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(BDCwire)   Iran election/revolt thread, Part X   (wbbm780.com ) divider line
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5058 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Jun 2009 at 4:11 PM (6 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-06-16 04:08:13 AM  
Warning, new twitter feeds are most likely government members trying to spread misinformation, ignore them! Also, there is a handful of good twitter feeds, but please do not publicize their usernames, they are in enough danger as it is and they don't need more publiclity. Those in the know will c/p their entries. Major timeline overhaul, including what has unfolded in the last few hours.

This seems to be helping quite a few people, so I'll go ahead and repost it in every threads with some adjustments. Sorry, this has reached the level of TL;DR but I really am trying to cram the most relevant information and speculation only. Everything is updated as events unfold, especially the timeline and what will happen in the future.

Suppression of Dissent - The Players

Currently, there are either two or three groups who are suppressing the students on the ground that you'll read about throughout this thread:

1. The Basij
2. Ansar Hizbullah (which I will refer to as Ansar)
3. Lebanese Hizbullah (Unconfirmed but highly probable. Der Spiegel, based on a Voice of America report, says that 5,000 Hizbullah fighters are currently in Iran masquerading as riot police, confirming the independent reports. Many different independent reports and video point that way. Even in the last hours other independent twitter feeds have declared witnessing thugs beating on people while shouting in Arabic; I will refer to them as Hizbullah)

- The Basij are your regular paramilitary organization. They are the armed hand of the clerics. The Basij are a legal group, officially a student union, and are legally under direct orders of the Revolutionary Guard. Their main raison d'être is to quell dissent. They are the ones who go and crack skulls, force people to participate in pro-regime demonstrations, and generally try to stop any demonstrations from even starting. They are located throughout the country, in every mosque, every university, every social club you can think of. They function in a way very similar to the brownshirts.

They were the ones who first started the crackdown after the election, but it wasn't enough. While they are violent and repressive, they are still Persian and attacking fellow citizens. A beating is one thing, mass killings another.

- Another group was working with them, whose members are even more extreme, is Ansar. There is a lot of cross-membership between the Basij and Ansar, though not all are members of the other group and vice-versa. The vast majority of Ansar are Persians (either Basij or ex-military), though a lot of Arab recruits come from Lebanon and train with them under supervision of the Revolutionary Guard. They are not functioning under a legal umbrella, they are considered a vigilante group, but they pledge loyalty directly to the Supreme Leader and most people believe that they are under his control. They are currently helping the Basij to control the riots, but due to the fact that they are Persians and in lower numbers than the Basij, they are not that active.

- The Lebanese Hizbullah is a direct offshoot (and under direct control) of the Iranian Hizbullah (itself under direct control of the Supreme Leader) and cooperates closely with Ansar though Ansar occupies itself only with Iran's domestic policies, while Hizbullah occupies itself only with Iran's foreign policy unless there is a crisis like right now. However, Hizbullah has been called to stop violent riots in Iran in the past.

(the following paragraph includes some speculation based on reports from ground zero) Hizbullah flew in a lot of their members in Iran, most likely a good deal even before the elections in case there were trouble. They are the ones who speak Arabs and are unleashing the biggest level of violence on the Persians so far. Another wave arrived recently and there is chatter that yet another wave of Hizbullah reinforcements are coming in from Lebanon as we speak. According to Iranians on the ground, they are the ones riding motorcycles, beating men women and children indiscriminately and firing live ammunitions at students.

What will happen

Unless the army decides to intervene in the favor of the Council and to stop the early beginnings of the new Revolution, Ansar & Hizbullah members will be the ones doing the brunt of the killing and repression with Basij as a support while also protecting government buildings and try to do crowd control. The police seems to have for the most part disbanded in centers like Tehran according to all reports, including international media. If the police decides to come back, they will focus less on protection and crowd control, so the Basij will start to crack more skulls).

Currently, this is what is happening.


Timeline (updated and revamped!)
note: I built this through both articles and twitter feeds, so I do not claim that this is a 100% factually correct representation of reality, but this is the general narrative.

14th of June - While the previous day had been witness to some protests, they were for the most part peaceful. However, as time grew the protests turned more and more violent. When the first spontaneous riots erupted, the first wave of violence was unleashed. The Iranian Riot Police was called in to support the regular police officers controlling the protests, and shortly after the Basij also took the scene, moving from a passive to active role of repression. The RP concentrated mostly around public buildings and streets while the Basij took position around student groups, especiallly universities.

