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(Wall Street Journal)   "Crowds, Calm, and then Gunshots" A report from inside Iran (discussion continued - Part VI)   (online.wsj.com) divider line
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3896 clicks; posted to Main » and Politics » on 16 Jun 2009 at 1:05 AM (12 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2009-06-16 1:00:08 AM  
We can haz new iran threads? the other one is too embiggened.
 
2009-06-16 1:01:23 AM  
important: The Iranian government is looking for dissident twitterers, so if you have an account, change your location and timezone to tehran!

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
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.

- When the first spontaneous riots erupted, the first wave the Iranian Riot Police was called in, and short after the Basij also took the scene. 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.

- With the second wave of Basij also came Ansar Hizbullah members. This is the point where firearms started being used. There are 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 around the time of the second wave 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). 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 has authorized these militias to use live ammunition against the crowd if things get out of hand (source: BBC)

- This brings us to the third wave, which just began around 12:30PM for those of us on the East Coast. According to all reports, plainclothes militia have opened fire on civilians protesting peacefully. Chaos erupted in the streets, with reports of fighting all over Tehran and spreading over Iran. Pictures of people shot, some to death, surfaced and were published in the mainstream media. Things very are ugly and this is spreading in other cities as well. Violent and murderous repression has started. At least a twenty people have been killed so far. Things will spiral down fast, and very soon.

There is a major crackdown on students, especially those with connections to the outside world going on right now. Some people report that the 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.

Later, 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. This is very big.

Tomorrow (or today as of the 16th of June)

Supporters of Moussavi have a manifestation planned for 5pm, Tehran time. Roughly the same number or more is expected to attend. Plenty of twitter chat about dressing in black.

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. 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 Supreme Leader has also called for a 10-day inquiry into the claims of fraud, but it has been widely dismissed as cosmetic. 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.

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
 
2009-06-16 1:04:25 AM  
Again, thanks to Tats for everything over these past few days. We all really owe you for keeping us up to date on who is who and what is what.
 
2009-06-16 1:05:40 AM  

Crocodilly_Pontifex: We can haz new iran threads? the other one is too embiggened.


and here we gooooo
 
2009-06-16 1:05:53 AM  
This is what...thread VI or VII? I'm too lazy to count
 
2009-06-16 1:05:57 AM  
Is this a pants on or off thread?
 
2009-06-16 1:06:15 AM  
I wish our money supply had the velocity of these Iran threads.
 
2009-06-16 1:06:17 AM  
Here we go, part VI
 
2009-06-16 1:06:28 AM  
Speedy mods. Kudos.
 
2009-06-16 1:06:33 AM  

Aar1012: This is what...thread VI or VII? I'm too lazy to count


Pretty sure its VIII
 
2009-06-16 1:06:41 AM  

Aar1012: This is what...thread VI or VII? I'm too lazy to count


Total? This is number 8

006andahalf: Is this a pants on or off thread?


pants off, sleep on.

at least for me
 
2009-06-16 1:06:42 AM  
I really hope what we're hearing from the University is overblown; if it's true this thing could get really bloody before it settles down :(

/Keep it up Tats
 
2009-06-16 1:06:44 AM  
If the WSJ is correct and the clerics are taking the side of the protesters, than the oil has definitely hit the anus.
 
2009-06-16 1:06:53 AM  
knife wielding Basij (new window)
 
2009-06-16 1:06:59 AM  
Maybe being one of the earliest here will allow people to answer my question. Unless I keep missing it.

How long until the counter protest?
 
2009-06-16 1:07:27 AM  

Aar1012: This is what...thread VI or VII? I'm too lazy to count


Sixth for today. We're in double digits overall.
 
2009-06-16 1:07:30 AM  
And here we are again.
 
2009-06-16 1:07:39 AM  
it seems like information is starting to really get choked off.


Still riveting as hell though.
 
2009-06-16 1:07:50 AM  

CaesarSneezy: than the oil has definitely hit the anus.


just wondering which of the Imam's has the lipstick...
 
2009-06-16 1:08:06 AM  

CaesarSneezy: If the WSJ is correct and the clerics are taking the side of the protesters, than the oil has definitely hit the anus.


