Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Led Zeppelin III - Celebration Day
I picked up a second copy of Led Zeppelin III today, what I thought was an early press with the infamous scribbling on the runout groove of the lp. it appears to be a bit later, 1972 at the earliest, and it definitely sounds heavier than my other copy, which is a bit light. Both Zeppelin albums, it turns out, sounds fantastic on my current stereo setup - the Ortofon 2M Blue has hit its third gear after a long break-in period, and sounds fantastic.
It's funny how different presses of the same album can sound so different. It's very often a matter of taste, in the end. So I'll need some time to decide which lp I prefer. Either the first is too light and tame, or the second is too dark and muddy. It's hard to find a great Led Zeppelin III in analog land.
In any case, enjoy the tune and keep the faith! We will win this marathon in the end.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Another video showing a very large crowd in the streets of Tehran, near the Ghoba mosque. If the footage appears shaky, keep in mind that plainclothes police are actively searching for cell phones among the crowd. This person wisely hides the phone when necessary, then pulls it back out to show the people and the cars.
The people are chanting, "Death to dictator," and "Iranian people are dying and the people of the world disagree." Don't doubt for a moment that your efforts to help the Iranian people haven't made a difference. It has made a difference, and they know what we are doing to help. Keep it up!
I'm still impressed that any media can escape from Iran, given the extreme crackdown by the government. Here is one photo taken only minutes ago, from one of our most reliable Twitter sources inside Iran. The rally at the Ghoba mosque has spilled out into the streets, where clashes have ensued.
As always, rumors and unconfirmed reports abound. Was Mousavi set to appear at today's rally? Did Rafsanjani and his family arrive earlier today at the mosque? Were police attempting to turn away crowds, claiming that no official permit was issued? And just how many people have turned out in the streets today? Certainly far more than the 3,000 as stated by the AP.
Fragment, shards, moments. I hope the West hasn't turned its back on Iran. Michael Jackson isn't that important.
Oh, no, this game isn't over. This isn't over by any stretch. Watch today's video from the Ghoba Mosque, where a rally was permitted. Crowd size is impossible to gauge objectively, but some extremely large numbers have been reported. This video suggests a sizeable turnout, but notice especially the enthusiasm of the crowd. Notice the cell phones everywhere, notice the chanting.
This fight is still on, kids. Don't fool yourselves. The minute the fascist regime allows for a rally, anywhere, massive crowds will gather with all the energy you saw in those first post-election days. This is a long marathon, and I hope the West understands this.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Say what you will about the long and surreal life of Michael Jackson. Most of the circus show tabloid fodder will fade and disappear. This is what history shall preserve - one of the handful of greatest pop albums in history.
To a slightly lesser degree, I would add On the Wall and Bad, as well as the Jackson 5 days, but it's all about Thriller. That album was huge. This globalized, atomized world will never see anything like this again. It was such a spectacular success that it completely destroyed him. I saw the handwriting on the wall 25 years ago. Didn't everyone?
I really don't feel like getting into the whole Michael Jackson thing. The mass media are playing their roles as celebrity vultures, and they've been picking on his bones for the last 20 years. The Michael Jackson that was loved, the boy genius, the pop superstar, the fractured man-child, he died long, long ago. "Michael Jackson" became a figure of myth, a spectre from beyond the grave, cursed to carry the world and the burdens of parasitic fame upon his shoulders. The real human being, that young boy who could sing and dance and enthrall the whole world, is gone.
And now television news will go back to what it does best: mindless celebrity gossip. Anchors will shed crocodile tears while chewing on his bones, all to be broadcast to your idiot box, 24 hours a day, every day. No more worrying about boring, depressing, petty things like the fascist thugs crushing Iran. No more worrying about that young woman who was shot in the chest, or all the faceless bloggers and Twitters and reporters and activists. That's boring. Let's talk about Bubbles instead.
Have I mentioned that the Arctic ice will completely melt in the next four years? Booo-ring!! Get me my makeup! Is this my best angle! Somebody get a crowbar and pry open that coffin! Here it is folks - get this on camera, stupid! - Here it is folks! The actual decaying hand of Michael Jackson! Let's get a close up of this! Where's that glove?! Who's got the glove?! I need more makeup!!
I've never noticed this before, but on the cover of Thriller, Michael Jackson looks so...sad. I'm not sure if I'm merely projecting, but there may be something there. He was a tragic figure, a fallen saint, burned at the stake for the amusement of the dumb proles. And that fate was sealed by the very first time you saw him on a television screen, a million years ago. The boy never had a chance. Buy yer tickets, get yer kicks. You've been champing at the bit for this moment for years. Now watch the Thriller zombies chew on the corpse.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
The violence is still extensive, brutal, and cruel. The true extent of the fascist violence will not be fully known for some time. But this fight is not over, not by any stretch. Our side is down, but not out. Please do whatever you can to help.
Remarkable footage. The person holding the cell phone camera is a young woman, who shouts, "Beat me! Beat me!" She is directly confronting the riot police, daring them to attack her. They do not, but instead attack others. As always, the bullies are laid bare as cowards.
