Remember that peaceful protest that was advertised yesterday? Today I woke up to reports that hundreds of thousands had gathered in Tehran and that the crowd was growing steadily. Some are reporting that the crowd is now (9:00 PST) 1-1.5 million-people strong. According to the New York Times: “The protesters said they would continue, with another major rally planned for Tuesday.”
Again, because things in Iran are unfolding as I write this, I’m going to refrain from writing a full summary of events until the end of the day. In the meantime, I’ll update this post with interesting (and [hopefully] credible) information as it comes in. (Updates after the jump.)
An account of the beginning of the protest from the NIAC:
More on today’s rally from eyewitnesses we trust: The rally was scheduled to be from 4-6 pm, going from Englab Sq. to Azadi Sq. The Ministry of Interior did not provide a permit for the rally according to our source, and the first 3,000-4,000 people were met by armed forces in full riot gear and a number of Basij officials in street attire. By 4 pm, there were 100,000-200,000 people ready to attend the rally, and Mousavi, Karroubi, Khatami, Khatami’s brother, and Karbassji (former mayor of Tehran and affiliate of Rafsanjani) all showed up.
The armed forces did not engage the crowd and the crowd started to chant “arm forces, support support” i.e “nuroyeh entzammy: hemayat hemayat”. According to the source, there will be a rally tomorrow for Mousvi tomorrow at 5 pm in Vali Asr Sq. and there will be a national strike by all of Mousavi’s supporters.
He says Mousavi’s supporters are outraged by Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric towards them, calling them a “bunch of yahoos and no-gooders, whose aims is to disrupt the nation and its security”
From the New York Times:
Hundreds of thousands of people marched in silence through central Tehran Monday to protest Iran’s disputed presidential election, in an extraordinary but peaceful show of defiance that appeared to be the largest demonstration in Iran since the 1979 revolution
From Andrew Sullivan at The Atlantic:
Translated from Farsi by a reader from this site:
119 members of Tehran University faculty have resigned en-masse as a protest to the attack on Tehran University dorms last night. Among them is Dr Jabbedar-Maralani, who is known as the father of Iranian electronic engineering. They have asked for the resignation of Farhad Rahbari the appointed president of Tehran University, for his incompetence in defending the University’s dignity and student lives.
In his first public appearance since the elections three days ago, Mir Hossein Mousavi, the defeated presidential candidate, told supporters at the Tehran rally on Monday that he would take part if new elections were called. “The vote of the people is more important than Mousavi or any other person,” he said. The demonstrators headed toward the capital’s huge Freedom Square in the largest display of opposition to the election results to date. “Mousavi we support you! We will die but retrieve our votes!” shouted supporters, many wearing the trademark green colour of Mousavi’s election campaign.
Another sign of Government re-alignment in the face of the demonstrations: Press TV reports Speaker of the Parliament Ali Larijani has appointed a committee, headed by the Deputy Speaker, to investigate “unpleasant incidents” such as the security forces’ raid on the dormitories of Tehran University, and compile a “complete and impartial report”. Members of the Iranian Parliament, the Majlis, who toured the dormitories have called for the release of students detained in the raids.
Nico Pitney at The Huffington Post:
12:44 PM ET — At least one reported dead. ABC’s Jim Sciutto: “sev reports of pro-govt militia firing on protesters, AP photog reports one protester dead”
12:47 PM ET — AP files. “TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — AP photographer sees pro-government militia fire at opposition protesters, killing at least 1.”
More from @persiankiwi: people are running in streets outside. There is panic in streets.people going ino houses to hide.
12:53 PM ET — More people shot? Emailer Walt sends a link to this site, which is claiming (in Farsi) that she saw half a dozen hit by gunfire. But I note it because she also includes new cell photos from the scene.
12:59 PM ET — Reuters witness: “many wounded.” “@Reuters: FLASH: Gunman fire on people at pro-Mousavi rally, one killed, many wounded -witness”
From Andrew Sullivan at The Atlantic:
people are running in streets outside. There is panic in streets.people going ino houses to hide.
Dr. Jebhe Dar Maralani, the president of Tehran University’s College of Electronics resigned in protest to last night’s killing of five students.
From Ahvaz: Around Ahavaz bridge the sounds of gunshots can be heard. People have gathered in Naderi street. Cell phones have been disconnected in this city.
Satellite TV is jammed… Internet is slow… Cell phone service coming and going… the night is coming in… this makes one worried
People in Rasht being hunted by police forces, reportedly with teargas. Those in their houses shelter the ones running.
We have heard what sounds like gunshots in distance. still have people on streets we have not heard from.
As it gets dark Basij expected target University dorms again
AT LEAST ONE DEAD AFTER PRO-GOVERNMENT MILITIA OPEN FIRE AT OPPOSITION SUPPORTERS IN TEHRAN. Pls RT!
People are getting killed in Azadi Sq.
Demo spread from Azadi sq, to streets and hwys around it. Cars honking horns, smaller groups marching. False hopes?
Dispersed fights in Tehran; sound of shooting heard
Tho today’s protest is illegal, police not moving in. Possibly too big to handle, or images of attax beg. to embarrass ldrs
Just returned from Mousavi demonstration. Huge, easily 100s of thousands. Mood is peaceful, even happy.
unconfirmed as yet – mousavi newspaper offices raided.
Students are being surrounded in Shiraz Uni civil police (Basij) is in fight with people.
There are too many people just watching. Watching argument between forces and youth. What are they thinking about?
I hear that NPR is claiming that it is false news that Mousavi is in crowd now. IT’S NOT! Tell them pp, we have pics!
Mousavi now; “these masses were not brought by bus or by threat. they were not brought for potatoes. they came themselves”
@BabakMehrabani is saying that he was beaten by a baton and his right hand is numb. He is twitting with the left hand.
They blocked all the streets ends to university!
Tens of thousands of protestors are chanting “No fear, No fear, we are with each other”.
Lots of reports about how raids on university dorms targeted students’ computers:
For those interested in following the action themselves (and facing the absolutely overwhelming amounts of good/bad data coming out of Iran), the following Twitter streams and liveblogs might be useful: