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July 09, 2009

Iran Protests Start Up Again

Despite arrests and beatings, Iranians haven't given up yet on overturning the results of last month's presidential elections.

Anti-government protesters tried to gather outside Tehran University on Thursday, despite a heavy police presence and sharp warnings from the governor of Tehran that the planned demonstration was unauthorized and would be met with a "crushing response."

Riot police with shields and batons dispersed people as they walked through alleys and attempted to assemble at Engelhab Square, in front of the campus, around 5 p.m., witnesses reported. People could be heard screaming in the background as one witness was interviewed. The witness said members of the Baseej, a volunteer militia, were beating people with clubs.

"There are 300 of us in a small alley and we are under attack by dozens of security forces," the witness reported. Pepper spray was used, and police officers in plainclothes led people off the streets into white unmarked vans, the witness said.

Today's protests don't seem to have been called by Mousavi but rather have been organized locally to coincide with the anniversary of a brutally surpressed student rebellion ten years ago.

With cell-phone networks shut down, witnesses shared accounts via email and websites such as Twitter and Facebook. One witness said police fired tear gas into buses. Another said she had seen paramilitary basij fighters tossing protesters from pedestrian bridges onto the road below. There were several accounts of beatings.

This morning, witnesses described one of the biggest deployments of security forces since the start of the demonstrations after Iran’s disputed June 12 election. One protester said there were ‘ten times’ as many basiji on the streets as this person had ever seen. ‘The tension was so high,’ said another, ‘you could cut it with a knife.’

From an Iranian Twitterer (Tweeter?)

Getting 2 many reports 2 keep up w/. Clashes all ovr Tehran, protests all ovr Iran. Again Mullahs join protest in Mashad

Meanwhile, the US is too busy trying to reinstall a wannabe strongman in Honduras to meddle or say anything about people fighting and dying for their rights.


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posted by DrewM. at 10:13 AM

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