From the Streets of Tehran: Dashed Hopes of Some Democracy

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A stencil in Tehran

As media sources around the world are reporting, the political crackdown in Iran has been harsh. I spoke to a friend in Tehran and I was told that authorities (Ahmadinejad & allies) have not only banned all satellite TV and all internet sites (like YouTube, Facebook & other social networks) but that the internet has been reduced to a crawl (from 128 k to 12k) making it impossible to communicate with the outside world.

Anger by young urban voters (overwhelmingly Mousavi supporters) has been bubbling in the streets as hopes of democratic elections have been dashed. People are being scared into silence and dissenters are being called anti-Muslim and other terms that paint them as enemies of the state. As my source told me:

Now the police are like wolves here and Muslim people in neighborhoods are trying to laugh and disrespect us as non-Iranians.

I am told there are claims that government forces have staged fires and smashed into banks during the evening in order to blame opposition forces and encourage a strict state of emergency. But without outside observers it is difficult to know what is truly happening on the ground.

Also of interest:

  • Evidence that the Iranian election was stolen (via Informed Comment)
  • The Class vs. Culture Wars of Iranian society that is a big part of this election (via Informed Comment)
  • What US Secretary of State Clinton is saying about the Iranian election (via HuffPost)
  • Report on the crackdown (via Al-Jazeera)
  • Mousavi lodges legal appeal against Ahmadinejad victory (via Guardian)

One response to “From the Streets of Tehran: Dashed Hopes of Some Democracy”

  1. Street art during this time is really interesting. Your blogging may end up performing an important archival function, given the regime’s interest in wiping this all out.

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