Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Both Sides Hold Demonstrations, a Grand Ayatollah Dissents, and the Latest Tweets and Video from Iran

Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, a leader in the 1979 Revolution, is now questioning the the results of the election and supporting peaceful protests:

In the name of God

People of Iran

These last days, we have witnessed the lively efforts of you brothers and sisters, old and young alike, from any social category, for the 10th presidential elections.

Our youth, hoping to see their rightful will fulfilled, came on the scene and waited patiently. This was the greatest occasion for the government’s officials to bond with their people.

But unfortunately, they used it in the worst way possible. Declaring results that no one in their right mind can believe, and despite all the evidence of crafted results, and to counter people protestations, in front of the eyes of the same nation who carried the weight of a revolution and 8 years of war, in front of the eyes of local and foreign reporters, attacked the children of the people with astonishing violence. And now they are attempting a purge, arresting intellectuals, political opponents and Scientifics.

There are also reports that residents are being called at home and an automated call informs them: "we know that you took part in the rallies and as a result of your participation, you will be dealt with." This was also tweeted yesterday by Jadi, who is inside Iran.

Jadi also reports more intimidation in this latest tweet:

Iran's CyberPolice stated that the government will confront harshly with ppl who reflect "false" news about Iran on the Net. #IranElection

It also appears that the Government is stepping up its efforts to disseminate propaganda. A recent tweet from Change_for_Iran says:

The government now saying our protests was in support of ahmadynezhad in state TV right now! these guys are unbelievable!

There are also tweets about a silent protest that happened today as well.


From Iran:"The rally has been huge,everyone was completely quite, no chanting, ppl had posters &papers in hand." #iranelection


people are standing in front of state TV building in valiasr in silent just holding their hands & mousavi pictures in air.

These tweets are apparently in reference to a rally that was held by the opposition and is confirmed by Reuters:

Thousands of supporters of Iran's defeated presidential candidate Mirhossein Mousavi marched on Tuesday toward the state television building, despite his call for them to call off a planned rally.

(Editors' note: Reuters coverage is now subject to an Iranian ban on foreign media leaving the office to report, film or take pictures in Tehran.)

Mousavi has disputed official results of Iran's election, which showed a landslide win for hardline incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and many tens of thousands of people marched in his support on Monday.

But he urged them to call off a second rally on Tuesday after pro-Ahmadinejad supporters announced a rival demonstration.

Mousavi supporters marching on Tuesday said they planned to assemble in front of the state television IRIB building in northern Tehran. Witnesses said some supporters had already gathered close to the building, which was ringed by riot police.

Wearing wristbands and ribbons in his green campaign colors, the Mousavi supporters carried his picture and made victory signs. Unlike Monday's demonstration where marchers chanted anti-Ahmadinejad slogans, they walked largely in silence.

This is not to be confused with a pro-Ahmadinejad rally that was also held in Tehran today:

Thousands of pro-government demonstrators have gathered in Tehran in a show of support for the authorities' crackdown on independent media and opposition protesters.

The government mustered its supporters in Vali Asr Square on Tuesday, a day after seven people were killed in clashes on the fringes of a huge opposition rally a day earlier.

The protests have been prompted by the outcome of the country's presidential election, which saw Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the incumbent president, win a landslide victory over his rival Mir Hossein Mousavi.

There are also reports of more rooftop chants being conducted this evening in Iran with protesters shouting "Alaho Akbar", or "God is great", from their roofs.

This compilation video has been posted on the Huffington Post's live blogging feed:

The BBC's website has now switched its color to green in a show of solidarity.

A tweet from the account that is said to be related to the Mousavi campaign has tweeted:

Mousavi has jst anouncd his readines togo on live state TV to tell everyone his views of the election & what happened after it #IranElection

Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Apparently the initial reports that the BBC's website has "gone green" are not accurate. It is now being stated that their website changes to different colors randomly and regularly, so the color green was just a coincidence.

Also, you may have noticed that the color of Chris's Commons has been changed to green. My decision to do so is not based upon support for any of the candidates in Iran, but it is to show solidarity with the people who are protesting in order to have their voice heard and their vote counted. It is in this spirit that the voice of the people over tyranny, oppression, and violence is endorsed. One of the goals of this blog is to help convey information of people around the world and when that voice is being taken away through voter disenfranchisement, censorship, or violence, this blog will stand with those who fight for justice. I do not know, nor do I pretend to know, how the election would have turned out in Iran; only that from the information that I have seen, there are serious questions over the current results. The United States must be very careful in their response to this situation as it is so volatile and the call for blanket condemnations of Iran (including resolutions being floated in Congress) may not be the smartest course of action at the present time politically speaking. What I do know is that the people's voice should be heard and this is why I have "gone green" in support of the voice of the people over tyranny and oppression.

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