Iranian opposition forces flooded the web with calls for election protesters to join massive demonstration on the anniversary of Iran's 1979 Revolution on February 11.
Despite repeated warnings by the government that they will confront any more disruptions with no leniency, the messages defiantly suggest that the planned February 11 demonstrations could become the climactic point of all the protests and street confrontations that have marked every significant date on the Islamic Republic calendar in the past several months.
The wave of web postings also reveals that the opposition can circumvent the government's tight control on web activity and still harness the capabilities of the internet to get organized as they have done in the past several months.
In the past seven months, according to the government, over 40 people were killed in the protests, but the opposition puts the number at about 80. Thousands of people have been arrested in an attempt to quell the unrest and prominent reformists have been sentenced to long prison terms ranging from 2 to 15 years.
Five people arrested in connection with Ashura Day protests on December 27 were put on trial today facing the death penalty.
The government has made every effort to portray the protests as a foreign-backed conspiracy to topple the establishment but since the opposition leaders are prominent figures of the establishment, the authorities have refrained from arresting and prosecuting them.
While one, Mir Hossein Mousavi, was fired from his government post at the Academy of Arts and the other, Mehdi Karroubi, has been the repeated target of physical and even armed attacks, they have defiantly refused to accept the legitimacy of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government which they claim was fraudulently re-elected in the June presidential elections.
The Islamic Republic establishment has been dealing with deep divisions over its current crisis and even a significant section of the clergy have come out in favour of protesters and their demands.
... Payvand News - 01/19/10 ... --