Live-blogging Iran protest, Feb 20 / 1 Esfand

I’ll be live-blogging Iranian protest that’s supposed to happen tomorrow Feb 20th around 3pm Tehran time.

Per Tehran Bureau Iranian government has issued a warning that it will confront protestors tomorrow.

Tehran Bureau has also posted a sad but important article about Mohammad Mokhtari one of the young men who was shot by the Basij during the Feb 14th 2011 protests. Wall Street Journal has reported:

“Mr. Mokhtari, described as strikingly handsome with jet black hair and big eyes, came from a large middle class family, and loved sports. He hiked on weekends and played soccer and basketball, friends say. He had a good sense of humor and relished the Iranian political satire show Parazit, aired on Voice of America and modeled after the Comedy Central’s Daily Show With Jon Stewart, according to his Facebook postings. His Facebook postings are nearly all about encouraging friends to join the antigovernment protests on Monday. Before he headed out to the demonstrations, he posted “Happy Valentine’s Day,” and then posted a funny video of an Iranian woman dancing. Both [he and Jaleh] were shot by men on motorcycles that their friends say bore the hallmarks of the Basij. After Mr. Mokhtari was shot, he briefly fell to the ground but got up and continued marching for a while as blood soaked his shirt, witnesses said. He said he was fine, according to [a] friend, but died in the hospital the next day. In mere physical terms, he thus departed this life in a hospital bed. In truth, by contrast, he surpassed even his own proud wish to die standing. Mohammad Mokhtari died marching.”

Tonight you can already hear the cries of Allah-o Akbar from the rooftops of Tehran reminding the Iranian government that we are here and countless.

An interesting note is on the SephahNews apparently by the head of armed forces, Hasan Firouzabadi. The note is translated on Enduring America:

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Firouzabadi, ostensibly addressing generals in the Arab world, declared that a nation guided by divine principles “cannot be stopped by bullets”: “Other governments must learn the lessons of Tunisia and Egypt and align themselves with their peoples.” He pointed to the example of military commanders executed after the 1979 Islamic Revolution to indicate what happens to those who don’t defend the new nation.

On the surface, that is a call to militaries in Arab countries to uphold the “proper” revolution. But, with rumours of splits in Iran’s military forces swirling, some are wondering if Firouzabadi might be sending a message closer to home.

And there’s another theory: Firouzabadi’s references to the past 30 years and puts out the message that a regime cannot win by oppression. So if that is true in Egypt and Tunisia, could the head of the military be indicating that it is also true in Iran?
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Could it be that the some of the good guys in the Iranian military and revolutionary guards will finally stand up and protect the defenseless people?

Phone calls have been restricted to Iran to presumably stop the news from getting out. Per sources on twitter and youtube Internet access is extremely slow in iran right now.

8:10 am PST: Heavy security everywhere. Protests have been noted in Vali Asr Square in Tehran, the city of Shiraz, and Rasht. Numbers are not clear. There are reports of at least 3 protesters being killed in Tehran but this is not confirmed yet.

Just saw a twitter feed from oxfordgirl that protests have been confirmed in Tehran, Rasht, Shiraz, Mashhad, Isfahan, and Kurdistan regions – Mahabad and Merwan.

Persiankiwi tweets that there are heavy clashes in Vali Asr Square. Revolutionary Guards are using pepper gas and people are hearing the sounds of shooting. Apparently, the revolutionary guards are wearing masks today which shows that they are frightened.

Most protest activity in Tehran today seems to be concentrated on Vanak Square, Vali Asr Square, Yousef Abada and some people in Freedom Square. These are areas in downtown Tehran. The rest of the city appears to be quiet and full of security forces. Apparently, more people are joining the protests now that the work day is over and the feeling is that the protest are going to go on until late at ngiht.

Freedom messenger reports that the Iranian regime is cracking down on protests in the city of Rashat with chains and clubs.

Freedom messenger just reported that YouTube has closed down Freedommessenger20 youtube channel. It’s not clear why?! Seems strange at a time like this! UPDATE: Freedom messenger started a new youtube channel until s/he gets the last one back.

At 6pm today Tehran time we’re hearing of approximately 6000 protesters in the streets of the city of Isfahan. There are plainclothes Basij among the crowd taking the protesters by surprise.

Freedom messenger reports of hard clashes around Tehran University dorms. The Islamic regime is attacking the crowd with car and motorbikes. BBC Persian has confirmed c that they have been shooting at the crowd in various locations. At Enghelab square in Tehran, people are throwing flammable material at the Islamic regime’s thugs and Basij forcing them to retreat while shouting “Death to Khamenei,” and “Seyyed Ali [Khamenei] must know that he is gone soon.”

Tehran Bureau provides a quote form a protestor at 9:10pm today:

“The number of demonstrators was about the same as Feb 14, but scattered across two axes instead of one (which was the case with Feb 14). Violence by the security forces was significantly lower than Feb 14, although their numbers were much much more (the whole city was virtually turned into a military fort). Demonstrators were mostly walking in silence, except when attacked by the security forces.”

Another correspondent has reported: “People (hundreds of thousands I think) were walking densely in the sidewalks, with smiles on their faces. It seems that the security forces were given specific orders not to engage with the demonstrators unless they start shouting slogans.”

Another report from Hamid Farokhina:

“Many of the security personnel wore masks to conceal their identities, as was also true on Monday. In last year’s protests, only a handful of these men wore masks. Today, most of the Basij and Intelliegence Ministry personnel did so. Even some of the regular NAJA cops, whom many people regard as civil servants with batons, were wearing masks. Some Basijis were wearing ski masks that gave them a seriocomic look, especially when they were seen eating snacks with their masks on.”

This is a BBC persian report of today’s protest. Apologies to those who don’t speak Farsi.

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8 Comments

AllanNovember 22nd, 2014 at 8:27 pm

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ñýíêñ çà èíôó….

wesleyNovember 26th, 2014 at 11:39 am

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thank you!…

robertoDecember 4th, 2014 at 5:58 pm

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ñïñ!…

JackieDecember 4th, 2014 at 6:31 pm

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thanks….

AllanDecember 4th, 2014 at 7:04 pm

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ñïñ!…

ChrisDecember 5th, 2014 at 6:18 pm

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ñïñ çà èíôó!!…

arthurDecember 6th, 2014 at 2:00 am

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ñïàñèáî!!…

MauriceDecember 10th, 2014 at 8:24 pm

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áëàãîäàðþ!!…

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