Probably realized it was the only way they could remain in power. Once people started directing their ire at Glorious Leader, I'm sure they started rethinking their support for Achmadinijad.
 
2009-06-16 1:08:13 AM  
EsteeFlwrPot: veale728: And just in case anyone didn't catch it earlier, #Iranelection is NOT blocked

but i has this:

ALERT: #iranelection has been blocked in Iran. Switch to #Iranians, #Tehran, and #Iran9 - Scary!


Really? I see this (less than 10 minutes ago)

p************ #IranElection hashtag is not blocked in Iran. Yells of Allaho Akbar just happen for two hours, 9:00-11:00 PM local time.
 
2009-06-16 1:08:21 AM  
So this is Part VI, right? I'm probably off to bed soon. Still exhausted from the all-nigher yesterday.
 
2009-06-16 1:08:31 AM  

adamgreeney: knife wielding Basij (new window)


What a piece of shiat. So do you guys think the protesters will start carrying clubs, etc. soon or will they have non-violent power by numbers/solidarity?
 
2009-06-16 1:08:38 AM  

Anaxphone: Sixth for today. We're in double digits overall.


Including the ones about the election proper, before the calls about irregularities.

This is the 8th thread about the Revolution.
 
2009-06-16 1:08:41 AM  
Crap, I was quoting someone and now I've lost what I wrote. Anyways, there are far too many users and posts for everyone to read everything, so someone will always be new to YELLOL. Best to just ignore it and move on so we can discuss what's actually going on right now.
 
2009-06-16 1:08:48 AM  

CanisNoir: I really hope what we're hearing from the University is overblown; if it's true this thing could get really bloody before it settles down :(

/Keep it up Tats


12 students reported killed in crackdown after violent clashes

At least 12 people may have died in violent clashes with Iran's security forces following President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed re-election, according to reports from the country.

The reported fatalities have come amid a brutal crackdown on students, apparently aimed at quelling a wave of campus rebellions that authorities fear could spill over to the wider population.

rest of article (new window)
 
2009-06-16 1:08:48 AM  
Ok. Version 0.1 is done.

ProxyBox - VirtualBox Proxy Application (new window)
-
Includes:
Squid: 3128 - HTTP Proxy
Polipo: 8123 - HTTP Proxy, routed through TOR
Tor: 9050 - SOCKS proxy
Ziproxy: 8080 - HTTP Proxy that compresses images and text. Good for low bandwidth.
-
ReadMe (new window)

Two Files Required:
ProxyBox.vmdk
ProxyBox.ovf

Also Requires VirtualBox (new window) from Sun and some knowledge on how to forward ports.
-
Secure, don't expose your home machine to the net. Already setup, no mucking with settings. Bare Debian install + above proxies.

Feedback at EIP.
 
2009-06-16 1:08:53 AM  

Superrodan: Maybe being one of the earliest here will allow people to answer my question. Unless I keep missing it.

How long until the counter protest?


Word on the street says later today Iran time, IE midmorning EST. They're likely trucking in the rent-a-thugs as we speak.
 
2009-06-16 1:08:56 AM  

CanadianCommie: it seems like information is starting to really get choked off.


Still riveting as hell though.


Seriously, I can't believe just how much I'm finding myself caught up in this... I've almost completely ignored anything else on Fark all of today.
 
2009-06-16 1:09:03 AM  
This is late but, former Czech president says, "What is coming out of [the Iranian govt] is pure fanatacism."

anyone have any more info? should he really be commenting like that?

006andahalf: Is this a pants on or off thread?


off. it's late.
 
2009-06-16 1:09:05 AM  

Aar1012: This is what...thread VI or VII? I'm too lazy to count


The Empire Strikes Back.
 
2009-06-16 1:09:06 AM  
"Repression can only live off fear. But is fear enough to remove need, thirst for justice, intelligence, reason, idealism...?"