It has become very difficult to get photos and video out of Iran in recent days. Fortunately, we see some video clips on Youtube. This footage of a large crowd on the street was filmed by someone with their cell phone. Even this simple act of pulling out your phone is now a threat to the government. You are risking your life by daring to document reality for the world to see. And anyone spotted with a camera or cell phone is immediately targeted for arrest, beatings, torture, death.
"Hammer of justice crushes you," indeed.
This video is a few days old, but it gives you an idea of the violence in the streets of Iran since Saturday. Multiply these scenes a thousand times across Tehran and every major city in the country. Then remember that the good guys are unarmed and are trying to apply nonviolence. Beatings, shootings, stabbings, the ugly face of fascism is on full display for anyone willing to look. Such an evil regime must be destroyed.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
We need some good news from Iran today, so here is an inspiring moment for the people on the streets. This clip (from today, according to the profile) shows very large crowds full of citizens moving barricades in the streets, lighting fires, holding their cameras, recording everything. Notice that women are in the front lines of this struggle for independence. Notice that, just this once, the people win this fight.
We are witnessing a long chess match. Both sides are capable of wins and losses, and as I've written before, this is an endurance match. Patience and courage, everyone!
Footage from yesteday in Iran. We're seeing the newest tactic of the resistance: faces are blacked out to protect their identities. As the regime continues its brutal crackdown, it is vitally important for people to maintain some degreee of anonymity. It is becoming more dangerous than ever to be witness to the brutality of the fascists. At the moment, the fascists have the upper hand. Today was a terrible day, a very dark day for the Iranian people. Now they will have to adapt quickly to survive and thrive.
This stunning video was shot yesterday in Tehran. A squad of police are firing on civilians from the roof, as the people bravely pull out their camera and capture the evidence. This moment was posted on Nico Pitney's essential blog (THE essential Iran site after Twitter, imo).
John Lennon - Just Gimmie Some Truth
Someone on Twitter requested this song, and since I was lucky enough to find this fintage film footage on Youtube, I grabbed it immediately. One of my favorite John Lennon songs.
Just hang out at Twitter for the latest events. I'm busy talking with other people and RT'ing as many news-worthy posts as possible, to help spread the word. Hopefully, this will make a small difference. At this point, there isn't much that I can contribute that isn't being done elsewhere.
So enjoy! And don't forget to attend your city's Free Iran rallies!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
John Lennon - Imagine
Obviously, we're going to add this song to the revolution soundtrack. Imagine a world without the tyranny of religious persecution, with the iron fist of clerics, priests, or popes. Imagine a world where all people share the earth together in peace.
Bob Marley - Redemption Song
This film footage is of Bob Marley and his band in the recording studio. It's a terrific glimpse of the music legend singing one of his greatest inspirational songs. And it achieves a great poignancy with his imminent death. Redemption Song, in a way, captures the spirit of his music and life, and his devotion to the downtrodden and the oppressed.
It is so sad that he has died. This world took a very dark turn when Bob Marley and John Lennon died. We need their voices today more than ever.
Monday, June 22, 2009
I know CNN and television news has taken some pretty hard hits for their coverage of the Iran crisis, but to their credit, the network has produced some excellent content. This segment is a perfect example. This broadcast will do more to help the Iranian revolution than anything I could ever write.
Television still has value. It just needs to be used properly, and not merely for churning out trivia and gossip.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
You know, if you don't want people to think that you're evil, maybe you shouldn't be wearing Darth Vader helmets. What a bunch of fuckin' jerks. You just know they'll be working at White Castles once the revolution is over.
And do I have to point out how absurd it is that someone was shooting video this closely? If one of them just raised up their head...well, let's just be thankful that they're stupid.
After you're done, watch part two. Fascist bullies on the run! Take that, losers!
This video clip comes from today in Tehran. More of the same, really - large crowds, short bands of riot squads on motorbikes, tear gas. Thankfully nobody is shot in this clip. I'm struck by the large numbers of people still in the streets, and despite the brutality by the fascists, they could be using far more lethal force against the crowds. Does this suggest they are holding back? Or does it suggest that this really is their worst? These are methods of crowd control, not quelling insurrections.
The next few days are going to be VERY interesting. I still think the momentum is on our side, but things could turn on the drop of a hat. This is an extremely tense and dangerous situation. Please continue to do everything you can to help.
It's as I've said before. The fascist government of Iran is stuck between a rock and a hard place. And they've played this game before, 30 years ago. This is a very dangerous standoff for Mousavi, and this could still end any number of ways. We aren't out of the woods yet, not by a long shot.
Battle w/ Police - Tehran, Iran - June 20th 2009
Uploaded by mightier-than - News videos from around the world.
This is a remarkable piece of footage, showing a very large group of protesters against a squad of riot police. In the end, they are overwhelmed by the crowd, turn tail, and run for their lives. It's an inspiring moment during a long and dark weekend. If this is truly the situation in Iran, then the regime is in serious trouble.
