Revolution #170, July 19, 2009
From A World To Win News Service
Tehran, July 9: "I was not a tenth as brave as young women today"
July 13, 2009. A World to Win News Service. Following are excerpts of two on-the-scene reports from Tehran received by the student newsletter Bazr.
What an enormity is associated with 18 Tir (July 9). Everyone is out, young, old and middle aged. This time the people have learned not to gather in only one street. There are mass protests in seven or eight central Tehran locations. There is no sign of silence. Everyone is shouting a slogan. Some are shouting "Allah-u Akbar," but soon "Death to the dictator" and "The rule of coup d'état—resign, resign" replaces it. The center of clashes is the intersection of Vali Asr and Enghelab streets, in Daneshjoo (Student) Park. The crowd is concentrated and dense and the Revolutionary Guards anti-riot forces attack with tear gas and batons. Faces are bloody. The crowd continuously goes into the street from the sidewalks and then back again. The cars, like two weeks ago, keep sounding their horns (as a sign of support). There is a continuous honking. Again fists are in the air, along with the V sign of victory and solidarity. A wave of people is moving towards Enghelab Square and Tehran University from all the main streets. This time we hear the people sing a song they used to sing during the 1978-79 revolution, but the word "Shah" has been replaced by "Mahmoud" (Ahmadinejad): "Mahmoud the traitor I wish you would become vagrant/ you destroyed our country/ you killed the youth of my country…death to you, death to you!"
Teargas was raining on the crowd, but it's unbelievable, it seems that everyone has gotten used to it. Nobody seems to be sick. They only light fires. Some people blow cigarette smoke into the eyes of their neighbor (to counter the effects of the gas). We're now at the corner of Keshavarz Boulevard and Kargar Street. The Special Guards come to attack us. Chanting slogans, we run in the opposite direction. A dense crowd coming from Fatemi Street joins us and again we chant, "Don't be afraid, don't be afraid, we're all together, don't be afraid!" So far we haven't heard anything about people being shot. We haven't heard anything about that from other places, too.
Many women, many mothers in the front row! Furious, fresh and inspiring! Again we are attacked. This time the plainclothes "security" forces are with them.... A few hundred people go into a market passage next to Laleh Park, but there's no way out there, so they're trapped. Along with a few others, I jump over the fences and barbed wire and enter the park. We go towards Amirabad. …Amirabad is extremely crowded. On the corner where Neda was martyred (Neda Agha-Soltan, a young woman murdered by the Basij while she stood on a curb during a demonstration), the crowd is chanting, "Death to the dictator." An old man—he says he is 80—happily proclaims, "Nobody is afraid anymore. Everybody has come out. It's time for them (he means the regime) to go. Look, so many people—but unlike 1978 there are no mullahs among us! We will avenge Neda's blood!" He's right. The people have understood the situation well. They have grasped the weakness and vulnerability of the regime. Nobody fears anything. Everyone, young and old, shouts that slogan, firmer and stronger than three weeks ago. A family in a car slowly moving north on Amirabad is honking the horn continuously. A young man sticks his head out of the car and says to the people, "Do you still want to continue your struggle peacefully! Can't you see they have guns?" His sister is shouting, "Death to the dictator!" I just repeat the slogan with them and hold up my fist….
I'm going back home to write up this report. Today it will be hot on the roofs as people chant slogans. The number of injured and the arrested will not be few. It's not dark yet, but the patrols along with the Basiji in uniform are spreading out into all corners. They want to tell the people that it's a "state of emergency"! How absurd! Thousands and thousands of people today with their powerful presence tried to make the regime understand that the situation is just not right for them! I have no news from the other cities yet. But the July 9 events will strongly influence future developments. I have no doubt about it.
Excerpt from another report
…On the side streets off Keshavarz Boulevard, the flames were climbing higher and the slogan "Death to the dictator" was echoing. Halfway up the road were the various repressive forces (plainclothes police, the Basiji, the Special Guards, the forces in black clothes whose faces are covered by their long hat—people call them frogs). They attacked the crowd from several directions with teargas, water cannons and clubs…. Some people clashed with them, others retreated to the side streets while chanting slogans. Wherever we wanted to go, they would block the way. We wanted to go to Kargar Street, but they blocked us. We wanted to go to Enghelab Street; they wouldn't let us. They would do everything to scatter the crowd but the crowd would regroup again somewhere else. Every point had been turned into an ambush for the enemy forces. You could see a state of confusion and disorder among the repressive forces. It seems that they couldn't believe their eyes.
There were many discussions among the people. A middle-aged man was talking about 1979 revolution. He said, "I was one of the fearless men during the revolution. But I could say I was not even a tenth as brave as the young women are today." The youth would recount the news of the struggles of the last few days, about the arrested and the protests in front of Evin Prison and the courts.
One of the important discussions was whether the tactics of today's struggle (July 9), i.e. gathering in several locations, were correct or not. Some were saying it was not correct because our forces were scattered. "Our forces would be at least ten times this many." If we could have gathered in one place, we could have fought much better and taught them a better lesson. Other people argued that despite the increase in the number of our forces we still are fighting with nothing in our hands, still unarmed and still in an unfavorable situation. So the correct tactic is to scatter the enemy forces and fight them in small groups in many different locations.
Another important discussion was on how to punish the oppressors. Some people said that if we get armed and our forces match theirs we should not kill them but instead put them on trial. Some others said we are at war and we should kill those on the battlefield and put the others on trial.
For hours we were coming and going between Keshavarz Boulevard and Enghelab Street and in clashes with repressive forces. The people's spirits were high and they were optimistic. The people were confident that there would be more news in different neighborhoods and locations in the city….
A World to Win News Service is put out by A World to Win magazine (aworldtowin.org), a political and theoretical review inspired by the formation of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, the embryonic center of the world’s Marxist-Leninist-Maoist parties and organizations.
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