Iran protests draw thousands but are quickly quelled
Los Angeles Times / Ramin Mostaghim & Borzou Daragahi
09-Jul-2009 (one comment)

Reporting from Tehran and Beirut -- Violent clashes erupted Thursday in downtown Tehran between thousands of defiant protesters chanting "Death to the dictator" and security forces wielding truncheons, as the political crisis over Iran's disputed presidential election stretched into its fourth week. Contingents of uniformed and plainclothes security forces flooded the city's central squares and managed with batons and tear gas to eventually disperse the demonstrators, many of whom wore black and held up their fingers in V-for-victory salutes. Demonstrators in and around Enghelab (Revolution) Square set fire to trash bins to ward off the effects of the tear gas, witnesses said, but mostly avoided engaging security forces in the rock throwing and running street battles that characterized the protests held just after the June 12 election. There were reports of clashes in other Iranian cities, but they could not be confirmed. Demonstrators said they were determined to defy the authorities, led by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who have demanded an end to rallies and acts of civil disobedience. Tracts distributed online and as leaflets called on protesters to borrow the nonviolent tactics of the U.S. civil rights movement, avoid rifts within their ranks and do nothing that would hamper morale.

Majid Zahrai

"Mojtaba, may you die..."

by Majid Zahrai on

There were fewer of them, yes, but the very act of showing up and defying warnings and threats of retribution is a major victory and a good example of civil disobedience.  The Iranian protesters are becoming fearless and that must create a lot of fear for the rulers who have governed by creating fear for 30 years.