- As things got more out of hand, more and more Basij troops were called in, as the police started dispersing. The riot police are less inclined (or, rather I should say the Basij are more inclined) to use violence so they retreated and leaving the place to the Basij. The repressive forces concentrated their assault mostly around the main Iranian universities, while the riot police were concentrating on protecting various government buildings such as the Interior Ministry. At least two people had been killed already.

- On the telecommunication front, this is when we started to hear more and more from twitters while videos were being freely updated to youtube (while youtube started to delete the more violent ones a few hours later). This is also the moment where the government realized what was happening, and ordered for the internet, phone lines and cellphones to be cut off, in order to avoid people communicating with the outside world.

late 14th, early 15th of June - This is the second wave of violent repression. At this point, violent riots had spread all over the main cities of Iran. The violence against citizens was not only the fruit of the Basij anymore, but also came from Ansar Hizbullah members. This is the point where firearms started being used. There were reports of a few murders but it was mostly fired in the air or on walls in order to scare away protesters in University dorms. It's also around the same time that the first reports and videos of an important number of non-Persian thugs shouting in Arabic and violently beating people with chains, clubs and electric batons (similar to cattle prods), which led to many speculating that lebanese Hizbullah members were now in Iran. Der Spiegel, through Voice of America, later claimed that 5000 Hizbullah fighters were passing off as Riot Police, validating the claims of many independent sources and twitter feeds.

- Universities have been the hotbed of protests, serving as a hub of anti-government demonstrations and preparations. 120 teachers from the Sharid University resigned in protest over the election results. Perfectly away of this, the Basij, Ansar and possibly Hizbullah members concentrated their attacks on University Dorms all over the country, storming them and beating students, destroying everything, especially computers.

- The end of the second wave came right before the beginning of the current manifestation. Things were getting quieter with only sporadic reports of dissenters being assaulted. Important to note: at this time. the Supreme Leader authorized the plainclothes militias to use live ammunition against the crowd if things were to get out of hands. By the end of the first two waves of protests, hundreds of people had been arrested.

midday, 15th of June - This brings us to the third wave, which just began around 12:30PM for those of us on the East Coast. Plainclothes militia opened fire on civilians protesting peacefully. Possibly up to 2 million protesters took the street. Chaos erupted in the streets, with reports of fighting all over Tehran and spreading over Iran as the news circulated. Pictures of people shot, some to death, finally surfaced and were published in the mainstream media. Violent and murderous repression has started. At least a twenty people had been killed at this by the end of the 15th of June.

- There is a major national crackdown on students, especially those with connections to the outside world going on right now. Students are fighting back in some areas. Telephones are being bugged and everyone twittering and sending videos outside of Iran are being rounded up. ISPs were shut down, government hackers are threatening people who twitter, and some of them have vanished in the last 24 hours.

- Eventually, the people started to fight back. First, they took over and burned down a Basij base, killing its commander. Later, a Basij shot a young man in the face in front of their HQ, at which point a policeman went to confront them. The Basij beat the policeman, at which point students stormed the compound, throwing molotov cocktails, burning it to the ground.

- During the night, the police entered certain neighbourhood to arrest public servants and force them to appear at tomorrow's pro-Ahmadinejad manifestation, but the people went out in the street and forced them out of their neighbourhoods. The Basij have kept on storming dorms. So far the reports are conflicting, but it appears that the death toll could be as high as 40 for the protesters, with two dead on the side of the repressive militias. This is the end of the third wave.

early 16th of June - Supporters of Moussavi have a manifestation planned for 5pm, Tehran time. Roughly the same number or more is expected to attend. People are dressed in black and told to protest silently.

- The pro-Ahmadinejad crowd however are planning a counter-demonstration at the very same place the supporters are supposed to gather at 3pm. Most agree that basically they are simply going to gather for a confrontation. Rumours are that they are taking position in buildings next to the parade and in bunkers to attack. Basij from all over the country are moving to Tehran and supporters are being bused from all over the country. A major showdown is expected to unfold.

- The crackdown on people using telecommunication is as strong as ever. Anyone with a laptop, camera or cellphone is attacked in the street by plainclothes militias. Tehran hotels are under lockdown to prevent the members of the foreign press not yet expulsed from reporting what is happening.

