Payvand.com - On Monday people
gathered despite no permission and threats in the Azadi Square. I personally saw
the tip of the crowd entering the Azadi Square at 4:50pm and the people were
pouring in continuously well beyond 7:30pm. There was no car traffic and all the
lanes were full of the people who were marching in. There is so much footage of
this to leave no doubt. I walked back from Azadi against the flow of the crowd
at 7:10pm and people were still coming. A Sharif Professor told me that he
walked back from Azadi Sq when it was filled all the way towards Enghelab Square
(4.83 KM of a 6 lane Blvd) and the people were coming. He described this bigger
than the biggest rallies he has seen in the past 20 years for 22 of Bahman which
is the anniversary of the success of the revolution. Some other reliable
participants told me that the march started from Imam Hossein square (exactly
9.99 KM away). Needless to say that IRIB (Iran's official broadcast company) every year
encourages the people for a whole week before the anniversary of the revolution
to participate in the march. I liken the event in magnitude and hopefully impact
to the famous Tassoa-Ashura demonstrations at the time of the Shah.
People heading to Azadi sqaure in Tehran on June 15
Here is a listing of the
slogans that people repeated in various groups. There was no central
organization and this demonstration could for all practical purposed be called
Allaho Akbar, Allaho Akbar
(God is the greatest, god is the greatest)
Nasro men Allah va fat-hon
gharib, marg bar in dolate mardom farib (With the help (overcoming) from
god, success is so close, death to this people-deceiving government). This was
one of the key slogans of the revolution 30 years ago.
Nange maa, Seda va simaaye ma
(Our shame, our TV and Radio broadcast companies). This refers to the Radio and
TV company total news black-out on the opposition candidates and demonstrators.
Ahmady goossaleh, baazam migi
footballe? (Oh Ahmady "the calf", do you still call this soccer?) Calf is a
symbol of stupidity in the Iranian culture, and Ahmadinejad had likened the
protestors to losers of a soccer game! It also refers to a very famous slogan of
the revolution time referring to general Az-haari the head of the shah's
military cabinet who had called the chants of Allaho Akbar at nights from the
roof-tops as cassette player recordings. At the time under martial law people
would run from one roof top to another to chant. That slogan said: Az-haari
bichaare, bazam migi navaare, navaar ke pa nadare (Oh Az-haari "the miserable",
do you still call this cassette tape? Cassette tapes do not have legs to run!).
Ahmady be hoosh bash, maa
mardomim na obaash (Ahmady wake up [be alert], we are people not hooligans).
This was referring to Ahmadinejad's insulting characterization of protestors
the day before.
Khaso khaashak to-ee, doshman
in khak to-ee ("Dust and garden garbage" is yourself, the enemy of this land is
yourself!) Again referring to the characterization of the protestors the day
before by Ahmadinejad.
Gofteboodam agar taghalob beshe
Iran ghiamat mishe, hala taghalob shode, Iran gheiamat shode (I had told you
that in case of cheating in the elections there will be an uprising [like in the
hereafter], now there has been cheating and there is an uprising in Iran.
Yaa Hossein, Mir Hossein (Oh
Hossein, Mir Hossein). The first Hossein refers to Imam Hossein the great icon
of Shiite Islam whose martyrdom 50 years after the prophet by the ruling
government that had gradually deviated from the true teachings of the prophet is
an everlasting inspiration for Shiites and the 2nd clause is the
first name of Mr. Moussavi drawing a parallel.
Marg bar dictator, che shah
bashe che Doctor (Death to the dictator, whether he is the Shah or the Doctor).
The Shah refers to the last Pahlavi king and the doctor refers to Mr.
Mijangam, mimiram, rayamo pass
migiram (I will fight, I will die, I will take back my vote)
In shasto seh darsad ke migan
koo? Doroughgoo! (Where is this 63% that they talk about? You liar). The
government claims that AhmadyNezahd won 63% of the votes. So by this slogan
people are referring to their own sheer numbers and are asking to see
Ahmadinejad's supporters. The word liar became synonymous with Ahmadinejad
during the campaign when he claimed that the inflation rate is 15%.
