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.)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

This blog has gone green for Iran

So everyone should be aware that the protests in Iran are not stopping and in fact in many ways have picked up steam. At the protests on the 15th flyers were being circulated with a list of demands:
7 point statement distributed among the protesters in Tehran today:

Dismissal of Khamenei for not being a fair leader
Dismissal of Ahmadinejad for his illegal acts
Temporary appointment of Ayatollah Montazeri as the Supreme Leader
Recognition of Mousavi as the President
Forming the Cabinet by Mousavi to prepare for revising the Constitution
unconditional and immediate release of all political prisoners
Dissolution of all organs of repression, public or secret

Ayatollah Montazeri has released a statement saying that no sane person should accept these results. There have been several reports from trusted sources that the night before Ahmadinejad's victory announcement Mousavi was called and told that he had won with a 57% majority.

Translation: "We write Mousavi, they read Ahmadinejad"

All sorts of communication: SMS, cell phones, texts, internet (twitter & facebook & the like), etc, are all being blocked by the Iranian government. They are also searching for the IP addresses and locations of twitterers and bloggers. If you want to help by setting up a proxy go here for instructions in Windows and a link to instructions for Linux, and here for instructions for Macs. There's instructions to get your IP info to people tweeting/blogging from Iran. I used mine for my friends I met there when I visited way back in the 90s. Whoever they share it with I trust. If you do this do not publish it anywhere public. Also if you are on Twitter please change your location to Tehran and your local time to GMT +03:30. Flood them with targets to hide the actual twitterers.

To follow on twitter the hashtags are #iranelection (which we know is being monitored so be careful - don't RT using the names of any Iranian tweeters), and #gr88 (which we should assume is being monitored as well). I recommend following @persiankiwi as well.

Best of Tweets live round-up
Live-blogging the Uprising (huffpo) Best place to find videos and stuff
A comprehensive breakdown of the current situation in Iran including timeline
Pictures showing that candidates lost votes as the day went on
Why We Links for rallies around the world, info, etc.

Rally in Tehran

Also people are pressuring Google to follow in the BBC's footsteps and go green in support of the protesting Iranians. Do what you can. If I have anything that I think is not publicised well enough I will post it here.

Protesters take on the police:

(now this is what you do. They were outnumbered, but they didn't let a few police stop them.)

Wear Green, show your support. The BBC went green (for some reason they have since reverted).

WARNING: This is a video of a man being beaten by the police.

Hopefully the genie is out of the bottle and the revolution and overthrow of Ayatollah Khomeni and his religious thugs will occur. To everyone in Iran: stay safe. To my friends in Iran who will probably not get to read this: you are constantly in my thoughts and in my heart I am there standing by your side on those streets.