sending this from a friend's house. He still has internet.
things are turning bloody and we are cut off in terms of communication.
i hope to be able to keep writing. ox b
TEHRAN, June 15, 3h30---
Today, at least 1 million people gathered for a «silent» march from Revolution Square to Freedom Square. The crowd, which filled the wide avenue, extended further, and at one point it became impossible to move forward. There are no official figures (and those would of course be disputable), but I have never seen a demonstration like this in my life, anywhere!
People walked silently, hands raised. We had been warned to stay indoors, as the police have orders to fire live bullets, and this being Iran, we take that for exactly what it means, but people did not listen.
As night fell, and the crowd dispersed, Bassiji militiamen opened fire on the crowd, killing one (his photo is circulating) and many were injured. The city took flames again, but by this point I had come home. In our neighborhood, there were Bassijis stationed with police at the major square north of the house, pushing people and hitting cars with batons, telling people to go home. Again at 9:30 pm, people made their way to the rooftops to cry out, Allah Akbar and Death to Dictatorship. We heard shots that sounded like tear gas pellets (although they are using some strange nerve gas or other chemical agent, not tear gas) but also live fire.
Today, students at Tehran University were in mourning. Many of their peers were arrested last night, and one student was shot dead, when Bassijis raided their dorms and beat them. Today, as the demonstration passed by the University, we saw students protesting from inside and speaking to people through the metal bars. They were locked in.
I won't get into the decisions and talks taking place in the high ranks of the regime, and amongst reformist groups. These people, no matter how much they represent «change», are problematic political leaders with shady pasts.
Tonight we are only thinking of the dead, from the past and today, and preparing ourselves for more. Something is taking form, and it is only a matter of time before there is a bigger backlash than what we have seen.
Here are the names of the 5 people who have been confirmed dead from yesterday and Saturday's clashes. 2 women and 3 men, all of whom were buried in Behesht Zahra cemetery without their families being notified.
We do not yet know the name of the man shot dead tonight.
From: BK banafsheh
Quick update, as I'm very tired, and all internet services are cut (we have tried to connect via dialup for the last few hours) and even phone calling abroad has become nearly impossible. Please, on my behalf, thank everyone, really... it is so helpful for me to write every day and to know that you are reading. Internet communication has been nearly impossible; unable to send a single email last night! Think Sisyphus.