More on Wednesday’s demonstrations

I contacted some people that were at the demonstrations. One group started at around 4pm at Haft-e Tir square, down Karimkhan street, Valiasr square, Keshavarz boulevard, down Kargar street, and then Enghelab square. It took a total of three hours. But when they contacted friends who had gone back to Haft-e Tir because they had left their car there, they reported that there were still people coming from Hafte-tir even at around 8pm. I have marked the route in light green in the map below for those who are not familiar with Tehran, it is something between 4 and 5 kilometers. Another person said that some people had gone towards the Tehran University dormitory complex (Kuy-e Daneshgah) (which was scene of a bloody attack a few day ago), the route that they have probably taken is branched off in the map in a darker green. There seems to have been people in many of the other streets in the area as well.

17june

I also talked with someone who had spent more that three hours on top of Karimkhan bridge (seen in the video below), in order to have an estimate of the number of people participating in the demonstration. Calculating the number of people that passed by per minute, the estimation was that around 1.5 million people had passed by that very point, this is not considering the huge number of people that had entered the route from other perpendicular alleys after that, which could have been half that amount. This particular person was also pretty active in the 1979 revolution and believed that this demonstration was twice as big as any demonstration in those days. There has been NO account of violence that I have heard of, and people have not been chanting any slogans, just holding their hands up with signs of victory, and some holding posters, amazingly quiet.

Somehow there is a widespread awareness of how to handle this among everybody, something that I also saw here at the protests in The Hague. The demands are clear, protesting the election outcome, asking for another free and fair election, and preventing the country from turning into a totalitarian dictatorship. Anybody saying anything outside this framework is promptly quietened by the crowd, so as to not give an excuse to brand them as being after a “velvet-revolution”. Nothing against the supreme leader, the Islamic republic itself, no insults to anybody, even AN.  One of the demonstrators today said that the campaign officials that loosely monitored the demonstrations would make sure nothing like that would get through, and nobody would object. This is not because we have no problem with the current system, but because we don’t want another revolution, not to mention foreign involvement in our country. We want to go back to the state before AN, or even before the elections, then we would be back to ground zero and would need hard work to make whatever changes we want from within.

I am basically worried to death and have my heart in my throat the whole time each of these rallies is going on, waiting to hear some bad news (like what happened on Monday). This is particularly heightened when I happen to listen to the rhetoric from the Iranian state television, they try to portray these protesters as thugs, rioters, and trouble-makers. They don’t sound as if they want to compromise, that they may want to suppress all these people or that they may have some other worse, more complicated plans. I pray to god that it may not be so.

But I am mostly hopeful. If we gain nothing else, we have already shown our courage, persistence, and maturity to the world. A dictator will not have a cahnce to rule for too long over such people. I am proud of our people.

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2 Comments »

  1. Chiara said

    Great update! You are rightfully proud!

  2. tunahan said

    I finally managed to finish scanning all the stuff you shared in facebook and read all your entries in this blog.

    Regarding the protests, so far so good! My gut feeling is that this will give birth to something very good for your country at the end. Just keep going the peaceful protests on streets & on online world.

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