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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Testimony from Iran, by Anonymous

We get a lift to avoid the teargas. Then there is the attack. A woman is beaten. She's hysterical but so is the anti-riot police officer facing her. She shrieks, "Where can I go? You tell me go down the street and you beat me. Then you come up from the other side and beat me again. Where can I go?" In sheer frustration, the officer hits his helmet hard several times with his baton.

A couple of minutes later we get off. Here's a true battleground. This time it is vast. Columns of smoke touch the sky. You can hardly see the asphalt. It's covered with bricks and stones. Here people have the upper hand. The street consists of three lanes, the middle one separated by opaque fences, under construction for the metro. The workers have climbed up the fence and show the V sign. They start throwing stones and timber to the street to supply needed armament.

I tell myself, "Look at the poor, the ones Ahmadinejad speaks of". But the president's name is no longer in fashion. This time the slogans target the leader, something unheard of for three decades.

Two basijis' motorbikes are burning. People have learned how to do it fast. They lie the motor on its side, make a small fire, then spray it to a point where it becomes inextinguishable. We climb up a bridge and watch. People shout from the bridge, "Down with Khamenei". A basiji is caught: he soon disappears under the crowd beating him. As if in a Roman coliseum, those on the bridge shout, "Beat him up!" I shout with them before coming to my senses. What is with me? He staggers away as a group of 10 kick and punch him all over.

You can get on any car to go back home. People trust one another now. The woman in the seat next to me says: "It's no longer about Mousavi or election results. We have suffered for 30 years. We didn't live a life." An old man next to her offers me fresh bread. They tell jokes about the political figures and laugh out loud. They feel victorious.

But this morning I was so depressed. Some friends came around, but there has been no announcement about any protest. There were rumours it would be in Hafteh-Tir square, but a friend has called to say there's nothing going on there. On Saturday there was a sense of victory – many people were happy expressing what they couldn't express for 30 years. But today there wasn't any. It's bewildering. There is disappointment at Mousavi's latest statement. For me, I wouldn't die for someone like Mousavi. But if there's greater change at stake, then it's worth it.

link: Iran demonstrations: 'I grab a brick and throw. I never thought I'd do it' | World news | The Guardian


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