- As for the Iranian Government and different branches, there are rumours that many Army Generals have been arrested for plotting a Coup d'État, but this is still speculation at this point. The Supreme Leader has also called for a 10-day inquiry into the claims of fraud, but it has been widely dismissed as cosmetic. Moussavi and his supporters have rejected this, claiming that they want new elections. Khameini is now using the armed Basij as his own bodyguards, hundreds of them are surround him and his residence to protect from attempted assassinations. Ahmadinejad himself is in Russia right now, for a planned visit, and tries to pretend that everything is good as usual.

early 16th of June - The fourth wave of violence has started, and was expected to flare up very soon. It surprisingly was quite mild. Pro-Moussavi supporters said that there were even more people today protesting against the regime, though raw numbers are hard to get. If this is true, it means there are more than 2M protesters in the street right now. They are dressed in black and protesting silently and without violence so far. Other reports that only 250,000 were in the street, possibly scared by the Basij and propaganda.

- The Basij, surprisingly, did not attacking the march itself but rather assaulted dorms again. It looks like they are using the march as a diversion. In Tehran proper, 2000 Basij are waiting to storm the male dorm, and they are backed by IRG helicopters, which seems to send the message that the IRG has broken from their undeclared neutrality toward tacitely supporting the Regime.

- The crackdown on telecommunications is starting to suffocate all of Iran. As of now:

* Gmail and GTalk are shut down
* Yahoo is shut down
* AIM is most likely shut down
* Phone lines are down
* HTTPS and other such protocols are down
* Iranian ISPs have been shut down
* They are trying very hard to close down the Iranian connexion to twitter and giving proxies they control in order to track down people
* Cellphones and SMS are shut down

People are also receiving phone calls from the government saying "We know you were in the protests".

Night has fallen on Iran, and the Basij are roaming, attacking passerbys at random. They have also surrounded dorms and waiting to storm them once again.

The Revolution lives on.

Demands from the protesters

1. Dismissal of Khamenei for not being a fair leader
2. Dismissal of Ahmadinejad for his illegal acts
3. Temporary appointment of Ayatollah Montazeri as the Supreme Leader
4. Recognition of Mousavi as the President
5. Forming the Cabinet by Mousavi to prepare for revising the Constitution
6. unconditional and immediate release of all political prisoners
7. Dissolution of all organs of repression, public or secret.

Who is Grand Ayatollah Montazeri?

Ayatollah Montazeri is a pro-Democracy, pro-Human Rights Ayatollah who was at one point on the short list of possible successors of Khomeini, but became marginalized as he adopted what was seen as a too pro-Western, pro-Democracy stance.

Since the beginning of the Revolution, he has been one of the fiercest critics of the Regime, and one of the biggest proponents of women and civil rights for ALL Iranians, including much-maligned minorities like the Baha'is. In fact he goes further than the protections afforded to them under Sharia.

He is also a big critic of Ahmadinejad and has been seen for years as the best hope for Iran if he ever was to come to power, something that was unthinkable a mere week ago.

He has also come out with a statement saying that policemen who beat on protesters and follow orders will not be forgiven under Islam, and that even if the government cuts the lines of communication with the outside world, that it was too late and the truth was getting out

Links

For further information on the Basij, Global Security has a good article about the history of the Basij.

CNN has a good article where eyewitnesses describe the type of violence usually unleashed by the Basij.

Here is another good article from GS again giving more background information on the ruthless Ansar thugs.

BBC profile of Grand Ayatollah Montazeri

important: The Iranian government is looking for dissident twitterers, so if you have an account, change your location and timezone to tehran!
 
2009-06-16 03:41:16 PM  
I completely agree. The less we have to do with that entire region the better off we are going to be.

We are not the world police, nor are we imperialists. We need to stay the fark out of other countries business'.
 
2009-06-16 03:42:31 PM  
I'm glad the President knows his history. Our support of the tyrannical Shah is not one of our more glowing moments on the world stage.
 
2009-06-16 03:44:13 PM  
That "Monroe Doctrine" sounds better and better every day.
 
2009-06-16 03:47:26 PM  

zymosan: I completely agree. The less we have to do with that entire region the better off we are going to be.

We are not the world police, nor are we imperialists. We need to stay the fark out of other countries business'.


this ... and I'll add: focus on our own damned country and the very real needs of it's citizens.
 
