Iran after the elections: 16 June 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hi - if you're here due to a Twitter update, check the bottom of the post.

I'll be updating this post throughout the day as events warrant.


First, here's a quick video from the huge gathering yesterday.



And one more from CNN.



But ten days to wait for a ruling...it doesn't look like the protests are going to die down any time soon. Just remember that people have been gathering every single night over the past two weeks or so during the runup to the election, and I only expect them to grow today as now people have an idea of just how much support they have on their side. Today there is a general strike and another gathering at Valiasr at 5 pm.

Due to all the traffic, Twitter has decided to postpone a 90-minute downtime, switching it to Tuesday at 1:30 am in Iran when assumedly the service will be less needed.

Mousavi is not optimistic about the appeal to the Guardian Council and neither am I, so there's no reason to let up on the demonstrations now. Many suspected as soon as the news broke that it was an attempt to take the wind out of the sails of the demonstrators in an attempt to make it look like the government actually was listening.

And yesterday there was some violence at the gathering with one protester shot dead and others injured. One dead and a few injured is worse than people had hoped, but much better than everyone's worst fears.

The picture of the day for yesterday is definitely this one.



President Obama on the situation can be seen in a video here. Deft as always. The United States cannot be allowed to become the story here, but at the same time should not endorse the results or give the impression that they are not concerned with Iranians that have been betrayed in this election.

Twitter has been circulating a rumour that a fake assassination of Ahmadinejad will take place today in order to distract the public from the current issue. Who knows how likely that is. Ahmadinejad was actually scheduled to be in Russia but failed to make it. (Edit: he's in Russia today)

A diary here on DailyKos has some of the best pictures from yesterday.

Check out the fifth picture here - it's a woman giving a policeman a flower. A thread here on Donbaleh (kind of like digg.com in Persian) also says that people should give flowers to security forces. Peaceful revolutions often happen due to police beginning to wonder just why they are standing on their side when really they'd rather be standing with the crowd in front of them.

Hm, some tweets in English are saying that there's also a rally for Ahmadinejad supporters at 3 pm in the same place (Valiasr Street) today. This one in Persian says that the Basij will be there at 3, a government-sponsored one will be there at 4, and a quiet demonstration by Mousavi supporters as 5.

By the way, here's a good example of why you need to take everything on Twitter with a grain of salt (i.e. look for proof, believe credible sources over others):



It's noon in Iran right now and tweets in Persian are saying both that the demonstration at 5 pm is on, and that Ahmadinejad supporters are planning one for 3 pm. I can't help but think that this will be a strategic blunder on their part - at first glance it might seem like a nice bit of intimidation, but on the other hand why risk making it so easy to compare the size of the support for one side vs. another? If they turn out in numbers much smaller than the Greens it's not going to look good for the argument that they are the ones with a majority.

Searching for Ahmadinejad turns up lots of tweets like these. The top one says he's run away to Russia. The bottom one says Ahmadinejad = hog piss.

By the way, one of Seoul's largest streets is also called Tehran Street (테헤란로). It received this name in 1977 when Tehran and Seoul became sister cities, and I think it also had something to do with Iran's helping Korea during an oil crisis at the time. Here's what it looks like.

That's خیابان تهران (khiâbân-e-Tehran) in Persian. Tehran also has a Seoul Street, but I'm not sure where it's located.

More updates (probably in a new post) in a bit over two hours.

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