Things have been relatively quiet in Iran for a week or so, with the government effectively throttling communications and stifling protest by indiscriminate violence and arrests of leading figures. But yesterday — day 28 — the protests were renewed with a vengeance.
Juan Cole comments:
Hundreds of protesters braved tear gas and even some live fire to march toward Tehran University on Thursday, commemorating a crushed student protest movement of 1999 as well as protesting the allegedly stolen elections of June 12. Police intervened to disperse them. A new and significant feature of this demonstration was that simultaneous rallies also occurred in cities all around the country. Although the crowds were relatively small, this national coordination suggests a national underground organization is emerging. The authorities cut off text messaging capabilities on Thursday in a vain attempt to thwart networking.
Andrew Sullivan posts tweets from inside Iran:
Despite being beaten, general feeling is that we WON today!
fires everywhere in Azadi street
Basidj used a gas that burned our skins its still red and inflamed
Plain clothes r now pulling ppl out of stores attacking ppl in streets around enghelab squar
Riot Police using Plastic Bullets at Enghelab Sq, Clashes spreading to all streets nearby.
Police arresting seemingly at random, throwing tear gas into buses
And this, via email to Lara Setrakian:
One person had his arm shattered in different places, another had a broken skulls. As soon as we came out of the houses they continued to use the tear gas and batons. We ran, but it was no use. A young girl and young man were killed in front of us. […]
After a lot of running away and chasing, we tried to get out of being encircled by police. The only option seemed like suicide — we had to cross them, passing through hundreds of officers. They did not think that any protesters would come toward them, so they didn’t think we were part of the demonstration. […]
We were in the red zone and it was nothing less than war. Pray for us.