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Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Eyewitness account

The Guardian translated the text of a Farsi blogger named Mehdi Saharkhiz, who wrote earlier today about the level of force used by security in attempting to break up demonstrations today.

I was sitting in the Metro. While approaching Imam Khomeini Square, the driver said very politely: “We have to follow police orders, so we can’t stop at Baharestan and Mellat.” People started whispering.

When I emerged from the Metro the streets were full of military forces. Some had masks. Imam Square was full of special forces. Civil police were in the other streets, especially outside the mosques. They had closed Ekbatan Street.

Suddenly we heard an argument. A woman was running away. A man was chasing her and kept kicking her, until she dropped to the ground. I was very frightened. The kind of scene I witnessed make people insensitive, deaf and blind.

The woman being harassed made people boo and shout, while moving towards Jomhurii Street. They were shouting out slogans, such as “God is great” and “Death to the Dictator.”

Then we saw plain-closed police coming on their motor bikes, filming us, and pouring spray on us. We ran into an alley. A woman’s hands were burnt from the spray.

One woman shouted: "death to Khamenei". Boys as young as 15 were carrying lashes.

There was another gathering around 15th Khordad Square. and then towards Naser Khosro, people shouted "Merchants support us".

One old seller shouted to us: "American bastards!"

Someone asked "Why doesn't Bazar support us?" Another answered "because it would cost them too much".

The Bazar was as crowded and tense as Baharestan. It was full of plain-clothed police.

Back in the metro, a man asked: " Where are we supposed to gather in the evening?"

What an inauguration morning!

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posted at 3:59 PM

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