2009-06-16 03:49:00 PM  
A-a-a-a-a-a-a-nd number X is here.
 
2009-06-16 03:50:03 PM  
Given the content of the last thread, I kind of hope this particular thread doesn't go green. Far too much wharrgarbling in the last one. This headline just continues the trend.
 
2009-06-16 03:50:17 PM  
I guess this'll be the next one, then.

By the end of this thread, we'll be approaching 15,000 posts on this subject, is that about right?
 
2009-06-16 03:51:14 PM  

coinspinner: This headline


You know, I don't think I've read a single headline in the past 4 or 5 Iran threads.
 
2009-06-16 03:51:30 PM  
Why do we need a tenth thread?
 
2009-06-16 03:52:02 PM  

chemical_angel: Why do we need a tenth thread?


Because forced pagination sucks?
 
2009-06-16 03:53:03 PM  
i have instructed students to use wire across road to stop motorbikes....one has worked #gr88 #IranElection #tehran
 
aba
2009-06-16 03:53:31 PM  

jack21221: chemical_angel: Why do we need a tenth thread?

Because forced pagination sucks?


I find that pagination loads better, especially once it gets up into the several hundred posts.
 
2009-06-16 03:53:40 PM  

jack21221: coinspinner: This headline

You know, I don't think I've read a single headline in the past 4 or 5 Iran threads.


I've only read the last two. The last one, with the Grand Ayatollah Mozzarella quote, was decent. This will just turn into a Politics thread.
 
2009-06-16 03:54:13 PM  
jack21221: Because forced pagination sucks?

I don't see why that bothers people so much. I've had mine set to page at 500 posts for months.
 
2009-06-16 03:56:10 PM  

PurplePimpSaber: I'm glad the President knows his history. Our support of the tyrannical Shah is not one of our more glowing moments on the world stage.


api.ning.com
 
2009-06-16 03:56:19 PM  
CfI: http://tinyurl.com/lmat4k (in Farsi with pics) Basij attacked Dr Alami's house, he's a reformist member of parliment.
 
2009-06-16 03:57:28 PM  
I hope some brave soul takes over Tat's thread-ly posts for now.
 
2009-06-16 03:58:14 PM  
no obvious tag?
 
2009-06-16 04:00:17 PM  
Haven't we tweeted enough about this?
 
2009-06-16 04:02:13 PM  
Perhaps if Tats were to host the (sustantially expanding) text elsewhere, maybe link back to to a previous version but only concentrating on updates in the main post?
 
2009-06-16 04:02:29 PM  
OMG post in green if you love democracy OMG
 
2009-06-16 04:03:09 PM  

ToxicMunkee: OMG post in green if you love democracy OMG



ftfy
 
2009-06-16 04:03:54 PM  
img.photobucket.com
seriously, no Tatsuma yet?
 
2009-06-16 04:04:05 PM  
but see?

/lol wut?
 
2009-06-16 04:04:46 PM  

rjShadow: seriously, no Tatsuma yet?


Hopefully he's taking a nap. He's certainly earned one.
 
2009-06-16 04:07:12 PM  

coinspinner: rjShadow: seriously, no Tatsuma yet?

Hopefully he's taking a nap. He's certainly earned one.


Did he not sleep last night, he said he would. We tried to get him too.
 
2009-06-16 04:07:13 PM  

zedster: ToxicMunkee: OMG post in green if you love democracy OMG

ftfy


ftfy
 
2009-06-16 04:07:26 PM  
Sorry to repeat this because I said it in the last thread but does anyone know when the recount will be completed?
 
2009-06-16 04:08:45 PM  

Uchiha_Cycliste: coinspinner: rjShadow: seriously, no Tatsuma yet?

Hopefully he's taking a nap. He's certainly earned one.

Did he not sleep last night, he said he would. We tried to get him too.


Man, he's taking some heat in the other thread. A couple of dicks in there.
 
2009-06-16 04:09:12 PM  

TeddyRooseveltsMustache: Sorry to repeat this because I said it in the last thread but does anyone know when the recount will be completed?


They said 10 day investigation.

Again, Cafferty is making sense
 
2009-06-16 04:09:35 PM  
twitter down for an hour. break time?
 
2009-06-16 04:10:10 PM  
Should just sticky Tatsuma's summary at the top of Fark for the next day or two and nuke the commentary. Thread is downhill from here:).
 
