Protests in Iran continue and expand, seven killed

The Independent’s Robert Fisk from the marches in Tehran:

Not since the 1979 Iranian Revolution have massed protesters gathered in such numbers, or with such overwhelming popularity, through the boulevards of this torrid, despairing city. They jostled and pushed and crowded through narrow lanes to reach the main highway and then found riot police in steel helmets and batons lined on each side. The people ignored them all. And the cops, horribly outnumbered by these tens of thousands, smiled sheepishly and – to our astonishment – nodded their heads towards the men and women demanding freedom. Who would have believed the government had banned this march?

The protesters’ bravery was all the more staggering because many had already learned of the savage killing of five Iranians on the campus of Tehran University, done to death – according to students – by pistol-firing Basiji militiamen. When I reached the gates of the college yesterday morning, many students were weeping behind the iron fence of the campus, shouting “massacre” and throwing a black cloth across the mesh. That was when the riot police returned and charged into the university grounds once more.

At times, Mousavi’s victory march threatened to crush us amid walls of chanting men and women. They fell into the storm drains and stumbled over broken trees and tried to keep pace with his vehicle, vast streamers of green linen strung out in front of their political leader’s car. They sang in unison, over and over, the same words: “Tanks, guns, Basiji, you have no effect now.” As the government’s helicopters roared overhead, these thousands looked upwards and bayed above the clatter of rotor blades: “Where is my vote?” Clichés come easily during such titanic days, but this was truly a historic moment.

CNN now reporting Iran state media has updated the death toll to seven people. From reading the Robert Fisk article above, it sounds like the pro-religious government Basiji forces are attacking those at the far end of the rallies. They are too outnumbered to touch the large groups so they cowardly attack stragglers.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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