Taghalob 1 darsad 2 darsad na
panjaho seh darsad (Cheating can be 1%, or 2% not 53%). This exaggerates that
Ahmadinejad has only won 10% of the vote.
Yesterday there was a gathering
in Vali Asr square of Mr. Ahmadinejad's supporters. In the last thirty years I
do not remember political gatherings to have been held in Vali Asr Square.
Choice of this location is a new invention to hide the numbers. Yet this
relatively small number of supporters compared with Moussavi's was shown with
Helicopter footage for hours on our national TV (See figures 1 & 2).
The sheer number of the people
on Monday in Azadi Square (216000 square meters plus the 6 lane 4KM Azadi Ave.
up to Enghelab Square which is another 80,000 square meters) and a fair
comparison with Tuesday gathering of Ahmadinejad supporters in the Vali Asr
Square (10,000 square meters I measured personally today using a GPS, and also
measured in the Google map in figure 2 including all the connecting Blvd's as
they were shown for hours on the IRIB helicopter footage does not exceed 32000
Square meters. This is 9 times less area and hence less supporters.). This
should convince all that we are passing through a great moment in our history as
the massive numbers claimed for Ahmadinejad are just not there. It is also so
sad that in front of the amazed people of the world so much effort and energy
has to be spent to measure square meter areas to prove our point while putting
the details of votes per individual polling boxes in an excel file on internet
is as simple as a few computer strokes for our ministry of interior. What is
more important than numbers is the dignity and honor of the Iranians that feel
so strongly and react in masses when they feel violated.
Figure 1: Azadi Square without Azadi Ave
measures 216000 square meters. With the 4KM distance to Enghelab
square people densely covered an area estimated to be 296000 square
Figure 2: Vali Asr Square with all the
connecting Blvd's included and with an area more than what was shown
on IRIB footage for hours covers 32000 square meters. That is 9
times less than Azadi Square. (see
In the Monday Azadi rally
people called for a gathering in ValiAsr Square on Tuesday at 5pm and when
Ahmadinejad supporters called for a gathering at the same place at 4pm I was
concerned about clashes. I have personally seen plain clothes security people
and bassijees with sticks and weapons in previous days. The killings at the end
of the peaceful massive and unprecedented Azadi rally made me so concerned about
"unarmed people" against organized "plain clothes and armed basijees" under the
guise of "people" against "people" clashes. Interestingly simultaneous with the
Ahmadinejad supporters in ValiAsr Square there was a
silent walk from Saeei
park towards Tajrish square heading away north. This was a spontaneous gathering
too it was a very smart move showing that Mr. Moussavi's supporters want to be
peaceful and were walking away from Ahmadinejad supporters. Interestingly,
people carried their slogans on pieces of paper. One written slogan one
participant told me was "Ma khasso khashak nistim, bademjoon foroush" which
means "We are not dust and garden garbage, you eggplant peddler". This refers to
Ahmadinejad characterization of the protestors, and the eggplant peddler
refers to Ahmadinejad's campaign film in which he showed his small home garden
where he grows eggplants implying that he is such a modest man. Another written
slogan was "Ey Akharin Monji bia va benegar ke beh naame to cheh bar saremaan
avarand" (Oh You the last savior (i.e. Mahdi for Shiites and Messiah for
Christians) do return and watch what is being done to us under your name). The
same person told me that a police officer watching the peaceful march of the
people in the Valli Asr street heading north smiled and said we are "green" too
referring to their green apparel which is the adopted color of Moussavi
march on June 16 in Tehran - photo by Syma Sayyah
Despite all this it is amazing
that IRIB continues its adamant refusal to give coverage making a mockery of
whatever that may be called professional journalism. No interview have been
conducted with Mr. Moussavi, Mr. Karroubi or even Mr. Rezai who were the other
candidates or their supporters for 4 days after the election. There is still no
SMS throughout the country. Mobile phones are cut-off in the areas where there
is people gathering. Access to so many previously accessible websites remains
restricted including simple news web sites and access to Moussavi web sites and
many other web sites are only possible through strong filter breakers.
