A Brief Euphoria in Tehran: 'We Can Win This'
31-Jul-2009 (one comment)

At 4 p.m. the Iranian government broke up an attempted memorial service at a cemetery, but very soon after, tens of thousands of protesters poured into the streets of central Tehran the night of July 30, overwhelming Iran's feared security forces. The crowds burned tires, honked horns, waved peace signs and chanted, "Death to the dictators." Because the demonstrators gathered in several neighborhoods throughout the capital as well as at the country's largest cemetery, 20 km south of the city center, the Basij paramilitary and Revolutionary Guards could not cover enough ground to control the growing crowds — one of the largest outpourings in recent weeks, albeit spread about the city. The protests even continued into the city's subway system as many participants hurried back into the city from the aborted prayer service at Behesht-e Zahra cemetery. "Tehran was our town today," exclaimed a 26-year-old woman. "We had more courage and the police less courage."Indeed, at moments, the streets seemed to belong only to the demonstrators. "At times," said a resident, "I would see hundreds of people all gathered, some on staircases that headed up hills to nearby parks, not watching but participating. There would be 45 minutes of seeing this every 250 meters or so. All without one riot cop." The resident said, "I kept wondering, Where the hell were they? Did the government tell them to lay off?" It was in sharp contrast t... >>>

Majid Zahrai

Protester: ''Tehran was our town today'

by Majid Zahrai on

I think the fact that the protesters were spread in almost every neighborhood the city from North to South and from East to West made it difficult to control the crowd.  The protesters are gaining experience, learning as they go along.  Even if for just a few hours, taking control of the city is an important development.