Monday, December 28, 2009


Watching the huge number of protesters streaming down a street in Tehran I wondered about their lives. I can see their faces in this video. Seemingly ordinary people risking life and limb to manifest a disapproval of what passes as their government. They chant "Death to the dictator", and film each other, moving about the cars that are staled and stuck in the sea of public opinion that sweeps around them.

I have taken to the streets (and the forests) myself and disobeyed they law to express an opinion, and prevent an act which I and many others believed to be wrong from continuing. The feeling when one is in the 'protest space', where the rules of the mass society have become the rules of the group (perhaps one can say mob) is an exhilarating sensation when it goes well. If it goes badly it can be terrifying as the authorities reclaim the space for the state.

Yesterday a group of the feared Basij militia were outnumbered and overpowered and beaten by protesters.

In another incident Basij were overpowered, beaten and their motorcycles burnt:

The intensity of the protest is so much greater than it was in the June demonstrations. It seems the popular forces are no longer as cautious as they were around the time of the death of Neda Agha-Soltan.

The only certainty regarding the events in Tehran is that there will be more deaths. The protesters are clearly aware of this but it seems that it is not deterring them. The future for Iran is being decided but it is not a revolution, it is a civil war.

Nightly chant at Tehran Ashura 88

Iran News Now has been running Live-blog: Ashura in Iran – December 27, 2009.
For more see

Justice for Iran
Tumblr: Basij
Tehran Live
BBC Photos

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