Facebook, twitter, myspace... Seriously??
- 06-19-2009, 01:59 PM
Updated the posts above to reflect an updated breakdown - but it has grown so large that it's continued here:
late 14th, early 15th of June - This is the second wave of violent repression. At this point, violent riots had spread all over the main cities of Iran. The violence against citizens was not only the fruit of the Basij anymore, but also came from Ansar Hizbullah members. This is the point where firearms started being used. There were reports of a few murders but it was mostly fired in the air or on walls in order to scare away protesters in University dorms. It's also around the same time that the first reports and videos of an important number of non-Persian thugs shouting in Arabic and violently beating people with chains, clubs and electric batons (similar to cattle prods), which led to many speculating that lebanese Hizbullah members were now in Iran. Der Spiegel, through Voice of America, later claimed that 5000 Hizbullah fighters were passing off as Riot Police, validating the claims of many independent sources and twitter feeds.
- Universities have been the hotbed of protests, serving as a hub of anti-government demonstrations and preparations. 120 teachers from the Sharid University resigned in protest over the election results. Perfectly away of this, the Basij, Ansar and possibly Hizbullah members concentrated their attacks on University Dorms all over the country, storming them and beating students, destroying everything, especially computers.
- The end of the second wave came right before the beginning of the current manifestation. Things were getting quieter with only sporadic reports of dissenters being assaulted. Important to note: at this time. the Supreme Leader authorized the plainclothes militias to use live ammunition against the crowd if things were to get out of hands. By the end of the first two waves of protests, hundreds of people had been arrested.
midday, 15th of June - This brings us to the third wave, which just began around 12:30PM for those of us on the East Coast. Plainclothes militia opened fire on civilians protesting peacefully. Possibly up to 2 million protesters took the street. Chaos erupted in the streets, with reports of fighting all over Tehran and spreading over Iran as the news circulated. Pictures of people shot, some to death, finally surfaced and were published in the mainstream media. Violent and murderous repression has started. At least a twenty people had been killed at this by the end of the 15th of June.
- There is a major national crackdown on students, especially those with connections to the outside world going on right now. Students are fighting back in some areas. Telephones are being bugged and everyone twittering and sending videos outside of Iran are being rounded up. ISPs were shut down, government hackers are threatening people who twitter, and some of them have vanished in the last 24 hours.
- Eventually, the people started to fight back. First, they took over and burned down a Basij base, killing its commander. Later, a Basij shot a young man in the face in front of their HQ, at which point a policeman went to confront them. The Basij beat the policeman, at which point students stormed the compound, throwing molotov cocktails, burning it to the ground.
- During the night, the police entered certain neighbourhood to arrest public servants and force them to appear at tomorrow's pro-Ahmadinejad manifestation, but the people went out in the street and forced them out of their neighbourhoods. The Basij have kept on storming dorms. So far the reports are conflicting, but it appears that the death toll could be as high as 40 for the protesters, with two dead on the side of the repressive militias. This is the end of the third wave.
early 16th of June - Supporters of Moussavi have a manifestation planned for 5pm, Tehran time. Roughly the same number or more is expected to attend. People are dressed in black and told to protest silently.
- The pro-Ahmadinejad crowd however are planning a counter-demonstration at the very same place the supporters are supposed to gather at 3pm. Most agree that basically they are simply going to gather for a confrontation. Rumours are that they are taking position in buildings next to the parade and in bunkers to attack. Basij from all over the country are moving to Tehran and supporters are being bused from all over the country. A major showdown is expected to unfold.
- The crackdown on people using telecommunication is as strong as ever. Anyone with a laptop, camera or cellphone is attacked in the street by plainclothes militias. Tehran hotels are under lockdown to prevent the members of the foreign press not yet expulsed from reporting what is happening.
- As for the Iranian Government and different branches, there are rumours that many Army Generals have been arrested for plotting a Coup d'État, but this is still speculation at this point. The Supreme Leader has also called for a 10-day inquiry into the claims of fraud, but it has been widely dismissed as cosmetic. Moussavi and his supporters have rejected this, claiming that they want new elections. Khameini is now using the armed Basij as his own bodyguards, hundreds of them are surround him and his residence to protect from attempted assassinations. Ahmadinejad himself is in Russia right now, for a planned visit, and tries to pretend that everything is good as usual.
midday 16th of June to early 17th of June - The fourth wave of violence has started, and was expected to flare up very soon. It surprisingly was quite mild. Pro-Moussavi supporters said that there were even more people today protesting against the regime, though raw numbers are hard to get. If this is true, it means there are more than 2M protesters in the street right now. They are dressed in black and protesting silently and without violence so far. Other reports that only 250,000 were in the street, possibly scared by the Basij and propaganda.