Here is but a small sampling of the videos coming out of Iran. I'm not necessarily going for the more graphics ones, but I think you should see them. You need to see the brutality of this fascist regime up close. The world needs to see what is happening, lest there be another Tianenmen Square massacre.
Be sure to pass along what you see to everyone you know. There is no place in the 21st Century for passive observers.
There was also a cameraman from the Minnesota Daily, which is the University of MN's college paper. He was duly impressed, took lots of photos, and chatted with me for a while. I also gave him a sheet advertising the next rally for Wednesday, outside the court house in downtown Minneapolis.
I shot a couple short videos, which I will try to upload to Youtube. I'll have to come up with a new name and profile, since my last one was shut down last year. I'm still a bit sore about that.
As Friday slipped into Saturday, the mood everywhere was bleak and hopes were grim. We knew the crackdown was coming, and it would be brutal. Even when walking down to the Mpls rally my feelings were low. But the supporters in Uptown lifted my spirits, and having more work to do always focuses the mind. I felt better, more confidence.
And then I caught up on Saturday's events on Iran, and felt elated. We're going to win.
I understand that such declarations are a bit early, and since I have skin in the game, my perspective is biased. But I remain extremely confident that victory and independence for Iran is assured. It's all but inevitable now.
A lot of my thinking was brought around by a reader of Sullivan's blog, whose letter lays out the situation:
They're afraid of murdering too many protesters all at once. Eventually the protesters will come to understand how to work around this.
They can't open their telecomm pipes, because the minute they do 3 million people will know how and where to gather, and the world will get to see thousands of videos showing horrific instances of state violence against its subjects.
They have to open their telecomm pipes, because their economy cannot function without telecomm.
They can't repress too much, because the cleric support base will tip against them.
Rafsanjani is waiting to find out who'll keep his financial empire running. He's going to come to conclude the current leadership's promises cannot be trusted; the country is now being run by a Fascist Islamic Mafia.
If this is truly the situation we are facing, then the reader's conclusion is absolutely right - the mullahs are fucked. They are trapped in a vice grip with no escape. And it's here that I realized the crucial fact of the hour, which is this:
The army is not getting involved.
Think about that for a moment. On Friday, Khamenei laid down the gauntlet, and declared that he was about to drop the hammer on this growing rebellion. And Saturday has been brutal, no question about that. The Basij are vicious killers and thugs, truly the Ayatollahs' answer to the brownshirts of Nazi Germany (I don't use the "fascist" tag lightly; it applies here). But there were no soldiers, and there were no tanks.
We've seen many revolutions across the globe these past 20 years. We know the good endings (East Berlin) and the tragic endings (Tianenmen Square). When the regime cracks down, it is brutal, violent, and bloody. The tanks roll into the streets and smash the rebellion with one blow.
This has not happened in Iran. There are no tanks. The army is not getting involved.
Now the significance of the Basij and Revolutionary Guard becomes clear. The Islamic Republic has much stronger weapons in its arsenal, and yet they only use these. They use the Brownshirts, the thugs, the bullies, but not the military. Either the fascist regime will not use its tanks, or it cannot.
Saturday was the day of the fight. This was the regime's one chance at a knockout punch. They cannot allow the rebellion to continue to grow. It has to be crushed now or never. This is not about counting votes or a stolen election, and it really never was. That was just the straw that broke the camel's back, and now 30 years of suppression and abuse have exploded on the streets, on the rooftops, on the internet.
This was Khamenei's strongest punch. It was a hard punch. But we are still standing. We can take these punches. Sooner or later, the Iranian people are going to realize this. And then the fear of the Basij, the regime's greatest strength, will disappear. We are already seeing this happen in places.
What we have now is a fair fight. It's a revolution, make no bones about it. And it will lead to the end of the theocracy, the end of the Islamic Republic itself. The mood of the people might not completely be there yet, but that mood will change over time. Every shooting, every murder, will only fuel the rage, and that rage will fall upon the heads of the ruling mullahs themselves. Those mullahs who oppose Khamenei's coup, but wish to preserve the the theoracy, are the ones who are most trapped. They're dead men either way. And they know it.
It must really suck to be one of those old revolutionaries now, to see the regime change from the other side. There's a sense of fate to all of this. By the time this is finished, the entire ruling class will be equated with the brutality and cruelty of Khamenei's Brownshirts. And if their only defense are motorcycle gangs and cheap propaganda on state tv? They're fucked.
At this point, this is an endurance match. It all comes down to who can outlast the other. I think there's no question who wins. It is inevitable, like the rising tides. The Iranian people have each other. They have their religion, their faith, their history. They have the internet and the support of the entire world.
Sooner or later, something is bound to crack. Those mullahs fearing for their own heads will flip, or those quiet dissenters will speak out publicly, or the army will actively support the people, or international pressure will become deafening, or other Muslim nations will say it's finally time to go. Iran is going to become a free and democratic state at long last. If you still doubt me, I've got copies of The Battle of Algiers and George Orwell's 1984 to lend you.
