Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sea of Green

Day 5 and indeed the protest is picking up steam. People have asked me, since I have friends in Tehran who (surprise, surprise) are highly political and were around for the 79 revolution if this protest is different then the last round in 99 which eventually fizzled. Indeed it is. It is not just students and it is not just the highly educated. It is spreading to everyone. Women in Chadors join Iran's opposition.

Boorghani is typical of the young reformists who initially backed Mousavi — but that support is growing to include grandmothers, government employees and hotel clerks.

The last time Iran was engulfed in similar anti-government action was a decade ago when a deadly raid on a Tehran University dorm sparked six days of nationwide protests. At the time, they were considered the worst since the 1979 revolution that toppled the pro-U.S. shah and brought hard-line clerics to power. But the student-driven movement eventually fizzled, leaving many people more bitter but the system intact.

This time, though, the protesters are not just affluent students and youth. The middle class is also flooding the streets and even conservative religious Iranians are joining the Mousavi supporters.


"This (the Mousavi opposition) is completely different to 1999. That was between the students and the government. This is between the people and the government. This time it is all of Iran. This is a historic movement," Boorghani said.

Today at 4pm Tehran time there will be a silent march in honour of all the fallen protesters of the uprising. (That link gets updated with names as they become available. Dead bodies are taken from hospitals and thrown into the back of trucks and driven away before names can be taken so there are many unknown.)

A letter from an Iranian medical student:

It’s painful to watch what’s happening.

I don’t want anything to do with what has been said this far, as I neither have the strength nor the resilience to face all these unfathomable events.

I only want to speak about what I have witnessed. I am a medical student. There was chaos last night at the trauma section in one of our main hospitals. Although by decree, all riot-related injuries were supposed to be sent to military hospitals, all other hospitals were filled to the rim. Last night, nine people died at our hospital and another 28 had gunshot wounds. All hospital employees were crying till dawn. They (government) removed the dead bodies on back of trucks, before we were even able to get their names or other information. What can you even say to the people who don’t even respect the dead. No one was allowed to speak to the wounded or get any information from them. This morning the faculty and the students protested by gathering at the lobby of the hospital where they were confronted by plain cloths anti-riot militia, who in turn closed off the hospital and imprisoned the staff. The extent of injuries are so grave, that despite being one of the most staffed emergency rooms, they’ve asked everyone to stay and help–I’m sure it will even be worst tonight.

What can anyone say in face of all these atrocities? What can you say to the family of the 13 year old boy who died from gunshots and whose dead body then disappeared?

This issue is not about cheating(election) anymore. This is not about stealing votes anymore. The issue is about a vast injustice inflected on the people. They’ve put a baton in the hand of every 13-14 year old to smash the faces of “the bunches who are less than dirt” (government is calling the people who are uprising dried-up torn and weeds) .

This is what sickens me from dealing with these issues. And from those who shut their eyes and close their ears and claim the riots are in opposition of the government and presidency!! No! The people’s complaint is against the egregious injustices committed against the people.

Today the Iranian football team wore green wristbands in a show of solidarity. They were forced to take them off at half-time.

Persianq is broadcasting live & recorded footage from the streets.

Tehran Bureau is an excellent source of information on what's going on in Tehran. You can also follow them on twitter at @TehranBureau.

If you're tweeting make sure you check Twitspam for a list of bad accounts, liars, gov't spooks, and people posting goatse in the #iranelection and #gr88 channels.

If you read Farsi better then I do here's a list of reliable bloggers and news sources in Farsi that are updating semi-regularly.

Youtube has finally buckled to pressure from the masses and relaxed it's standards in re Irani protest videos and has organised a channel dedicated to videos coming out of the Irani protests.

The Pirate, excuse me, Persian Bay has created a secure forum Why We Protest for Iranians and supporters to gather and talk.

Another pretty good site rounding up info and info on solidarity protests in various cities.

Reliable sources say that the Basiji are randomly attacking people in the street now and that they can be heard speaking Arabic and not Farsi. Rumours that the police and the militia will not attack their own people are true. Only foreign calls are allowed from gov't monitored landlines - will probably not get to talk to my friends, at least not about what's going on.

On Friday Khamenei will preside over Friday prayers. Iranians are calling for global day of solidarity. There will be a march in Tehran with Mousavi.

"Loyalty to one's country, always. Loyalty to one's government when it deserves it." -Mark Twain.

Let the revolution be here and the 30 year reign of terror in Iran be ending.


(I'm too tired to continue - I was up to see the Iran/S. Korea match at 0400 my time this morning. UGH. More as I come upon it.)


Greenconsciousness said...


I am urging people, especially women, to wear green bracelets in solidarity with our Iran sisters and brothers – will you do it ? And tell others?

lost clown said...

I already have. I am doing as much as I can to spread awareness, and I am wearing as much green as possible (as well as carrying green fabric around with me and offering it around to people).

Spread it far and wide.

Greenconsciousness said...

We are together with Uppity Woman and Konagod too!

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to tell you how grateful I am for people like you. It's been three years since your blog post, and I just wanted to make sure you know that you are still helping women all over the place. Thank you so much for joining the fight to keep our bodies ours.
You mention on your site that you have a disability and that you don't always have the time, so no reply necessary, and you can delete this since it's irrelevent. Just wanted you to know that after all this time people are still very grateful for you and sites like yours.


Anonymous said...

I don't know how I missed this.

Count me green, too!

Vanessa said...

Thank you. I hope to follow your blog for more information in the future. I am sickened by our lack of empathy in America. I hope to make a difference!

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