In the last few days IRIB
pretty much sounds like the Iran TV and Radio 30 years ago when people overtook
Tabriz for 3 days at the time of the shah. At that time, the Shah government
blamed foreigners who had come down from then Soviet border to Tabriz! At the
time the TV broadcasting organization conducted interviews with government
agents posing as normal people condemning the "hooligans". All yesterday and
today the IRIB was broadcasting interviews with supposedly ordinary people and
parliament members condemning violence and destruction of property implying that
all protests are only violent.
On Tuesday night Mr. Haidari
the respectable TV host of a popular political analysis program was the first
voice of reason that came out of IRIB. He raised a smart question. Are we
converting an opportunity to a threat? He was conducting an interview with two
relatively moderate right wing parliament members.
There was a rumor about
University professors resigning. I did check with several professors and they
think that the Ahmadinejad government may actually welcome their resignation
converting that to an opportunity to deplete the universities from the more
experienced and responsible faculty who oppose his policies. Nevertheless, this
option has been seriously considered.
Again these are key questions
that we ask our esteemed leader His Spiritual Highness Mr. Khamenei:
- Your Excellency gathered all the 4 candidate
campaign staff in a meeting with you yesterday (Tuesday). We need your positive
intervention. IRIB which is known to be controlled by your office is making this
great country of ours look like a police state to the outside world. The denials
of IRIB and this government of all the events will only hurt our system bringing
us close to political illegitimacy.
- As a 50 year old Iranian I was so concerned about
how we want to deliver the effort of the last 30 years to our next generation.
Thirty years from now neither me nor you will be around to tell our new
generation what to do. For any country with 80+ percent participation in the
elections after 30 years with no coercion and no threat, is a dream for
government. Your IRIB calls the protestors "hooligans" while this is a new
generation who is chanting Allaho Akbar (god is the greatest) from their roof
tops every night and in marches and critical of a president who is degrading
people with his actions. What IRIB does is done in a way that I have not seen in
years emulating the TV broadcasting company of the Shah. What IRIB has
forgotten is that at the time of the shah there was no internet, no email, no
mobile phones with cameras and yet the truth came out. Now the truth is coming
out instantly and broadcast all over the world, with this write-up being another
prime example. The coverage of IRIB and blaming the US and UK and France and
Germany for the people's truly legal requests is making a mockery of our system
in the eyes of the world. This is again something unprecedented in the past 30
- Please embrace all of our youth
including the majority of our new generation for their care for Iran and the
revolution, for their lack of fear of plain clothes security forces, for their
lack of fear of the ominous sounding anti riot motor cycles with baton wielding
co-riders and for their dignity that is bringing them peacefully to the streets
despite the threats.
- Remove the head of the IRIB who has totally
disgraced all that we achieved in the last 30 years in the last one week.
- Remember the late dear Imam when he said
people "With the power given to me through repeated confirmations and
demonstrations... " it is nice that you are following the law. But be kind to
note that as a great moslem nation we have been insulted in the past few
days with lack of transparency when it comes to election data, lack of means
of basic communications like SMS, lack of proper channels of communication
for the opposition candidates, ransacking of the student dormitories in
Isfahan university of Technology and University of Tehran, killing of
peaceful demonstrators in Azadi square all bringing our system to the brink
of illegitimacy quite unlike the solid, strong, confident and united people
as we were last week. Not only the previous precedence of the late Imam but
also the nature of your office and the letter of the law allows you to
nullify the election and embrace our insulted people. This is indeed one of
the key strengths of the office of jurisprudent.
- My concern is that delays in this action
will result in more street clashes, destruction, killing and combined with
the strange IRIB behavior will result in new demands by the opposition and
conversion of the slogans to things that will target our whole system rather
than a president whose remarks and actions have humiliated the people. If
you do not take proper action then conversion of a major opportunity to a
threat and the possibility of true foreign intervention and manipulation
will be a self fulfilling prophecy.
... Payvand News - 06/17/09 ... --