One final wisecrack: do you know who is the most scared of all? Communist China. We've just shown the world how to break down and destroy every totalitarian dictatorship on the planet. A whole generation of computer geeks helped bring down one rotten regime. They're going to want to scratch that itch, my friends. Mark my words: China is next.
Normally, blogging etiquette doesn't allow reprinting someone else's complete post; we instead offer some short clips and a link to the source. But I believe the hour requires us to share this information as widely as possible. Exposure is the name of the game on the internet. So I'm printing the complete statement here. My deep thanks once again to Naj. She is a true hero.
In the name of God, the kind and the merciful
Indeed god demands you to safe keep what people entrust in you, and to rule them with justice. [this a verse of Koran]
Respectable and intelligent people of Iran,
These nights and days, a pivotal moment in our history is taking place. People ask each other: “what should we do?, which way should we go?”. It is my duty to share with you what I believe, and to learn from you, may we never forget our historical task and not give up on the duty we are given by the destiny of times and generations.
30 years ago, in this country a revolution became victorious in the name of Islam, a revolution for freedom, a revolution for reviving the dignity of men, a revolution for truth and justice. In those times, especially when our enlightened Imam [Khomeini] was alive, large amount of lives and matters were invested to legitimize this foundation and many valuable achievements were attained. An unprecedented enlightenment captured our society, and our people reached a new life where they endured the hardest of hardships with a sweet taste. What this people gained was dignity and freedom and a gift of the life of the pure ones [i.e. 12 Imams of Shiites]. I am certain that those who have seen those days will not be satisfied with anything less.
Had we as a people lost certain talents that we were unable to experience that early spirituality? I had come to say that that was not the case. It is not late yet, we are not far from that enlightened space yet. I had come to show that it was possible to live spiritually while living in a modern world. I had come to repeat Imam’s warnings about fundamentalism. I had come to say that evading the law leads to dictatorship; and to remind that paying attention to people’s dignity does not diminish the foundations of the regime, but strengthens it. I had come to say that people wish honesty and integrity from their servants, and that many of our perils have arisen from lies. I had come to say that poverty and backwardness, corruption and injustice were not our destiny. I had come to re-invite to the Islamic revolution, as it had to be, and Islamic republic as it has to be.
In this invitation, I was not charismatic [articulate], but the core message of revolution was so appealing that it surpassed my articulation and excited the young generation who had not seen those days to recreate scenes which we had not seen since the days of revolution and the sacred defense. The people’s movement chose green as its symbol. I confess that in this, I followed them. And a generation that was accused of being removed from religion, has now reached “God is Great”, “Victory’s of God and victory’s near”, “Ya hossein” in their chants to prove that when this tree fruits, they all resemble. No one taught hem these slogans, they reached them by the teachings of instinct. How unfair are those whose petty advantages make them call this a “velvet revolution” staged by foreigners! [refering to state TV and Khameneni, perhaps!]
But as you know, all of us were faced with deception and cheatings when we claimed to revitalize our nation and realize dreams that root in the hearts of young and old. And that which we had predicted will stem from evading law [dictatorship], realized soon in the worst manifestation.
The large voter turnout in recent election was the result of hard work to create hope and confidence in people, to create a deserving response to those whose broad dissatisfaction with the existing management crisis could have targeted the foundations of the regime. If this good will and trust of the poeple is not addressed via protecting their votes, or if they cannot react in a civil manner to claim their rights, the responsibility of the dangerous routs ahead will be on the shoulders of those who do not tolerate civil protests.
If the large volume of cheating and vote rigging, which has set fire to the hays of people’s anger, is expressed as the evidence of fairness, the republican nature of the state will be killed and in practice, the ideology that Islam and Republicanism are incompatible will be proven.
This outcome will make two groups happy: One, those who since the beginning of revolution stood against Imam and called the Islamic state a dictatorship of the elite who want to take people to heaven by force; and the other, those who in defending the human rights, consider religion and Islam against republicanism. Imam’s fantastic art was to neutralize these dichotomies. I had come to focus on Imam’s approach to neutralize the burgeoning magic of these. Now, by confirming the results of election, by limiting the extent of investigation in a manner that the outcome will not be changed, even though in more than 170 branches the number of cast votes was more than 100% of eligible voters of the riding, the heads of the state have accepted the responsibility of what has happened during the election.
In these conditions, we are asked to follow our complaints via the Guardian council, while this council has proven its bias, not only before and during, but also after the election. The first principle of judgment is to be impartial.
I, continue to strongly believe that the request for annulling the vote and repeating the election is a definite right that has to be considered by impartial and nationally trusted delegation. Not to dismiss the results of this investigation a priori, or to prevent people from demonstration by threatening them to bloodshed. Nor to unleash the Intelligence ministry’s plain clothes forces on people’s lives to disperse crowds by intimidation and inflammation, instead of responding to people’s legitimate questions, and then blaming the bloodshed on others.
