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Thursday, July 09, 2009
Update from 9 July

From a series of emails:

One 26 year old engineering student said: “tell the world what is happening here. This is our revolution. We will not give up.” Asked what he wanted he said “We want democracy.” Men and women are in the streets, but young men are mostly in the side alleys where it’s hard to see amidst the trash fires. They’re now throwing rocks at riot police who are coming back and forth. One young man rushes out in front of the other throws a rock then raises his hands to the crowd cheering. The police are desperately trying to contain crowds by shooting tear gas.

Crowd keeps coming back — there’s one bus full of people that’s inching along and everyone on board is chanting.

Saw two men carrying a huge floral arrangement of yellow and purple flowers on green leaves above their heads in commemoration of those killed in the last month and 1999. Someone beside me said: “They’re risking their lives to do that. The police will not be afraid to kill them for that.”

Later, from the same person:

The hotel gave me a taxi driver who’s apparently friends with the Basij and we drove around to all the main squares — Valiasar, Fatemi, Azad Abadi, Vanak, Enqelab. Seems the protests have been completely crushed around 9pm. There’s very little foot traffic but main corridors jammed with cars. Hundreds of Republican Guards and Basij at Enqelab, Valiasar and Vanak. At Vanak soldiers every 5 feet around the roundabout. Lots of Basij motorcycle gangs (15-25 in each) swerving around the cars. Some had their helmets off and were waving their batons in the air in victory. Hundreds of Basij have set up camp in Laleh park, which seems to be pretty close to the epicenter. Some fires still burning.

The people, who have bravely protested the electoral injustice, are now becoming even braver. You see that the utterly sensible fear that they have been battling, appears to be under control. The crowds may have moved beyond their own fear of jail, torture and even death.

The toothpaste of democracy is not going back in to the tube.

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posted at 2:11 PM

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