As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Waves Of Dissent

Today was the 40th day since Neda Agha-Soltan was murdered by Iranian militia in Teheran, and in Shiite culture, that date is important for mourning. So thousands of opposition protestors appeared on the streets of Teheran to mark to occasion, and were beaten back by security forces.

Iranian police fired teargas and wielded batons to disperse thousands of anti-government protesters attending a graveside memorial today for victims of a government crackdown in the wake of the disputed presidential election.

Witnesses said plainclothes forces charged at the crowd in the latest unrest following June's disputed presidential election, some of them chanting, "Death to those who are against the supreme leader."

Earlier, hundreds of police surrounded Mir Hossein Mousavi, the defeated reformist candidate, as he and hundreds of his supporters tried to reach the graveside of Neda Soltan, the young woman whose death was captured on video, turning her into a symbol of the protest movement. Witnesses said police forced Mousavi to leave Behesht-e Zahra cemetery, on the capital's southern outskirts.

"Neda is alive, Ahmadinejad is dead," chanted some of those at the ceremony, referring to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who the opposition claims won the election fraudulently.

The police charge came when an ally of Mousavi, Mahdi Karroubi, who was also a candidate in the June 12 election, tried to give a speech. Even after the clash, thousands of supporters continued to visit Soltan's grave.

Eventually, during one of these mourning events, someone else will die. And the protestors will engage in a 40-day cycle of mourning for them. Or some other major event like Rafsanjani speaking at Friday prayers will lead to massive protests. This cycle will not end, I don't think, until the opposition receives a measure of justice. And the hardliners know it. That's why they've intensified their own infighting, with talk of Ahmadinejad being deposed now coming to the fore. This will continue to simmer for at least the rest of the year.

...I think you're going to see mourning over abuse in Iranian prisons get the 40-day cycle as well.

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