"Relying on intimidation, the reactionaries forget that they will cause more indignation, more hatred, more thirst for martyrdom than real fear. They only intimidate the weak; they exasperate the best forces and temper the resolution of the strongest."
~ Victor Serge, What Every Radical Should Know About State Repression
 
2009-06-16 1:09:27 AM  
A'jad has landed in Russia: Link (new window)
 
2009-06-16 1:09:30 AM  
Apparently, I'm the President of the Island of Ten Thousand Incredibly Hot Large Breasted Slutty Bisexual Women And A President, because I'm seeing almost every regular from the politics tab getting along right now.
 
2009-06-16 1:09:35 AM  
My understanding is counter protest is at 5:30 am est and main protest is at 8:30 am est.
 
2009-06-16 1:09:43 AM  
 
2009-06-16 1:09:45 AM  

Superrodan: Maybe being one of the earliest here will allow people to answer my question. Unless I keep missing it.

How long until the counter protest?


I don't think anyone knows at this point
 
2009-06-16 1:09:58 AM  
a link set up to get proxy information out to Iranians. (new window)

I again, would like to stress this was posted on Twitter, which has been heavily monitored by the authorities. This was posted by There is the possibility you could save someones life with this, and there is also the other possibility...

I still don't know what to do.
 
2009-06-16 1:10:00 AM  
 
2009-06-16 1:10:05 AM  
I wonder if Iran is going to recall any of their agents working in other countries to come back and hunt down and purge the dissidents.

If so, that could cause a lot of chatter in places full of Iranian agents as they split for home.
 
2009-06-16 1:10:06 AM  
Good lord Tats, you have to be exhausted. Kudos.

I've changed my twitter shiat to tehran time. Change for Iran has a new twitter. There are plainclothes in the dorms, threatening people. They are leaving now to deal with crowds outside, they hope to escape when that happens.
 
2009-06-16 1:10:20 AM  

Tatsuma: Aar1012: This is what...thread VI or VII? I'm too lazy to count

Total? This is number 8

006andahalf: Is this a pants on or off thread?

pants off, sleep on.

at least for me


Goodnight my friend. I think it's close to that time for me as well. I have a pregnant wife who is giving me "the eye".

Cheers
 
2009-06-16 1:10:28 AM  
Just wanted to go on record as saying, "Thank you, Tatsuma."
 
2009-06-16 1:10:58 AM  
Thanks, Tatsuma. I'm going to post your summary to a few Persian friends of mine. Possibly put it in a Facebook note too.
 
2009-06-16 1:11:05 AM  

EsteeFlwrPot: This is late but, former Czech president says, "What is coming out of [the Iranian govt] is pure fanatacism."

anyone have any more info? should he really be commenting like that?

006andahalf: Is this a pants on or off thread?

off. it's late.


If he has balls he should, it's true. Also, definitely pants off.
 
2009-06-16 1:11:15 AM  

Deranged Mutant Killer Monster Snow Goon: Seriously, I can't believe just how much I'm finding myself caught up in this... I've almost completely ignored anything else on Fark all of today.


Same here. I got annoyed when I had to go to work and leave the internets for a few hours.
 
2009-06-16 1:11:19 AM  

veale728: EsteeFlwrPot: veale728: And just in case anyone didn't catch it earlier, #Iranelection is NOT blocked

but i has this:

ALERT: #iranelection has been blocked in Iran. Switch to #Iranians, #Tehran, and #Iran9 - Scary!

Really? I see this (less than 10 minutes ago)

p************ #IranElection hashtag is not blocked in Iran. Yells of Allaho Akbar just happen for two hours, 9:00-11:00 PM local time.


I don't know what to believe. All I know is that i'm scared shiatless for those students.
 
2009-06-16 1:11:24 AM  
Tatsuma wins: Flawless Victory.
 
2009-06-16 1:11:25 AM  
Tastuma- if I find more confirmation of the actual presence of Hizbollah in Iran, I'll let you (and the thread know)... so far twitter mining and other searching is turning up circular verifications all pointing toward that single sentence in Der Spiegel...
 
2009-06-16 1:11:26 AM  
7 dead, 2 shot death. Nobody will go to the office today as a strike. I will stay at home.

/author censored

I think hes talking about at the university explosion I (he) mentioned earlier
 
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