Author Topic: Word from Iran.  (Read 1873 times)

Offline elgoodo

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Re: Word from Iran.
« Reply #3 on: 06-16-2009, 05:10pm »
+1.  Thanks Fang.
[06:11 PM]  fasteddie: jesus, this SB is deader than JC Vibe

Offline PuddinPop

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Re: Word from Iran.
« Reply #2 on: 06-16-2009, 04:09pm »
Wow Fang. Thank you immensely for sharing.

Offline TheFang

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Word from Iran.
« Reply #1 on: 06-16-2009, 03:40pm »
Just received this a few moments ago from a friend in Tehran.


Sorry if I didn't answer to your emails. The internet connection is extremely slow these days. People say the government has decreased the bandwidth to limit communications. Yahoo messenger, MSN, text messaging, facebook, twitter, youtube and all reformist and netoworking websites are filtered. (I just got to briefly log in to facebook last night with a "filtershekan"). Even mobile phone networks (cellphones) are turned off at nights. So, all my apologies if you didn't get a reply from me.

But here is a little update about the situation in Iran.

First, there are rallies every day. Since there is no communication system available, rallies are organized by word of mouth from one event to the other, and then by phone calls, and strangers just telling you to show up as they pass you by or as you are waiting behind red lights. Yesterday, it was supposed to be from Enghelab to Azadi, but it literally started at Emam Hossein sq (Fooziyeh) and spread all the way to Ekabatan. The number of protesters should be estimated in the millions. They were from every layer of society. Southern Tehranis, Northern rich kids, Chaadoris, Ghertis, Hezbollahi, young, old, kids. etc. A huge sample of the Iranian nation, with all its diversity, was there determined to make a change. They are feel betrayed and insulted.   Helicopters were flying over our heads to assess the crows. People would wave at them and whistle and making sure they were seen so that they report their presence to the authorities (or authority).

The radio and TV warned people all day long not to attend, as the rally didn't have the "permission from the Ministry of Interior" and warned of serious consequences if it took place, but no one cared. Everybody went. The "Yegaan vijeh" (anti-riot police) first  tried to intimidate people as they were gathering, but the immensity of the crowd then made them back up and hide in a nearby police station. Today, the rally is supposed to be at Meydoon Vali Asr. There are words that the next one will be in front of Sedaa o Sima (National TV station).

Yesterday the rally was calm and peaceful until the crowd started to disperse at the end. Then the "Lebaas shakhsi" (armed thugs without uniform) and some anti-riot units showed up with more confidence. They started a fire in one corner of Azadi to attract and entrap the most enthusiastic of protesters, then started firing tear gas and shooting. I didn't see it myself, but I heard that a man was shot in the eye. The shooters disappeared.

Chants were all either conducted against Ahmadinejad or in support of Moussavi. Nothing more "sensitive" than that. It's what I call "smart protest". People are extremely vigilant about what to say:  Khas o khaashaak toyi, doshman-e in khaak toyi (referring to Ahmadinejad calling protesters khas o khashaak), Dorooghgoo, shast o seh darsadet koo? Ey Mahmoud-e bichaareh, baaz ham begoo FOOTBALLEH (referring to Ahmadinejad assimilating protests to high emotions after a football match), Gofteh boodim agar  taghalob besheh, Iran ghiyaamat misheh (people chanted agar taghabol besheh Iran ghiyaamat misheh during the campaign. Yesterday, they had just added "gofteh boodim" to it). Moussavi Raees jomhoureh Iran. Estafaa Estafaa. Marg bar dictator, cheh shaah baasheh cheh Doctor. Rayeh maaro dozdideh, baa rayeh maa poz mideh. Haaleyeh nooro dideh, raayeh maaro nadideh. Some chants were a little more "personal" and a bit more offensive to Ahmadinejad.

Moussavi, Khatami, Mohamad Reza Khatami, Karbaschi, Masjed Jamei, Abtahi, Karoubi all showed up. I missed Moussavi's speech but Abtahi was just a few meter away from where we were. People cheered them a lot.

Apart from rallies, people cry "Allah o Akbar"  every night around 9pm from rooftops and cars (Well, it is supposed to be 9pm, but Iranians are always late. So they really start around 9:30). There are also sporadic riots and tire burning in town. Night riots are much more violent. Sa'adat abaad, Shahran, Yousef abad are some of the hottest corners. Universities are really tense too. Police and thugs have already stormed dorms a couple of times and seriously wounded students.  As for casualties, all we hear is rumors. I can't confirm any. But it seems that about 7 to 8 people have already been killed in Tehran. I don't know about other cities. One thing that I can tell with certainty, is that people are really determined. They all say there is no stop to this until they get results: Taa Ahmadinejaadeh, har rooz hamin basaateh! (They chant, and they mean it). People have started to wear green again.