As I am looking at the scene, I see it set for advancing a new political agenda that spreads beyond the objective of installing an unwanted government. As a companion who has seen the beauties of your green wave, I will never allow any one’s life endangered because of my actions. At the same time, I remain undeterred on my demand for annulling the election and demanding people’s rights. Despite my limited abilities, I believe that your motivation and creativity can pursue your legitimate demands in new civil manners. Be sure that I will always stand with you. What this brother of yours recommends, especially to the dear youth, in terms of finding new solutions is to not allow liars and cheater steal your flag of defense of Islamic state, and foreigners rip the treasures of the Islamic republic which are your inheritance of the blood of your decent fathers. By trust in God, and hope for the future, and leaning on the strength of social movements, claim your rights in the frameworks of the existing constitution, based on principle of non-violence.
In this, we are not confronting the Basij. Basiji is our brother. In this we are not confronting the revolutionary guard. The guard is the keeper of our revolution. We are not confronting the army, the army is the keeper of our borders. These organs are the keepers of our independence, freedom and our Islamic republic. We are confronting deception and lies, we want to reform them, a reform by return to the pure principles of revolution.
We advise the authorities, to calm down the streets. Based on article 27 of the constitution, not only provide space for peaceful protest, but also encourage such gatherings. The state TV should stop badmouthing and taking sides. Before voices turn into shouting, let them be heard in reasonable debates. Let the press criticize, and write the news as they happen. In one word, create a free space for people to express their agreements and disagreements. Let those who want, say “takbeer” and don’t consider it opposition. It is clear that in this case, there won’t be a need for security forces on the streets, and we won’t have to face pictures and hear news that break the heart of anyone who loves the country and the revolution.
Your brother and companionMir Hossein Mousavi
Here's a short video clip from a very large rally yesterday in Hamburg, Germany. That is inspiring, and Germany must be singled out for praise. As the rest of the EU quickly acknowledged Ahmedinejad's stolen election, Germany alone stood up and cried foul. That nation knows the evil of fascism more than any other. Now the German people are coming to the aid of Iran's struggle for freedom.
I have to admit feeling a bit jealous at seeing these crowds. We had a good number of people for the rally in Minneapolis yesterday, maybe 15-20 people, and many of them Iranians. But, maaan. We're getting whupped here, gang! We can't get these other cities show us up. It's time to hustle twice as hard for the next protest on Wednesday in downtown Minneapolis.
This is fresh footage of peaceful demonstrators earlier today in Tehran. Once again, the Sea of Green stretches clear to the horizon. Yesterday was a dark and difficult day, and I hold no illusions that this fascist regime will fall without a fight. But the Iranian people took some hard punches, and they are still standing.
Obviously, I'm not a passive observer. Heck, the very idea of a "passive" observer has just gone extinct. So I'm not the best voice for an analysis of this crisis, or where it will go. But despite all that has happened yesterday, I see growing numbers of people all around the world. I haven't seen the world this united in a common cause since the run-up to the Iraq War in 2003. And that was with a certain sense of futility; we all knew Bush and Cheney wanted their damned war.
2009 is different. These people believe they can make a difference. We believe we can win. And that's not a slight of ego. We are all Iranians now. This is our fight, and I say bring it on.
Metallica - Broken, Beaten & Scarred
This song kept my sanity intact when battling the riot squads at the Republican Party convention in 2008. Remember, revolutionaries! We've got the fascist pigs on the run! What doesn't kill you make ya more strong! And they can leave us beaten, broken, and scarred, but we die hard.
Metallica - ...And Justice For All (w/Jason Newsted's bass)
Thanks to Rock Band, we are able, at long last, to hear Metallica's ...And Justice For All with Jason Newsted's bass guitar. And it sounds spectacular. Crank up the volume, pump your fists, build up
your adrenalin, and kick out the jams!
Saturday, June 20, 2009
The latest photos from my favorite Iranian photographer. These are the brutal thugs who are now terrorizing the Iranian people, the Basij. As I watch these events unfold, my mind goes back to the rigged election from last week. The fix was in. This was always a power grab. Perhaps someone can explain exactly to me why this is, because I remain puzzled. Trying to understand the inner workings of the Islamic Republic is always so difficult.
One positive observation is that there doesn't appear to be nearly as many people in the streets today. There certainly aren't hundreds of thousands as we've seen in the peaceful demonstrations. But it was well understood that today would see a brutal crackdown. We shall soon see just how many people braved the streets today, and whether more demonstrations will be allowed in the future. I don't see this dying down without more blood being spilt.
One thing is sure to me, however. The world has passively ignored Iran for too long. We must actively find ways to bring down the Khomenist criminal gang of thugs. There is a certain cynical complicity with tyrannical regimes these days that is troubling (of course, the neoconservative solution to bomb everything is even more disturbing). It's the lack of available solutions that worries me.
Oh, and million thanks to Google for adding Farsi to their translator. It has proven invaluable. If this wicked regime ever falls, Silicon Valley will deserve their share of credit.
Once again, I must sing the praises of Nico Pitney, whose coverage has been invaluable. And I still think CNN is failing us. At least one old order will be swept away by this rebellion.
