Monday, February 14, 2011

An Eye Witness Account of What Happened in Tehran Today

They separated us in groups.  I am sure that there were at least a million but in every street sign, the guards pushed people north or south.  I marched from Ferdowsi to Yadegar emam with a lot of people and I can estimate about a million people were involved.  Here is a piece that I just sent Golnoush.  Maybe you can get some estimation from it.  People however were filming so I think there would be a flood of videos eventually.

We walked down Gharani Avenue from Karimkhan Avenue to reach Ferdowsi Square around 3 pm.  There were only three of us and we made a promise that if others do not show up we will abandon the march altogether, but were we for a nice surprise.  Even before we got to Ferdowsi Square we saw silent groups of people marching randomly with dedication in their eyes.

3:10 pm the guards were everywhere but not like they were in the Ashura demonstrations (last year).  We reached College Crossway (where Hafez Avenue crosses Enghelab Avenue) and already the sidewalks were filling up with quiet demonstrators without any signs or any slogans.  By the time we reached Vali Asr avenue we realized that the tactic of the guards and the militia is to let groups of people go and then separate them at each cross road so we tried to keep together and stay cool.  3:30 pm marked a painful visual landscape for me that I will never forget; the Basiji thugs and the Revolutionary Guards had brought children in the street.  They gave them clubs and were directing them for the attack, which happened right at that cross road.  The kids were probably 15 or 16 years old but their eyes were filled with hate.  “Good Islamic Teaching, right?” said an elderly man in an angry but muffled voice.

I called my family to tell th
em where I am but the phones went dead around 3:45 and this was when the bikes rolled into the sidewalks and started beating people.  I was separated from my friends in Enghelaab square but kept on going.  The energy of the people and especially of the women and the elderly was like an electrical charge.  I could not feel the beatings anymore and the clubs kept on coming on our heads, shoulders, legs and knees.  

Right at Jamalzadeh crossing, I heard a cheering crowd and realized that a large group of screaming demonstrators pouring south into Azadi avenue (the continuation of Enghelaab avenue after Enghelaab square towards Azadi square is called Azadi avenue.  The guards stopped all of the busses in the middle of the boulevard and forced us into the middle of the street.  I was feeling a déjà vu as we reached Dampezeshki (Animal Husbandry Hospital).  This was the same place that I was badly beaten in June 2009 post election demonstration.  So I kept myself on the extreme right side of the sidewalk.  It seems that the revolutionary guard thugs repeat the same tactics again because they rounded up the people in the middle of the street and attacked them the same way they did in 2009.  

I slipped through the angry looking guards and plain clothed militia just to confront another scene.
I reached Eskandari street and it looked like a war zone, smoke, dust, tear gas, screaming people and flying stones with regular attacks of the well equipped, motorcycle riding guards.  A petit young girl with a green wristband and a small backpack was walking to my left.  Just before we reached Navab Avenue the guards charged from behind, one of their clubs hit my left leg but three of them attacked the girl relentlessly.  She started to scream and fell down, but the guards kept on hitting her.  I ran towards them, grabbed the girl’s right hand and pulled her out of the hands of the guards.  She was dazed and crying unstoppably. I pushed her north into Navab Avenue towards Tohid square away from Azadi avenue when the guards charged towards us.  This time the crowd fought back and stones of all sizes were sent back to the dogs of war.  This gave me bit of time to ask one of the restaurants to open their door and let us in.  The girl was in shock and pain so I got her some water and tried to see if she was feeling fine.  Her clothes dusty, her backpack torn and her hands shivering she was just asking “WHY?”

The battle in front of the restaurant was an uneven war.  The crowd had only their feasts and stones found on the sides of the street, but the guards were shooting people in the head by paint guns, were spraying pepper gas and shooting tear gas canisters.  Then in a moment that I thought I would never see, to guards ran sat on one foot and fired plastic bullets into the crowd randomly.  We waited until the demonstrators pushed the guards back before leaving the restaurant.   Tear gas smoke was everywhere and the girl offered me a cigarette and although I am not a smoker, the cigarette did alleviate the burning sensation.  Within a few minutes her friends showed up and they went back down to Azadi Avenue.  For them and for all of us, the battle has just begun.
The battle raged on. 


