I also know that Iran’s women stand in the vanguard. For days now, I’ve seen them urging less courageous men on. I’ve seen them get beaten and return to the fray. “Why are you sitting there?” one shouted at a couple of men perched on the sidewalk on Saturday. “Get up! Get up!”
Another green-eyed woman, Mahin, aged 52, staggered into an alley clutching her face and in tears. Then, against the urging of those around her, she limped back into the crowd moving west toward Freedom Square. Cries of “Death to the dictator!” and “We want liberty!” accompanied her.
There were people of all ages. I saw an old man on crutches, middle-aged office workers and bands of teenagers. Unlike the student revolts of 2003 and 1999, this movement is broad.
12:10 PM ET — Reports: Embassies accepting injured Iranians. Several reports on Twitter report that the Australian, British, and Dutch embassies are taking in Iranians injured during today’s violence. A sample: “Australian Embassy accepting injured: No. 13, 23rd Street, Khalid Islambuli Ave. The British embassy is now accepting injured Iranians”
11.50am: According to AUTNews, a student website, the entire chemistry department at Tehran’s Sharif university - one of the country’s most prestigious institutions - has resigned en mass in objection to “the recent crimes and attacks”, writes Robert Tait.
Some 120 lecturers at Tehran university and academic staff at Amir Kabir university had already resigned. It almost seems a cliche to say so, but these sort of protests evoke yet more echoes of the revolution.
5:03 PM ET — The Iranian soccer players who may have taken the fall. An Iranian-American friend writes: Just got of the phone with a person who has a lot of insight into Iranian football. He covers Iranian soccer extensively and has interviewed many of the national players in the past few years. He made a great point. He said the 6 people who wore the bands, with the exception of one, are at the end of their careers and, knowing that there will be some kind of reaction, likely took the fall for rest of the team. He firmly believes the 5 older team members who others look up to most likely asked the others not to take the chance and not ruin their professional and financial careers.
“Thirty years ago we supported each other. When police used tear gas, fires would be lit to neutralise its effects. People would set their own cars on fire to save others. Since then, the government has tried to separate people from one other. What we lost was our togetherness, and in the past month we have found that again. All the armed forces in Iran are only enough to repress one city, not the whole country. The people are like drops of water coming together in a sea.”—I speak for Mousavi. And Iran | Mohsen Makhmalbaf | Comment is free | The Guardian
1) As a smart Iranian-American reader pointed out, the best evidence of potential fraud is that the alleged results indicate that Mousavi did not even win his hometown. Now, Mousavi comes from a minority background in Iran, and in his hometown, virtually everyone is from the same minority. As the reader noted, “it’s almost like having Obama getting only 20-30% of the African American vote.” It’s not direct evidence of fraud — just highly improbable.
2) As to serious allegations of fraud, I present you with this excerpt from NYT executive editor Bill Keller’s first piece from Iran:
One employee of the Interior Ministry, which carried out the vote count, said the government had been preparing its fraud for weeks, purging anyone of doubtful loyalty and importing pliable staff members from around the country.
"They didn’t rig the vote," claimed the man, who showed his ministry identification card but pleaded not to be named. "They didn’t even look at the vote. They just wrote the name and put the number in front of it."
Again, not direct evidence of fraud, but a serious allegation from someone in the position to know the truth.
In other words, Iranians are completely justified to be highly suspicious of the results of this election. They shouldn’t “get over it.”
1:38 AM ET — “This is it. This is the big one.” NYU Professor Clay Shirky (via email from Diane Tucker): “I’m always a little reticent to draw lessons from things still unfolding, but it seems pretty clear that … this is it. The big one. This is the first revolution that has been catapulted onto a global stage and transformed by social media. I’ve been thinking a lot about the Chicago demonstrations of 1968 where they chanted ‘the whole world is watching.’ Really, that wasn’t true then. But this time it’s true … and people throughout the world are not only listening but responding. They’re engaging with individual participants, they’re passing on their messages to their friends, and they’re even providing detailed instructions to enable web proxies allowing Internet access that the authorities can’t immediately censor. That kind of participation is really extraordinary.
Traditional media operates as source of information not as a means of coordination. It can’t do more than make us sympathize. Twitter makes us empathize. It makes us part of it. Even if it’s just retweeting, you’re aiding the goal that dissidents have always sought: the awareness that the ouside world is paying attention.
“Moin, a student of chemical engineering at Tehran University – the same campus where blood had been shed just a few hours before – was walking beside me and singing in Persian as the rain pelted down. I asked him to translate. “It’s a poem by Sohrab Sepehri, one of our modern poets,” he said. Could this be real, I asked myself? Do they really sing poems in Tehran when they are trying to change history? Here is what he was singing: “We should go under the rain. We should wash our eyes, And we should see the world in a different way.”—The day of destiny - Middle East, World - The Independent
“6:12 PM ET — “Deafening.” From a reader: “My next door neighbor is an Iranian immigrant who came here in 1977. He just received a SAT phone call from his brother in Tehran who reports that the rooftops of nighttime Tehran are filled with people shouting ‘Allah O Akbar’ in protest of the government and election results. The last time he remembers this happening is in 1979 during the Revolution. Says the sound of tens of thousands on the rooftops is deafening right now.” It’s almost four in the morning in Iran.”—Iran Violence (VIDEO): Protests Erupt, Riot Police Launch Crackdown