So remember to follow the action on The Ghibli Blog's Twitter page, and, as always, steal whatever you see on this site. All digital media is free.
An eyewitness in Enghelab square reports around 20,000 riot police, made up of Basiji militiamen and soldiers, and armed with rifles, tear gas and water cannons.
The eyewitness saw dozens of people beaten by riot police in an attempt to frighten them into evacuating the square, with one young man being beaten to the ground by four policemen.
The protesters were not wearing the green insignia that signifies support for Mousavi, and were not making victory signs or chanting.
The eyewitness reports riot police attacking people on passing motorbikes and, on occasion, innocent passersby who have no way of escaping the heavy police presence. Nonetheless, there are thousands of Mousavi supporters, marching peacefully near the square, where rthey have been subjected to these brutal reprisals from the police.
Across Tehran, there is widespread fear and panic, with many desperate to know what is going on in Enghelab square, but unable to find out due to reporting restrictions. Now the question seems to be: what will Mousavi do next?
I wanted to post this video last night, but things got away from me and I simply didn't have the time. The people stand on their rooftops at night and pray, chant, call out their voices. The voices have grown louder with each day, and this crucial, final night before the brutal crackdown was the loudest of all.
This video comes with subtitles from the unseen woman, whose words are once again stirring.
These snapshots come from this blog, whose author offers some words of frustration to the outside world:
Our government doesn't work for us, they work for themselves and their craving for power. The so called democracy is just ridiculous, since the almighty supreme leader does not get elected by the people.I always felt as if the world had forgotten us. Everybody has an opinion when it comes to Palestine, when it comes to whether computer games should be banned or not, when it comes to Paris Hilton's new hairstyle.
The world is watching now. It is our responsibility to do something about it. Going back to trivial obsessions about plastic celebrities is not an option.
This is all about the position of the Supreme Leader. Any rally, particularly if it is attended by the opposition leaders, would be the most direct challenge to his authority. If it goes ahead and there is a large crowd, that would be a massive challenge to him. If it goes ahead and it is broken up with violent force, that could also damage his position enormously. It is a very tense situation. These are huge political issues at stake, if not even the future of the Islamic Republic.
Some of my friends who are demonstrating here in Minneapolis today only mean the best for Iran, but they are mistaken if they believe this is about voting irregularities or even stolen elections. What we have witnessed is an uprising, an open rebellion against a cruel and fascist regime.
This footage comes from Wednesday, June 18, and shows Khamenei's Basij thugs shooting into a crowd of civilian protesters. This is the true face of the regime.
Footage of violence in Tehran. On the YouTube page, an Iranian sends the following message in Farsi (translated by Google):
According to reports received, from Tehran to inform secondary schools were closed. Nrsydn because of injury to young children and stay safe from the invasion of Tehran Basij and Revolutionary Guards closed schools for families to send children to schools restraint."
Today is the showdown. And it is vicious, cruel, ugly. The BBC has footage of Basij militia firing on civilian crowds. There's nothing more I can say, except to watch and pass along. These images must be known to the world.
In fact, the green light has now been given to the basij to kick ass and take names. "The way of the law is open," he says. "If people continue to take the other way, I will come back and speak more directly." Qanun, qanun, qanun. Law, law, law. His emphasis on the need for law and order.
By the end, uncharacteristically, the leader, gets hot. Interjections from the crowd interrupt him and he tells them to stop and listen. He talks about the U.S. and the West and how the U.S. wanted to launch a spurious velvet revolution in Georgia. He says that these "aqmaqha" -- idiots -- think that they can do the same in Iran.
And then he ends by weeping. He tells Iranians that he loves us more than we can know. Ten years ago, Khamenei wept publicly when students were protesting in the streets. That's when regime loyalists began to crack down.
"Our vote is written in blood, and we gave it to the leader," the mosque crowd yells back.
Things do not look good. It is worse than it ever was.
He ends by weeping. Give me a fucking break. Any human being who was a victim of child abuse knows this pathetic games. Daddy loves you. It's just that Daddy loves you so much, he sometimes gets mad, and has to hit you. It's your fault for making Daddy angry.
What a sick, sadistic monster. Khamenei holds a gun to Iran and threatens to pull the trigger, then weeps crocodile tears.
So we should not feel surprised nor discouraged when analysts offer a sobering assessment of the Iranian crisis. Foreign Policy takes up the dilemma of the hour with Iran analyst Karim Sadjadpour, and...well, I'll let you read for yourselves:
The weight of the world now rests on the shoulders of Mir Hossein Mousavi. I expect that Khamenei's people have privately sent signals to him that they're ready for a bloodbath, they're prepared to use overwhelming force to crush this, and is he willing to lead the people in the streets to slaughter?
Mousavi is not Khomeini, and Khamenei is not the Shah. Meaning, Khomeini would not hesitate to lead his followers to "martyrdom", and the Shah did not have the stomach for mass bloodshed. This time the religious zealots are the ones holding power.
