Thank you so much for all your kind words. I am embarrassed for not being able to write back. But I do appreciate every word of support that you send.
How Are Things Progressing?
* The peaceful movement that is seeking a repeat of the election in Iran is not showing any signs of losing momentum. I told you yesterday that the marchers had to change their route to avoid clashes with supporters of Mr. Ahmadinejad. So, they turned to north of Tehran and continued their protest around the National Iranian radio and television. Apparently no foreign reporters got there. I have a short clip sent from the cell phone of a participant:
* And I have a really delightful personal account by an Iranian who seems to be living abroad and is now visiting relatives in Iran:
“I can’t leave here with all this stuff going on. I’d feel like a coward. I went today with our family friends to the huge protest in Meydoon-e-Haft-e-Tir. I don’t know if you’ve seen the footage but the crowd was HUGE. Mousavi, Karroubi (who I saw) and all these movie stars were there too. At night the whole city was filled with people saying Allah o Akbar and even some creative slogans…Yesterday we didn’t get the word fast enough of where Mousavi’s protest got moved to so we almost got beaten up by these Basij even though my 9 y/o cousin was with us….we had to run into this pharmacy to get away from them AND we didn’t even have any pictures of Mousavi or anything. Anyway…. regardless of what happens, Iran will be completely different when all this settles.”
The Last Issue of Mr. Mousavi’s banned Newspaper “The Green Word”
* The picture above is the front page of the last printed issue of Mr. Mousavi’s paper which never made it to the book stand. The headline above his picture reads: “I will not surrender to this dangerous charade.”
* Guardian puts the number of today’s (June 17) peaceful protesters in Tehran as high has 500,000. In the brief excerpt I have here, you can see a small part of the rally. The green sign that the young woman carries reads “I am green and well-rooted.” In general, the use of poetic language and actual quotes from pre-modern as well as modern literary works on the signs that people carry is quite spectacular:
For a bird’s eye view of the same rally, see:
More Tragic Events
* The university dormitories in many cities were raided in the middle of the night and students were taken. Most students who so far have died in clashes with the security forces have reportedly been shot in the head or chest which indicates the order of shooting to kill.
* Iranian websites were warned to remove “tension creating” content or face legal action.
* According to unconfirmed reports, a man called Mohammad Asgari who leaked information concerning the real vote results putting Mousavi at over 19 million votes died in a suspicious car accident yesterday.
Some Good News
* Twitter rescheduled an outage so the people of Iran can stay connected to the world. With opposition newspapers, cell phones, and satellite dishes all down, Iranians are no doubt saying: “Thank you Twitter!!”
* Iranian National Soccer team scheduled to play in South South Korea today arrived wearing green armbands:
* The prominent Iranian film director Mohsen Makhmalbaf and graphic novel writer Marjaneh Satrapi spoke at the European Parliament today and asked the European leaders not to recognize the government of Mr. Ahmadinejad. They recieved a standing ovation.
* Mr. Larijani, the Speaker of the Parliament, has publicly called for the Interior Minister to account for the security forces’ attacks on Tehran University dormitories.This call might not result in a real investigation into the crime but it certainly points to real rifts within the current Iranian administration.
A Request from Iran
* A new petition has reached us from Iran, asking people here to “ask Google to change its logo for one day in support of Iranians who endanger their lives protesting peacefully for their political rights”.
* There appear to be rallies scheduled for everyday. The most important one is the Friday Prayer attendance. Mr. Mousavi has asked his supporters to come to this week’s Friday prayers wearing green and to turn the vast prayer facility green with their presence. The Supreme Leader Mr. Ali Khamenei is scheduled to deliver the Friday Sermon. This is expected to be a crucial moment.
I leave you tonight with a green humorous protest:
Good Night every one!
Fatemeh Keshavarz, Professor and Chair
Dept. of Asian and Near Eastern Languages and Literatures
Washington University in St. Louis
Honorary Co-Chair, Iranians For Peace
Tel: (314) 935-5156
Fax: (314) 935-4399