- February 11, 2010
- 3 minutes read
Clashes break out in Iran as anniversary marked
TEHRAN: Iranians gathered to show their disdain for the 31st anniversary of the Iranian revolution on Thursday, and police and security forces in the country have opened fire on the protesters in an effort to move them, eyewitnesses told Bikya Masr. By noon, thousands of Iranians – many of whom had taken to the streets since last summer’s controversial election – were in the main squares of Tehran. Their demonstration comes as Iranian national television showed live footage of pro-revolution demonstrations.
“We are here to show the world we will not be silent and our voices and ideas will be heard,” said a female university student from Shiraz. “We are fed up with the way our country is run and want change to happen.”
The popular opposition website Green Voice confirmed reports that security forces had fired shots and teargas at crowds of protesters who had come to central Tehran to support opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi.
Iranians have been in protest mode for months now, since last summer’s election, which opposition activists say was a “botched attempt to maintain power” by the ruling government.
On Thursday, Iran had hoped to celebrate 31 years of revolution, but protesters have put a damper on the situation, activists said. They gathered early in an effort to show “not all Iranians are in support of the repressive and disgusting government.”
Reza, 27, a former journalist, said that history should be understood in Iran when discussing the situation for a foreign audience. He believes that the attitudes of the current demonstrators are “little different” from those of his parents’ generation who were the leading forces in making the revolution in 1979 a reality.
“If we take a glance at what is going on on the streets here, it is very similar in atmosphere as it was in the late 1970s, my family tells me,” he began. “So, if we look at this in a historical perspective, we see that this really could be the beginning of something big. We all understand this is not going to change over night and we are all prepared to make it happen.”
For many like Reza, they are unemployed and the economic situation in the country continues to deteriorate as the Iranian government faces international sanctions for their alleged nuclear weapons project. Most Iranians believe the West’s accusations are unfounded, but for now, they are putting their efforts against the government.
“We are being killed, quite literally, for speaking out so right now, we could not care about the nuclear issues. We want change,” said the female activist.
**this article was filed by an Iranian blogger in Tehran.