Recap of Opposition Protests in Iran on March 1stMarch 01, 2011
Persian2English – On March 1st, brave and persistent Iranian civilians once again protested in the main cities of the country against the dictatorship government system that has ruled them for the past three decades. Gatherings and clashes were reported in Shiraz, Isfahan, Mashhad, Tehran, and Rasht. Persian2English has recapped the protest events that unfolded today in Iran and also included reports on international support.
Today’s civilian protests in Iran were organized by supporters of Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, the two head figures of the reformist opposition movement in Iran. The most recent news from opposition websites indicates that the two men have been captured by the Islamic Republic of Iran officials and are held in Tehran’s Heshmatiyeh prison. Their families have not been able to contact them for the past two weeks and no other sources have information on Mousavi’s and Karroubi’s conditions. Also, no officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran have confirmed the news of the arrests.
Last night, Mohammad Marandi, the unofficial propaganda mouthpiece for the Islamic Republic of Iran told CNN, “Mr. Mousavi and Mr. Karroubi are seen by the vast majority of people to have, gone way too far, caused riots, [and] effectively accepted the backing of the United States, terrorist organizations like the Mujahedin Khalgh, Monrachists. And this is something in Iran that is just unacceptable.”
Date: June 2009
Description: Mousavi in a televised 2009 presidential election debate (FA)
PROTESTS IN TEHRAN
Based on the videos that surfaced from Iran, the main chants in Tehran were, “Death to the dictator”, “Allah o Akbar”, and “Ya Hossein Mir Hossein”. Civilians also chanted a couple slogans that called on the army to join the people. Many cars honked their horns in support of the people protesting on the streets.
Numerous news sites reported on protests outside the University of Tehran and on Enghelab Square. The amount of anti-riot police forces on the streets was unprecedented and, according to eyewitnesses, many people were forced to show their protest by honking the car horn.
Deutsche Welle published an eyewitness account of a large crowd gathered in Tehran, despite the use of tear gas on protesters. Unconfirmed reports indicated that the crowd that has gathered at Enghelab Square was larger than the one for the February 14th protests.
Kaleme reported that anti-riot and plainclothes forces attacked protesters on some streets in the central part of Tehran, mainy around Enghelab Square. The regime forces used batons, tasers and tear gas to attack protesters. There are also reports of gun fire around Enghelab Square. It is not confirmed whether the bullets used were real or plastic.
The gatherings grew larger as night time approached. Protesters who tried to enter Enghelab Square through side streets were dispersed by regime agents.
Around 6:30pm, anti-riot and plainclothes forces prevented people from entering Valiasr Square and ENghelab Square. All entrances to these two squares were blocked.
According to BBC Persian, eyewitnesses report the arrest of at least 50 people in Enghelab Square.
PROTESTS IN MASHHAD
Based on the videos that surfaced from Iran, there were anti-regime protests in Mashhad by civilians. There were also night chants of “Allah o Akbar”.
According to Kaleme, ten people were arrested on Ahmad Abad Street.
PROTESTS IN SHIRAZ
Based on the videos that surfaced from Iran, civilians in Shiraz held protests chanting, “Mubarak, Ben Ali, now it’s time for Seyed Ali”, “Marg bar dictator”, “Don’t be afraid, we’re united”, and “Marg bar Khamenei”. Cars passing by also honked their horns in support.
PROTESTS IN ISFAHAN
Based on the videos that surfaced from Iran, people in Isfahan chanted at night, “Allah o Akbar”.
PROTESTS IN RASHT
According to Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran, Civilians in Rasht chanted loudly, “Marg bar dictator” and “Allah o Akbar”. The protest began at 4:30pm, despite the heavy rain. Cars passing honked in support of the protesters. Security forces responded by breaking car windows and denting the vehicles. Around 6:00pm, security forces attempted to disperse the crowds by issuing threats, but the people continued. Security and plainclothes forces eventually attacked the crowds and clashes erupted. HRDAI reported that the number of arrests in Rasht exceeded 100. Protests took shape in the afternoon and also the evening. People chanted “Marg bar dictator” in Tehran and passing cars honked their horns. In Isfahan, people chanted “Allah o Akbar” when night fell. In Isfahan, during the day, the people clashed with security forces. protesters chanted, “Freedom, freedom.”
Video clip of Hillary Clinton this morning at the United Nations Human Rights Council. She said,
“…the denial of human rights in Iran is an outrage…”
“The level of anger on both sides was unprecedented,” said a young man from Tehran. He said at one point a team of riot-police had encircled the crowd where he was standing and beat the crowd with electric batons. When protestors shoved them back, they fired in the air, he said.
Witnesses said riot police charged on protesters in central Tehran to try to scatter crowds. Some police took swipes at cars whose drivers were believed to be honking their horns in support of the demonstrators. There were no reports of injuries, but opposition websites said several people were arrested.
SOLIDARITY WITH IRAN PROTEST IN TORONTO, CANADA
Torontonians gathered at Mel Lastman Square late Monday afternoon until early evening in solidarity with the Iranian people’s protests scheduled for the next day. The event was organized by the United Student Front in Canada. Protesters held signs that read: “No to the Islamic Republic of Iran”, “Free political prisoners”, “Please, Canada, raise your voice. Speak out even louder against executions in Iran”, and “We are countless”. The gathered protesters chanted, “Marg bar dictator”, “Free political prisoners”, “Freedom for Iran”, and “Release Mousavi and Karroubi”. They also sang a few revolutionary songs together.
SOLIDARITY WITH IRAN PROTEST IN LOS ANGELES, USA
Activists and concerned citizens in Los Angeles gathered outside the CNN building to protest the illegal actions of the Iranian regime.
SOLIDARITY WITH IRAN PROTEST IN LONDON, ENGLAND
Numerous supporters in London gathered outside the Iranian embassy to stand in solidarity with the brave Iranian people who headed to the streets on the same day. Large placards were also carried in support of detained heads of the reformist opposition movement, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi.
Voice of America
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