Anonymous said...

My best whishes and prayers are with you ... Good luck

Bjarne said...

Pull the Trigger I

you stand up there
condemning the free speech
with God in your back

Pull the Trigger II

The man on the roof
aimes at the people. One shot
and Neda falls

Pull the Trigger III

Friday's speech
about Mohareb
kills people

Pull the Trigger IV

liars tongue
stone after stone throwing
against the condemned

Pull the Trigger V

weapon in your hand
Persians firing at Persians
tears on your cheek

Anonymous said...

Potkin jan, how many people do you think were out in Tehran today protesting? Do you have a source too? Merci

Neda Mehregan said...

This is a similar story to the 2009 demonstrations when I attended several rallies. The tactics are the same:
Build "walls" of Niroohaye Entezami along with their vehicles to block entrance to major roads; divert people to side streets in order to stop large groups gathering momentum; plant groups of plain clothes agents amongst protesters; radio basijis on motorbikes guiding them towards protesters inciting them to beat protesters remorselessly; throwing tear gas into the crowd; ram into the crowd at high speed with motor bikes; plant plain clothes agents with big lenses to take photos of the protesters in order to identify them; beat and push protesters into waiting vans.
All this along with cutting off the mobile network communication, shutting down the Internet and jamming satellite TV stations are just some of the tactics the Islamic Republic use to stay in power.

They say that cowards often need a lot of back up. Yes they have a lot of resources it seems but they are no more than murderous thugs; the worst kind of criminals on the face of the earth.

But the winds of change are
blowing. Khamenei is holding on but not for long. The brave people of Iran have shown their courage in the face of mortal danger. The regime is scared and is crumbling.

The people of Iran will choose their destiny and come out victorious despite the West's support for the regime for the past 31 years.

RD said...

I am not Iranian, but I have been 2 times to Tehran and know many Iranian people. I pray for all of you often. My heart and mind is with all of you always.

Anonymous said...

"For them and for all of us, the battle has just begun.
The battle raged on"..
Love it.Thanks.

Rosalyn C. said...

Thanks for the update. Many people are praying for you all over the world, including me here in CA, USA.

Wishing success to ou and all freedom loving Iranians.

Unknown said...

LOL, Potkin!

A "million" people out on the streets? Where exactly?

Anyway, some shocking scenes of green protesters attacking ordinary people has come out:

Greens beating youth

The march today was supposed to be about Egypt and Tunisia but the greens are saying "to hell with Gaza and Lebanon!"

Also, BBC Persian thought they were interviewing anti-regime protesters but got quite a surprise!

BBC talks to demonstrator

The MKO seem to be on the streets as well firing their guns according to reports.

Anonymous said...

I an am American, my father is Jewish. I want to say, god be with you and all the other people of Iran who are struggling for freedom. Please be careful!

lordkoos said...

I an am American. I want to say, god be with you and all the other people of Iran who are struggling for freedom. Please be careful!


i wish you all the best! people in germany and in europe are with you.

Waybec said...

And all this while the Turkish president shamed himself by cozying up to Ahmandinejad! But then again, the picture of them togerher was already starting to feel dated. Yesterday's men! Ahmandinejad cerainly now just looks like a man tired of constantly having to look over his shoulder wondering when the tidal wave will hit him. Well don't worry, after the events of Feb 14it's still coming. And contrary to the thug moronic beliefs of the Basiji, Khamenei won't be able to walk on water either! For the greater the prepression, the greater the reaction. It's no longer solely about the Green movement anymore either. It's about the higher ethical imperitives and that are currently sweeping the region. The price all dictorators are now starting to pay by trying to drown out the voices of their own people! so well done all those who dared to speak out yet again for universal values. Keep the tide turning!

Dariush said...

The videos that have been trickling in seem to corroborate this account too Potkin. Although the security forces were able to stop the groups from forming together, there are literally now hundreds of video evidence showing groups of thousands.

