Death to the Islamic Republic

Report posted by the leftwing Bazr student group

The Arab spring has reached Tehran. It is the morning of February 14 and crowds are already gathering. People are exchanging smiles even if they don’t know each other. Security forces are trying to stop shopkeepers shutting their businesses, but most don’t pay any attention.

Vassl Square: I am on a bus travelling towards Eman Hossein square. However, the main street is blocked and traffic is at standstill, so I get off the bus at Vassl. A young girl is shouting at plain-clothes police and crowds gather around to defend her. The bassiji move away, scared of the crowd.

Tehran University: The presence of large crowds has rattled the regime. A club-wielding plain-clothes policeman tries to attack a young woman who is protesting by showing the victory sign. Passengers get off a bus to ward off the bassij. He is forced to retreat. Slogans are chanted: “Death to dictator, free all political prisoners.”

At the top of Ghodss Street it is clear that security forces have used tear gas. Crowds help each other to recover, shopkeepers allow passers-by into their premises to escape the fumes. The bassiji are attacking the crowd again and the university janitors, who are supposed to keep people off the campus, are on the side of the protestors, allowing people to take refuge in the university gardens. No-one seems to be with the security forces any more.

Despite the tear gas, the street is full of protestors. Drivers blow their horns in support of demonstrators.

Revolution Square: Another plain-clothes bassij is ordering a bus driver to force passengers to get off. He refuses. The bus is really overcrowded and an old woman complains about the disturbances. Young girls around me reply to her: “Today is Valentines’ Day and this is how we are celebrating. We want to create havoc everywhere.”

The crowd is chanting: “We’ll kill those who have killed our brothers” and, of course, the obligatory “Death to the Islamic Republic”.

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