Saturday, July 18, 2009
Hi - if you're here from a Twitter update, check the bottom of the post.
You can see a video here from CNN summarizing some of the events of yesterday including a picture of Karroubi with his turban off, which would match with the reports on Twitter from yesterday that he was attacked by the basij.
This might be one of the best videos from yesterday:
It starts out with the loudspeaker guy who is responsible for the mottos that usually get shouted at Friday prayer, such as death to America/Zionists/England/infidels/what have you, and everyone is supposed to follow along with what he says. Not so yesterday though. Every time he says death to something, they respond with death to Russia.
Note to Russians: don't worry, they don't really mean death to Russia(ns). 1) Marg bar (X) apparently means something more along the lines of "down with (X)", and 2) They're angry with the Russian government for recognizing Ahmadinejad. You know, hate the government, love the people. Iranians have always been good at making the distinction between a government and its people.
Reza Aslan has written on Rafsanjani's speech here and says that he didn't disappoint. I also noticed on Tehran Bureau yesterday that the general "score" given for the speech is about 13 out of 20 - a little vague here and there, but still better than expected and gave a lot of time to the subject of political prisoners and freedom of expression.
Here's another video from yesterday showing a non-violent confrontation between protesters and a tiny group of Ahmadinejad supporters. The Ahmadinejad supporters get surrounded but no problems break out.
Edit late in the day: former Revolutionary Guard founder and now political exile Mohsen Sazegara has estimated in his video today (text in Persian here, video here) that there were at least 2 million people on the streets yesterday.