Lurking beneath the headline stories on cable news shows is the next stage of the Iranian Revolution, which continues to smolder after this summer’s uprising. Police are out in force at this moment trying to put forth the power of the military and Republican Guard in opposition to the will of the public and the religious clerics who founded the current regime.
Two-term Iranian president Mohammad Khatami had a speech interrupted by Mehdi Army thugs today, GreenUnity4Iran has video of various protests going on today and other documentary video.
“Iran 26 Dec 09 Tehran- Jamaran Inside Hosseynieh Hall”
The UK Daily Telegraph has an article today on topic:
Defying police orders to stay indoors, supporters of the country’s pro-reformist movement used a text message campaign to urge hundreds of thousands of demonstrators to take to the streets.
They are capitalising on the fact that Sunday marks the final day of the ten-day festival of Ashura, which commemorates the murder of Imam Hossein, one of Shia Islam’s most revered figures.
Reformists have likened the tale of his martyrdom – which strikes a powerful chord amongst Iranians – to the government’s violent suppression of last summer’s street protests, in which dozens of people were killed.
Today also marks the symbolic seventh day of mourning for cleric Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, a fierce critic of regime hardliners, whose funeral last Monday turned into an anti-government demonstration in the city of Qom.
A source close to the reformist camp told The Sunday Telegraph that with two highly emotive occasions scheduled for the same day, it hoped to mobilise a “mass street presence” that could provide a decisive “turning point” in its campaign.
However, there were fears that an open confrontation could end in serious bloodshed. Police in central Tehran fired shots on Saturday to disperse an early gathering of several hundred protesters, some of whom wore the green ribbons of the defeated presidential candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi.
More today in Tehran:
“26 Dec 09 Tehran. Iranians protest against the government of Iran”
“Iran 26 Dec 09 Kashan Protest”
I don’t expect this to end anytime soon, but as long as the public has the courage to keep the pressure up on the government there is always hope.
[Update] – Thomas Erdbrink at WashintonPost has this from today:
TEHRAN — Security forces opened fire at crowds demonstrating against the government in the capital on Sunday, killing at least four people, including the nephew of opposition political leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, witnesses and Web sites linked to the opposition said.
“Ali Mousavi, 32, was shot in the heart at the Enghelab square. He became a martyr,” the Rah-e Sabz Website reported.
In the heaviest clashes in months, fierce battles erupted as tens of thousands of demonstrators tried to gather on a main Tehran avenue, with people setting up roadblocks and throwing stones at members of special forces under the command of the Revolutionary Guard Corps. They in turn threw dozens of teargas and stun grenades, but failed in pushing back crowds, who shouted slogans against the government, witnesses reported.
A witness reported seeing at least four people shot in the central Vali-e Asr Square. “I saw a riot cop opening fire, using a handgun,” the witness said. “A girl was hit in the shoulders, three other men in their stomachs and legs. It was total chaos.”
Fights were also reported in the cities of Isfahan and Najafabad in central Iran.