- The Basij, surprisingly, did not attacking the march itself but rather assaulted dorms again. It looks like they are using the march as a diversion. In Tehran proper, 2000 Basij are waiting to storm the male dorm, and they are backed by IRG helicopters, which seems to send the message that the IRG has broken from their undeclared neutrality toward tacitely supporting the Regime.
- The crackdown on telecommunications is starting to suffocate all of Iran. As of now:
* Gmail and GTalk are shut down
* Yahoo is shut down
* AIM is most likely shut down
* Phone lines are down most of the time
* HTTPS and other such protocols are down most of the time
* Iranian ISPs have been shut down
* They are trying very hard to close down the Iranian connexion to twitter and giving proxies they control in order to track down people
* Cellphones and SMS are shut down
People are also receiving phone calls from the government saying "We know you were in the protests".
- Night fell on Iran, and the Basij were roaming, attacking passerbys at random. They had also surrounded dorms and stormed them once again.
17th of June - With the end of the fourth wave of violence, we have been in a wait and see mode. As of right now, there are many rumors involving clerics and Ayatollahs meeting in the Holy Shiite city of Qom and planning to overthrow Khameini, as well as reports that some in the Army plotting to overthrow the government, semi-confirmations from credible twitterers, but nothing concrete or substantiated so far. These would be extremely big development, so it's better to treat them with caution.
- Nothing much has happened on this day aside of that. There was another mostly peaceful march, with around 500,000 protesters in the street. The Basij and others are still roaming around and beating on the population, as well as dressing in green, destroying buildings and trying to pin the blame on the protesters in order to make them look like a bunch of thugs.
- There have been more than a hundred people arrested in their hospital beds and taken to prison. The number of prisoners right now is estimated between 1,000 and 10,000; possibly more. The Basij are now laying traps into hospitals themselves, trying to snatch up protesters there. There are also reports that they are taking dead bodies before they are identified, stuffing them in vans and leaving to undisclosed locations. Doctors have been setting up outside clinics and fighting back in order to stop the Basij from doing what they do.
18th of June - The protests show no signs of slowing down, and the fact that the government has been less violent so far and concentrating on discrediting the protesters instead shows that they are losing grip and painfully aware of all the attention given to what is happening right now, CNN notwithstanding. It's also a worrying step, because the moment they start feeling they are losing grip even more is the moment where they might begin to unleash brutal waves of violence again, much worse than what we've seen so far.
- Iran Human Rights reports that today alone hundreds of members of the opposition and known Reformists have been arrested, some of them tortured in the basements of government buildings.
- There is a (so far) quiet march going on, where all the protesters are dressed in black and mourning those who have died so far. The crowds are estimated to be as big as they have been for the last few days, so that puts them between 1,000,000 and 2,000,000 in Tehran alone.
- Khameini has agreed to a recount of 600 out of the thousands of ballot boxes, but this has been rejected by the opposition, who says that these elections are to be declared null and void, and that new elections have to be rescheduled. Khameini in return rejected this. There are reports that Mousavi went as far as saying that Khameini does not have authority to preside over the state of Iran anymore.
- As a sign of growing tension in the governmental apparatus, fist-fights were said to have broken out in Parliament over who to support, but it seems that the Parliament will ultimately back Ahmadinejad and Khameini to the end. The Interior Ministry has ordered a police investigation into the massacre of 7 civilians by a Basij firing in a crowd. There are also reports of police officers deserting their posts and joining the protesters, while others use their position in the police force as a way to warn protesters from incoming arrests or crack downs. The army is still silent. There are reports that the man who leaked results of the election giving Khatami winner and Ahmadinejad as losing in third position has been killed in a car "accident".
- The State TV has been turned into a full-blown anti-Revolution machine, constantly hammering on how evil the "thugs" who are smashing around private property are. Problem is that those thugs are in fact Basij dressed in green, but IRIB is reporting it as pro-Moussavi supporters. They have also been showing documentaries about the evils of the internet and how the US, UK and Israel are behind the protests. State Radio is not much better, with talking heads calling for the death of those evil thugs destabilizing the country at the behest of external forces. They have also issued false reports that Moussavi was "condeming the rioters".
- The Government has closed Iran to all foreign communication and coverage, according to many reports. It would also seem that the Iranian government has opened an account in the name of Ayatollah Khameini on Twitter. There are reports that senior aides to all reformist candidates have been arrested, but it has yet to be corroborated and this is not the first time we hear such reports.
- According to Reuters, Iranian prosecutors have warned of the death penalty for the rioters who are involved in violence. Islamic cleric have warned that not going to Friday's prayer service makes you worthy of the death penalty. It is unclear yet what isn't worthy of death penalty at this point if you protest against the regime.