Whatever happens, and I know I shouldn't be saying this as an analyst, but my eyes well when I think of the tremendous bravery and fortitude of the Iranian people. They deserve a much better regime than the one they have.
I know I have the bad habit of veering from one extreme to the other in these matters; it's a consequence of being emotionally attached to these causes. But the way I see things now, I don't know how we can win with ruthless fanatics willing to slaugher everything. And if Khatemei and Ahmedinejad retain their power, there will be purges in the government, which would leave their grip tighter than ever. Oh, and I hear these men want to build a nuclear bomb?
In other words, we are well and truly fucked. Hopefully, we'll have our troops out of Iraq just long enough to rest up for the next war.
Have I mentioned that I have trouble finding balance?
Please, do not leave us alone - when the scope of the events is revealed the world will be astounded and will repent its silence. Do not let the representatives of the oppressive regime continue living peacefully while we are living in hell. Make their lives insufferable, let them have a taste of at least some of what they are making us go through.
The more intense the wave of protest, the better our chances of succeeding, despite the terrible, bloody price we are paying.
We cry out for your help, anything will assist - any approach to your foreign ministry and to international organizations to exert pressure on the regime to put an end to the bloodshed will help stop the serious violence. We must put an end to the violence, come what may, otherwise we do not know how many more victims will pay with their lives.
Austin Heap is God. He's the General of the Cyberwarriors. And his dedicated efforts to keep the internet open for Iranians makes him a true American hero. Why the whole of Silicon Valley hasn't been called to follow is example baffles me.
Friday, June 19, 2009
I am astonished at the number of key players who have emerged during this past week. At the beginning of June, you had never heard of any of them. Now they are players on the stage of history. The Green Revolution is transforming all of our lives, in ways great and small. This is as significant as the end of the Cold War and we will feel the reverberations for many years.
Anyway, bookmark Alltop. And send them a box of Girl Scout Cookies.
Minneapolis Free Iran Rally
Hennipen Ave & Lake St. in Uptown
Saturday, June 20 - 12:00 Noon
Saturday, June 20 is a worldwide day of protest in solidarity for the Iranian people and their Green Revolution. Show them your support in their nonviolent struggle against tyranny and for a new democratic Iran. Everyone is welcome to attend!
Some helpful tips:
- Wear black and green.
- Bring signs, posters, and banners.
- Bring drums, guitars, cowbells, rappers, poets, whatever
- Bring bullhorns and microphones.
- Bring digital cameras and cell phones.
- Snap photos and shoot videos. Post everything online.
- Stay focused! DO NOT dilute the message.
Spread the word on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Youtube, Flikr, blogs, and everywhere you can think of. Every single voice makes a difference. Show the Iranian people that you stand beside them in their peaceful revolution.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Check out the left side of the photo from yesterday's Green Revolution rally in Washington DC.
When Darth Vader has turned against you, that's pretty much the end of the game.
Thanks to Bita Cheeta for uploading this photo (and several more) to Flikr. Go pay a visit and say thanks.
The images and videos are leaking out more slowly than before, but they continue to find their way to the outside world. The internet culture simply makes suppression impossible. I wonder how the uprisings in Hungary '56 and Czechoslavakia '68 would have ended if those people had the technology and social networking we use today. The Cold War would have almost certainly collapsed much sooner. Not that it matters; in the end, all kings and tyrants fall into the dust.
The reports have today's rally surpassing a million demonstrators. When I look at these photos of Iran, I don't see a repressed backwater country. I see a modern society and a growing middle class. These Iranians are emerging to take their place as equals in the world. And, as Orwell explains so perfectly, once the masses achieve a degree of wealth, they will no longer be stupefied by poverty. Then they shall question their rulers and overthrow them.
In the end, a hiercharcial society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. The rise of the Iranian middle class has conqured the first obstacle, and internet culture has conqured the second. This is why democracy and equality are inevitable in this nation. And the ruling clerics know this. After all, they were the revolutionaries of 30 years ago. They're caught in a trap from which they cannot escape. And everybody knows it.
This message is Gandhi's famous mantra: "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." The lesson here is a wry one; the victory had always been one, it only required time for the other side to realize this.
The Green Revolution has won. It had already prevailed before last Friday's election, and it will eventually sweep the Islamic Republic and theocracy itself from power. This may not happen today or tomorrow or even at the end of the current crisis. But it will inevitably happen. Iran will become a true democracy because its people have wrested power from the ruling class. Any student of Orwell knows this.
The title comes from Jimi Hendrix and Band of Gypsies. Of course, you already knew that and are busily sharing your favorite Jimi songs with your Iranian friends.
This is the first photograph I could find from today's mourning demonstration in Tehran. I'm trying to find more, but the fascist regime has seriously clamped down on communications. It's much more difficult to get information in and out of Iran than it was earlier in the week. But the truth will out. I'll post more pics as soon as I can grab them.
I've been busy on Twitter, sharing and sending as much news as I can get my hands on. To relax, I've been sending obscene messages to Iranian government narcs who try to pass themselves off as dissidents. Fortunately for the Greens, these pathetic losers are laughably bad.
