Thursday, July 30, 2009

40 Days

iran, neda, revolution, murder,
Although Michael Jackson's death wiped it right out of the media, unrest and rebellion continues in Iran. Today, 40 days* after the infamous murder of Neda, protests have begun anew at a graveside memorial for her.

Iranian police fired tear gas and beat anti-government protesters with batons to disperse thousands at a graveside memorial Thursday for victims of post-election violence, witnesses and state television said.

Demonstrations that drew thousands more later spread to other parts of the capital Tehran and more clashes with security forces erupted. Witnesses said police fired tear gas at dozens of demonstrators on Valiasr Street who set tires and trash cans ablaze in response.

. . .

Neda is alive, Ahmadinejad is dead," some of those at the ceremony chanted, referring to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who the opposition claims won the June 12 election by fraud. Witnesses said plainclothes forces charged at them with batons and tear gas, some of them chanting, "Death to those who are against the supreme leader." State television also reported that police used tear gas to disperse the demonstrators.

Sarah and others I have spoken to in Iran: I hope you are well and safe. I hope that the sacrifices of you and your fellow Iranians leads to that which you are willing to fight for, and I take for granted: a vote that counts. Be well.

*Shia muslims honor the dead 7 and 40 days after death. During the 1979 revolution in Iran, protests and rebellions washed over the country in 40 day cycles for almost a year, the violence on each 40th day leading to deaths that caused another wave of violence 40 days later. The weird thing about today's events in Iran is that Khomeini and Ahmadinejad know this, because they benefited from it 30 years ago. You'd think they would have seen today coming.

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