Reza the broken record is still in denial lol. He still insists the groups are isolated "rioters"!! He tells us these are tiny groups, yet his regime deploy tens of thousands of basij and police to combat them! Such a tiny group that they cut off internet and cell phones. Something doesn't quite add up there Reza!!! I think you need to check yourself into the nearest insane asylum, they have pills for your ilk.

This was a true victory for the Green Movement, whichever way you look at it. Numbers aside, the fact that so many people were determined to protest despite knowing that they would be beaten, arrested, killed on whim, shows that the people have resolve to keep the movement alive. In my opinion, change will come with opportunity.

Potkin, looking forward - IF this adminsitration lasts its term, how do you think they are going to hold/approach a sham "democratic" presidential election again?! Without the fear of the people exploiting it?

Unknown said...


The number of protesters was clearly only in the "thousands" in Tehran - many of the videos are just shown from a different angle - and only "hundreds" in Mashhad and Esfahan. In the rest of Iran, notably in places like Tabriz and Ahvaz ,there were no protests at all according to all reports.

The authorities have revealed that 2 basiji students were shot and killed by seditionists (fetnehgaran): Sane' Jalleh and Mohammad Mokhtari. They believe they were killed by MKO assailants had infiltrated the protests and opened fire - as they have a habit of doing.

Two killed on Monday

The big day turned out to be a big own goal for Mousavi and Karroubi who will stand trial in the next few months.

Waybec said...

P.s. So Press TV has finally commented on the Ianian protests, but not without first of course the Iranian Gestapo - otherwise known the the Basiji - having had the time to put the usual Police State spin on things. So yada yada yada... Once again ordinary Iranian's wanting a proper freedoms and democracy are terrorists and led by America, Israel and Britain eh..? And just to prove the point let's have Larijani rabble rouse parliament into punching their fists into the air like some blood thirsty football hooligans! Ha... And this from supposedly civilised men running a country. Mob rule of the corrupt dispicable elite... Such people really are the black cancers across the conscience of humanity. They insult decency. They insult anyone with intelligence. But most of all they insult the people of Iran. I just hope that all those who punched the air just to protect their own cozy fat arse positions, are all hanging their heads in shame in the dock very soon! If their trumpted up ego's make the fatal mistake of arresting Mousavi and Karroubi, then all bets are off! They only have themselves to blame when the cap of the volcanio finally explodes for the people come to incinerate the whole bloody worthless lot of them!

jemerocay said...

Solidarity from Egypt

Anonymous said...

I am a jewish woman praying for the brave people of Iran. We love your people and hope you will gain your freedom and join the free world.
May God be with you.

Dariush said...

Reza said...

"The number of protesters was clearly only in the "thousands" in Tehran - many of the videos are just shown from a different angle - and only "hundreds" in Mashhad and Esfahan. In the rest of Iran, notably in places like Tabriz and Ahvaz ,there were no protests at all according to all reports"


So why were so many security officials, police, basij & IRGC deployed? Why were reporters not allowed to film & why was a permit not granted if the numbers supporting the Green Movement are so small? Please answer each one of those Reza, look forward to your reply....


Reza said

"The authorities have revealed that 2 basiji students were shot and killed by seditionists (fetnehgaran): Sane' Jalleh and Mohammad Mokhtari. They believe they were killed by MKO assailants had infiltrated the protests and opened fire - as they have a habit of doing"


I thought your IRGC had "eradicated" this "small futile" group? Your officials keep telling us that the might of the IRGC had defeated them. Yet aparently they still maintain the skills and aparatus to smuggle themselves and weapons into the country and "assasinate" targets. This is another laughable claim Reza. From the tens of thousands of videos of protests since 2009, not one has shown any greens carrying a firearm. Yet almost all of them show your little regime thugs with batons, guns and various weaponary. It doesn't take a professor to work out who the perpetrators of the recent heinous crimes are. Besides, evidence has now shown that the "disputed" killings were in fact GREEN martyrs. So again Reza, you've been proven wrong. You really are clutching at straws.

Only one video from 14th shows Greens attacking a basij. You and your junta have murdered their sons, daughters, cousins, parents. What sort of reaction do you expect? This is precisely the reaction Mousavi & Karroubi warned the regime about. They ignored it and turned their backs on the people.