turn to violence, eventually strengthening the hand of the oppressive state.

As for the middle class and people in large cities, renewed sanctions — especially alongside the talk of war — present an existential threat to the meager well-being they have worked so hard to cobble together. The Trump administration’s decision to pull out of the nuclear deal may well make the middle class more conservative, as they fear economic collapse and chaos, they will move closer to the government. They will give up demands for equality and justice in order to protect their hard-earned relative comfort.

As for the government itself, especially the faction intent on ruling with an iron fist, the sanctions will not hurt much. As the Obama years proved, sanctions never forced the Iranian government to cut back its security and military budgets. Instead, a choked-off economy and its accompanying black



For Your Society is a media organization that brings you curated news from trusted and reputable sources. We encourage you to support these publications and their journalists by subscribing to their services. Our intent is to stand up for facts, and to present them in an appealing and condensed way that doesn’t waste your whole day. We bring you news that focuses on politics, American culture, foreign policy & the world, science and more.

We also produce podcasts focusing on facets of American society where we think we could use some improvement. Our new podcast Whiskey and Immigrants, in which we sit down with real immigrants to hear their stories, is now live – Subscribe on iTunes. Shortly after that we will debut a podcast unlike any other, called Unite or Die. We’re keeping the details of that one under wraps, but we think it will truly benefit society.

We try not to be too annoying with ads or pop-ups, so we mostly rely on your purchases from the FY Society Store and donations through Patreon to sustain our not-for-profit operations. Anything you can do would be greatly appreciated!


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