- All the violence reported over Iran is now exclusively done by the Basij, Ansar and, if the rumours are true, Hizbullah and Hamas. The police have completely stopped participating in the repression of the population, and both the Army and IRG are standing still and not doing anything. This is good news, but the Basij are sadly not reducing the level of violence they are unleashing on the population, beating up everyone they can get their hands on. It continued all throughout the night and during the day, but due to the mass of people involved it seems that they are restraining themselves when it comes to the mass rallies, preferring to pick isolated targets.
- Universities have cancelled all exams all over the country, and a long list of rebel students was given to all universities and they have to report the students, who are to be arrested on sight.
- There have been a few confirmed cases of people threatened inside the United States for providing proxies for the revolution. Their details were available on the internet so they were passed around pro-Government forces. If you are helping this revolution, be careful to do so as anonymously as you can. It doesn't mean you are risking your life, but it could potentially result in harrassment or vandalism.
19th of June - Supreme Leader Khameini called for Friday Prayers where he will be present. Reformist leaders have called on their supporters to boycott the prayers led by Khameini. This is huge. Supporters of Khameini flooded Tehran from all corners of Iran on Friday, big post-speech clashes are expected. He made a speech where he labelled the protesters and enemies of the Islamic Revolution as anti-Islam, blamed the West for the current crisis, claimed that Iran was one of the most democratic on earth and that the results were not rigged. And, of course, it's the "Dirty Zionists" who are to blame.
- Iranian prosecutors have warned protesters that violence might be punished with the death penalty, according to Reuters. As the Basij, they are cracking down on the population as ever, roaming the streets, vandalizing both pro and anti-Mousavi targets while pretending to be pro-Mousavi forces and trying to crack down on all dissenters.
- We are in a wait and see mode, as to what exactly will happen as the day goes on, and if Khameini will step up repression of the students. Considering the fiery content of this rather tedious speech, it wouldn't be surprising.
The revolution lives on. Long live the revolution!
Demands from the protesters
Today, Mousavi gave an important speech. Here's the video, and translation
"I have come due to concerns of current political and social conditions - to defend the rights of the nation. I have come to improve Iran's International relations. I have come to tell the world and return to Iran our pride, our dignity, our future. I have come to bring to Iran a FUTURE of FREEDOM, of HOPE. I have come to represent the poor the helpless the hungry. I have come to be ACCOUNTABLE to you my people and to this world.
"Iran must participate in FAIR elections, it is a matter of national importance. I have come to you because of the corruption in Iran. 25% inflation means IGNORANCE - THIEVING - CORRUPTION - where is the wealth of my nation? What have you done with $300 BILLION in last 4 years - where is the wealth of the nation? The next Government of Iran will be chosen by the people. Why do all our young want to leave this country?"
"I know of no creation who places HIMSELF ahead of 20 million of the nation. We are Muslims - what is happening in Iran's Government is a sin! This Government is not what Imam Khomeini wanted for Iran - I will change all this - This is the SEA of GREEN!!"
This is a major landmark. Here are the 7 demands that are distributed by pamphlets to protesters:
1. Dismissal of Khamenei for not being a fair leader
2. Dismissal of Ahmadinejad for his illegal acts
3. Temporary appointment of Ayatollah Montazeri as the Supreme Leader
4. Recognition of Mousavi as the President
5. Forming the Cabinet by Mousavi to prepare for revising the Constitution
6. unconditional and immediate release of all political prisoners
7. Dissolution of all organs of repression, public or secret.
Who is Grand Ayatollah Montazeri?
Ayatollah Montazeri is a pro-Democracy, pro-Human Rights Ayatollah who was at one point on the short list of possible successors of Khomeini, but became marginalized as he adopted what was seen as a too pro-Western, pro-Democracy stance.
Since the beginning of the Revolution, he has been one of the fiercest critics of the Regime, and one of the biggest proponents of women and civil rights for ALL Iranians, including much-maligned minorities like the Baha'is. In fact he goes further than the protections afforded to them under Sharia.
He is also a big critic of Ahmadinejad and has been seen for years as the best hope for Iran if he ever was to come to power, something that was unthinkable a mere week ago.
He has also come out with a statement saying that policemen who beat on protesters and follow orders will not be forgiven under Islam, and that even if the government cuts the lines of communication with the outside world, that it was too late and the truth was getting out
For further information on the Basij, Global Security has a good article about the history of the Basij.
CNN has a good article where eyewitnesses describe the type of violence usually unleashed by the Basij.
Here is another good arti
(blah blah blah)Evolutionary Muse - Inspire to Evolve
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- 06-19-2009, 02:01 PM
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