The campaign to get Nokia to end its technical collaboration with the Iranian regime has hit the streets. Activists on both coasts of the US rallied outside prominent Nokia locations to increase the pressure on the telecom corporation. Meanwhile, nearly 10,000 people have sent letters to Nokia officials in protest, and several states and major cities are considering divesting from Nokia over its dealings in Iran.
On July 15, activists in Boston and Los Angeles hit the streets. First, outside the MIT-affiliated Nokia Research Center, a crowd of activists rallied for over an hour. “Nokia out of Iran” went the cry. Hundreds of passerby and employees of the Nokia Research Center were handed materials and encouraged to boycott Nokia until it withdraws from Iran. In a symbolic protest, one activist punctuated his speech by shattering his Nokia cell phone on the pavement outside the center (see photo above). Later that evening in Los Angeles, activists gathered outside the Nokia Theater during the taping of an ESPN awards show in a parallel protest.
The next day in Washington DC, student activists raised awareness about the struggle in Iran in a unique way: flash mobs. In five separate public locations, including the Lincoln Memorial, dozens of participants wearing green froze in place, flyers in hand, for up to 5 minutes. The curious display attracted the attention of hundreds of bystanders, who were given information about Nokia and Iran. Activists also froze in the streets during stop lights, mimicking the street protests going on in Iran. Explained organizer Jeehan Faiz of Project Nur: “We want those who are in the streets, braving tear gas, bullets, and rocks to know that we believe in a common goal- civil rights in Iran.”