Archive for the 'Iran' Category

“Tis light makes color visible”

[Title quotation by Rumi]

1) On Monday, demonstrations in Tehran were fragmented. Juan Cole notes that:

Since demonstrations are becoming so hard to stage, what with motocycle Basij forces constantly patrolling and the regime’s willingness to break heads even just for having a peaceful demonstration, the opposition is rumored to be shifting tactics.

He includes the following eyewitness account from Monday:

I cannot sleep and not write this.

Today in Haft-e Tir, there were so many members of basij that they outnumbered the demonstrators 3 or 4 to 1. They were less focused on women. This must be related to the murder of poor Neda. And this was also why whenever they got hold of a man, women would surround them and shout don’t beat him, don’t beat and they would turn and anxiously say we didn’t beat him. It was astonishing. They explained; they talked.

But they didn’t allow us to congregate; they kept telling us to walk and the crowd walked quietly for 2 hours in the circle (meydaan) and spontaneously gathered in whichever area they were not present. About 2000 of us were walking around the circle and only shouting Allah-o Akbar until they were forced to disperse us with tear and pepper gases. I thought people’s patience and persistence was great, although there were also many bad scenes and I cried.

They arrested a whole bus load of people. There were many intelligence folks in the crowd too. They would point to a person and the basijis would arrest that person. There was no one from Sepah and the police was obviously sympathetic to the crowd. I swear some of the Basijis were only 14 or 15, or at least what they looked like to me. On the other hand, women are playing an amazing role in the streets; both in terms of numbers and effectiveness..

He also links to a report that the Guardian Council, one of the main bodies on the clerical side of Iran’s government, has denied the request to annul the disputed election results and arrange a new vote.

2) While he has not been arrested, Mousavi has apparently been muzzled by the Iranian regime. According to a friend of Mousavi’s in Paris, “he has security agents, secret police with him all the time. He has to be careful what he says.” And thus can no longer speak freely to supporters. However, Mousavi’s friend also says: “The regime, arguably, is losing ground, not the protests. Ordinary Iranians are openly rejecting the legitimacy and power of Ayatollah Khamanei. That is entirely new, unheard of.”

3) Khamenei’s address from last Friday is worth reading for the full flavor of authoritarian rhetoric including nationalistic flattery, fearmongering insinuation, and veiled threats.

4) In general, Juan Cole has had a lot of good information on what’s happening in Iran — including reports from his contacts there.

Robert Fisk’s reports from on the ground in Tehran are worth a look too. He’s been ignoring the restrictions on journalists, and thus has eyewitness accounts of many of the protests.

Update:

5) Aaron Bady of zunguzungu has one of the better posts I’ve seen putting the events in Iran in perspective:

Continue reading ‘“Tis light makes color visible”’

Marq bar dictator! (Down with the dictator!)

Down With The Dictator!

Down With The Dictator!

Iranian women confront government thugs beating a protester

Iranian women confront government thugs beating a protester

Protesters helped evacuate (and, I heard, get medical help for) an injured policeman in riot gear

Protesters helped evacuate (and, I heard, get medical help for) an injured policeman in riot gear

Larger versions of these photos (plus many more)

According to Pajamas Media, the following manifesto is being passed around today (translated for PM by an Iranian activist):

  1. Stripping Ayatollah Khamanei of his Supreme Leadership position because of his unfairness. Fairness is a requirement of a Supreme Leader.
  2. Stripping Ahmadinejad of the presidency, due to his unlawful act of maintaining the position illegally.
  3. Transferring temporary Supreme Leadership position to Ayatollah Hussein-Ali Montazery until the formation of a committee to reevaluate and adjust Iran’s constitution.
  4. Recognizing Mir Hossein Mousavi as the rightfully elected president of the people.
  5. Formation of a new government by President Mousavi and preparation for the implementation of new constitutional amendments.
  6. Unconditional release of all political prisoners regardless of ideaology or party platform.
  7. Dissolution of all organizations – both secret and public – designed for the oppression of the Iranian people, such as the Gasht Ershad (Iranian morality police).

A message from Iranian Artists In Exile:

Green Revolution Twitter feed
Several messages asserted the peacefulness of today’s rally with Mousavi and warned against fighting with the Basij (Baseej-e Mostaz’afin, [literally “Mobilization of the Oppressed] — volunteer militia thugs under the command of the Revolutionary Guards, often used for ideological enforcement). One can also find messages from Ahmadinejad supporters like: “Recount will confirm results in #iranelection Ahmadinejad has strong support ouside of Teheran.” Plus disinformational propaganda (from “VoiceOfIran”): “Today gathering is being canceled as a hasty govermental gathering is happening right where we planned to go today! shame on you.” And, of course, warnings to ignore the disinformation. Andrew Sullivan has a huge post of tweets (also a largely decent post on how uncertain the situation is):

security in Jamaran is unbelieveble – hundreds of Baseej guarding Khamenei

Police the reason of insecurity; Dead students buried by profs

anyone with camera or laptop is attacked in street

Confirmed info: hezbollah mobilized & lebanese coming in. this is going to get a lot worse before it gets any better pass it down

Today is a day of strikes throughout Iran, will it be successful?

Dispatches from an Iranian student at The Washington Note: Part 1, Part 2

UK Guardian live blog

WordPress Iran feed

Reports on DailyKos from electronicmaji

A cyberwar guide for helping Iranian protesters. Most generally useful bit: “Help cover the bloggers: change your twitter settings so that your location is TEHRAN and your time zone is GMT +3.30. Security forces are hunting for bloggers using location and timezone searches. If we all become ‘Iranians’ it becomes much harder to find them.”

Peace and Freedom to the People of Iran!

Mousavi at June 15 rally

Mousavi at June 15 rally