Girls are extremely active in all these rallies (A little less in night riots where patches of young men are more visible). They courageously charge  anti-riot police, chant slogans in front of them, lead the crowd etc. but they are equally beaten too. The police seems to have no limit in the use of force.  They are disproportionately violent. They don't use fire weapons but they don't go easy on you with their clubs. They literally beat up protesters to death if they don't get rescued by fellow protesters or somehow break away and run. The level of brutality is exceptional but it is amazing to see how people stand up to them.  I heard from many witnesses that thugs were brought by bus from smaller cities to assist police in the crackdown. Someone told me he saw them at the East Terminal around Azadi. He said they are the kinds of people who even beat each other on their spare time.

I don't know how today's rally will go, but I estimate a huge number to show up, which will neutralize police presence and their violence. I estimate that more people will show up today compared to yesterday. The word is that everyone should wear black with green bracelets or scarfs. The good thing about Vali Asr square is that it is right in "downtown" Tehran. It would be such a show of force by people. The national TV can't just keep ignoring it. (Not one single word of yesterday's rally was reported last night, except a really short footage showing Mir Hossein standing on his car to talk to his "supporters" that "contest" the results. The camera didn't zoom out one bit to show the immensity of the crowd that were there for much more than than).

Pray for protesters and for the country. Your support means a lot, as people happily tell each other how Iranians abroad are gathering around embassies to support them. Internet sites are filtered here, so please inform people inside of events and rallies by email if you hear of any. I testify with confidence that this is the most authentic, grassroots and beautiful movement from the people, by the people and for the people. No outside force, no money, no conspiracy is involved. It's all about people telling each other were to gather next time, pledge to show up and keep their promise. There is a spirit of fraternity, determination, resistance, courage, solidarity and generosity that no word can describe. I thank God to have seen this in my lifetime and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

    Yesterday afternoon, a remarkable thing happened.  The opposition made
    their next move, responding to the intimidation tactics, beatings, and
    killings, to send a strong message to the regime.  They honored their
    leader's call for passive resistance; it was the first time that he
    appeared in public since the election results were announced last
    Saturday.  Over a million Iranians silently marched through the
    streets of Tehran in protest of the election results.  Although I did
    not partake in the demonstration, supposedly the largest since 1979, I
    heard from people who did that it was one of, if not, the most
    powerful experiences of their lives.  Apparently, a million plus
    people of different ages and socio-economic backgrounds, from the
    North and South of the capital, walked side-by-side for blocks and
    blocks.  Silence was their weapon of choice; whenever someone would
    start to chant a slogan, the others would tell him to keep quiet.
    With the overwhelming number of demonstrators, the police and basijis
    were apparently ordered to stand down, though the latter would
    allegedly carry out reprisal shootings later that night, reportedly
    killing seven.

    This sent such a powerful message that the head honcho publicly
    announced yesterday, following the demonstration, that a ten-day
    investigation would be conducted to review the results; today, the
    Guardian Council announced  that it would submit to a recount,
    although the opposition is calling for new elections.  Whether these
    announcements by the regime are sincere or simply stall tactics
    remains to be seen.  However, it is clear that the regime has changed
    its tone since yesterday and is in the process of trying to put its
    house in order.  Rumor has it that a meeting between the main
    challenger and the uncumbent took or is taking place today to work out
    a solution to the impasse.  Karrubi, a prominent cleric from the
    Revolution and a third election candidate, who "won" significantly
    less votes than in 2005, remains resolute in his defiance of the
    results.  Rafsanjani, for all of his perceived corruption and lack of
    public credibility, is still a force to be reckoned with.  As Chairman
    of the Expediency Council and Assembly of Experts and reportedly one
    of the wealthiest men in Iran, he is well-positioned in the national
    power structure; he refuses to idly sit by and watch the incumbent,
    who publicly insulted him last week, take office.

    Aside from the mass demonstration and divisive interal factions,
    another concern for the regime consists of the bizarrees, who were
    rumored to have gone on strike today.  If true, this represents a
    significant development, as many of them have close ties with and take
    cues from the ulama; throughout Iranian history, their strikes have
    helped set the stage for previous revolutions or the contestation of
    the regime's power.  Another interesting development is that some
    faculty members at the University of Tehran allegedly went on strike
    and/ or resigned in response to arrests and attacks that had been
    carried out against its students (some female) during the past few

    What this will all lead to, no one knows.  However, one of my
    classmates astutely remarked after class that the basijis will not
    back down since they have a lot at stake in the outcome of this
    election.  Supposedly, another mass opposition demonstration is slated
    to take place later this afternoon.
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Word from Iran.
« Reply #1 on: 06-16-2009, 03:40pm »