2009-06-16 04:10:22 PM  
Thanks again for doing those updates, Tatsuma. Things are starting to look bad now.
 
2009-06-16 04:10:44 PM  
Oh my jesus hell.
 
2009-06-16 04:10:58 PM  

Tatsuma: Warning, new twitter feeds are most likely government members trying to spread misinformation...

... and firing live ammunitions at students.



Well done, Tats.

Go sleep now.
 
2009-06-16 04:11:22 PM  
Tatsuma:

Still awake!

Let me chime in and say thanks to you for your work gathering information.
 
2009-06-16 04:11:34 PM  

pd771: Uchiha_Cycliste: coinspinner: rjShadow: seriously, no Tatsuma yet?

Hopefully he's taking a nap. He's certainly earned one.

Did he not sleep last night, he said he would. We tried to get him too.

Man, he's taking some heat in the other thread. A couple of dicks in there.


Yeah, they've been building up there efforts for the last 16 hours or so.
I'm back now and intend to help defend again.
 
2009-06-16 04:11:37 PM  
Thanks for all the updates, Tatsuma. Very, very much appreciated here.
 
2009-06-16 04:11:38 PM  
Thanks Tats, that brought me up to speed better than most news sites could.
 
2009-06-16 04:12:11 PM  
Tatsuma you are simply inhuman.
keep up the good work, but take a nap sometime.
 
2009-06-16 04:12:18 PM  

FightDirector: Tatsuma: Warning, new twitter feeds are most likely government members trying to spread misinformation...

... and firing live ammunitions at students.

Well done, Tats.

Go sleep now.


Or at least stop drinking strong tea so you can sleep later...
We'll hold down the fort.
 
2009-06-16 04:12:32 PM  

TeddyRooseveltsMustache: Sorry to repeat this because I said it in the last thread but does anyone know when the recount will be completed?


Since I'm sure they're counting imaginary ballots, it's hard to say. As soon as the unicorns finish punching all those chads.
 
2009-06-16 04:13:12 PM  
Asked this kind of late in the last thread...

Hey, I know a lot of people were looking for Fark to go green not too long ago... decided to quickly throw together something for greasemonkey. Is there a way to post it here for people? or will fark block it?
 
2009-06-16 04:13:28 PM  

STFU_and_RTFM: Tatsuma:

Still awake!

Let me chime in and say thanks to you for your work gathering information.


This.

I wish we had a "troll" filter - I hate having to stop reading & go to my profile to put some farkstick on "ignore"
 
2009-06-16 04:13:39 PM  
Iran council prepared to recount disputed ballot boxes

TEHRAN: Iran's top legislative body is ready to recount disputed ballot boxes from last week's presidential election won by hardline Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, state media said on Tuesday.

But a senior reformist ally of defeated candidates Mirhossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi said they wanted a rerun rather than a recount of 'a few ballot boxes'.

Mousavi has appealed to the Guardian Council, the main legislative body of the Islamic Republic, for the election to be annulled, but has said he was not optimistic about its verdict.

A council spokesman said it was 'ready to recount the disputed ballot boxes claimed by some candidates, in the presence of their representatives.'

'It is possible that there may be some changes in the tally after the recount,' spokesman Abbasali Kadkhodai was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency.

This was announced after seven people were killed when a massive opposition rally in the heart of Tehran against the re-election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad turned violent on Tuesday.

The mounting protests against Ahmadinejad's re-election in a vote his main defeated challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi has branded a rigged 'charade' have triggered the worst unrest in Tehran in a decade.

rest of article (new window)
 
2009-06-16 04:14:31 PM  

tomo12144: That "Monroe Doctrine" sounds better and better every day.


I never trusted that Marvin Monroe nor his Doctorin'.
 
2009-06-16 04:14:32 PM  
Why the fark did this one get greenlit? Too much wharrglbarrgl as it is.
 
2009-06-16 04:14:33 PM  
I fear for this thread's sanity, what with the headline being Obama related, and twitter going down.
 
2009-06-16 04:14:59 PM  
IF this goes green

a) KNOCK OFF THE INTERNAL POLITICAL BICKERING


b) Here's a suggestion during down time while twitter is on maintenance - I saw some people making early attempts , but:

is it possible to start listing twitter accounts that are turning out to be spreading unsubstantiated information?

then pass it onto who ever needs that info?
 
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