Oh, and I've also been trying to school myself on the tools of cyber-warfare (what a damned absurd name) - things like setting up proxy servers, how to get around the censors, tracking down server numbers that people in Iran could use (and hoping they haven't been shut down yet).
To close out another long evening for me, here are another collection of excellent photographs from Tehran's massive protest rally on Wednesday. The stakes will only get higher on Thursday and Friday, as the various players in and outside the government continue to maneuver and make their moves. And through it all, the hope, the sheer hope. I will love to see this corrupt fascist government overthrown.
P.S. Did you know an American from Ohio was attacked by men in a vehicle throwing rocks for cyber-helping Iranians? This isn't a videogame, kids. The fascist regime means business. But, hey, if these thugs really want to rumble here in the US of A, go right the fuck ahead.
I do hope you have enjoyed seeing these photos. Show your support by sharing them with others. Steal as much as you want.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Be sure to add the Guardian UK's Iran blog to your list of news sources. I've always been a fan of that paper, and they're doing a terrific job in spreading the news as best they can. And by "spreading the news," I mean passing along whatever is happening on Twitter, heh heh.
But the Brits, they know what war and revolution are like. They've been invaded by Daleks like, 50 times.
A pair of short videos showing the enormous crowds that turned out for Tehran's silent march today. It is a thing of beauty and an inspiration. The Iranian people have become a model of peace and nonviolent resistance to the world.
Are you surprised by that idea? Perhaps you should be. The truth is that Iran's Green Revolution began some time ago, while the world slept. It's middle class grew and its people became wise. Now they are demanding the rights that are due to them, and they are showing us all how to change the world. And the way this has happened, almost spontaneously, across all levels of society, class, and stature. The people of Iran have spontaneously blossomed before our very eyes. And a great nation emerges from the darkness at last.
Sullivan has said it perfectly, as always. I don't know whether the people will win their freedom. By all rational accounts, it still seems almost impossible. But I believe it will happen. What a wonderful, inspiring people.
Andrew Sullivan posted this moving and inspiring video. It depicts Iran at night, dark skies, and nothing to see. But the air is filled with the sounds of chants and prayers. A woman narrates the prayers of her people. The Iranians are crying out to God.
The moment has a calm serenity. It matches the peaceful mood of the silent demonstrators today, marching for miles and miles. They have embodied the spirit of Dr. King and Mahatma Gandhi, the spirit of nonviolence. And they appear unstoppable.
The following words are the translations of the woman's prayer in the video. I hope Sullivan will forgive me for copying and pasting it in whole. But this is such an important message to show, one of inspiration and hope. It must be seen and shared by as many people as possible. The people of Iran the must not lose their faith. Indeed, their faith has inspired the world.
It's fitting, isn't it? The decade that began with the terrorist attacks of 9/11 will end with the peaceful revolution in Iran. It is as though these years were a grand cosmic debate on the true nature of faith, and the true face of Islam. What is the value of religion? Who claims to speak for God? Is there even a God to speak of, and if so, how is this force made manifest in the world?
Anyway, I'm rambling. I'm thinking this through, making it up as I go along, as always. It's alright, it's life and life only.
Once again, you hear ‘Allah-u-akbar!’
One of the simplest ways for people to voice themselves collectively.
They might take our internet or even our telephones –
But we will demonstrate our unitedness by keep shouting ‘Allah-u-akbar!’
People are calling God.
Maybe He will hear their voices and be moved by them.
Defenseless people confronting violent thugs.
Defenseless people who are orchestrating a peaceful uprising.
Tonight they ask for His help.
These latest photos are within the last hour. The person who is uploading to Twitter has provided many excellent photos from the Tehran marches. I'll continue to upload new photos during the afternoon.
And, as always, everybody is free to steal as much as they want. Use these for your blogs and websites and continue to spread the word.
The march on Tehran happening this very moment is a silent protest in honor of the many people who have been killed since Friday's disputed election. The crowds have reached 500,000, according to the Guardian UK (and reported by the great Nico Pitney), as the march moves from Haft-e-Tir Square to Vali Asr Square.
The first two photos were taken within the last hour. They are very large, so click on them to view the full size. The third photo was taken three hours ago, and according to the TwitPic page I took these from, comes from the same march.
Twit Pic is the photo service from Twitter, and it enables the people of Iran to get pics to the outside world. These are a sampling of photos that I grabbed only minutes ago. These images are stirring, inspiring, humbling.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Here are a few videos from Iran today, scenes, angles, and moments of a whole. There is so much suffering and violence, but the people withstand the injustice and continue to resist. I don't believe anyone knows how this will end, but with each body blow, with each bomb, with each shot fired, the people will be pushed closer and closer to the point of no return.
These next few days will be crucial. Something historic is happening in Iran today. We're all crossing our fingers, doing whatever good we can, and hoping for the best. The greatest tragedy would be to sweep this under the rug and pretend that it never happened. The regime must be swept away.