Letter from a Protester in Iran

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Another dispatch from Tehran, this one from an Iranian protester, the friend of Iranian American grad student (and former MoJo intern) Matteen Mokolla. Translated in full:

 

As I ponder what to write to you, I must say that I am in tears. I have been viewing the picture of the woman that we all call “Neda.” The young people of this country are in bad shape and are suffering from great misfortune. We go and vote, they steal our vote, and then they laugh at us, assault us, and kill us. I am miserable.

Yesterday, after work, I tried to get to Revolution Square (Enghelab) but it wasn’t easy going in. Already in other parts of the city people are stopped and searched (it happened to me at Ferdowsi square). To get in, I stopped by a store and bought carrots and tomatoes so that I can tell the security forces that I am simply shopping to have things in my house. It worked!

There were huge numbers of people at Revolution Square, but not quite as big as the rally from last week in Freedom Square. The Revolutionary Guards and the Baij have managed to intimidate the crowds for now since they have begun using batons, tear gas, paintballs, knives, and even electric shockers.

The people who had come to the rally at Revolution Square were scattered from the peaceful demonstration, and as a result a sort of street war took form. Young men, older people including women, and particularly young women began to defend themselves by hurling stones. The worst violence that I saw was taking place on Azerbaijan Street where violent conflict was taking place between the people and the state forces and some were killed.

Those that lived near the fighting would open the doors to their homes to those fleeing the state forces so that the protesters could have some shelter. Other ordinary people from behind the walls of their homes would hurl stones at the Revolutionary Guards.

All around Azadi Street people were lighting garbage bins on fire, in the hopes that the fire would neutralize the tear gas shot by the guards. Many onlookers brought water hoses from their homes to wash out people’s eyes and give them water.

Later in the evening I went to the Hazrat Rasool Hospital to search for a friend’s friend. When I got there I saw at least 20 injured people there. Having had paintballs shot directly into their eyes, some had been blinded.

I spoke with one of the doctors there and asked if they injured would be added to any sort of government list, he said “we are obliged to keep a list of those brought in [from the protests]. As doctors our first priority is to keep people alive, but this hospital is run by the Revolutionary Guards.” I watched, as ambulances would bring the sick and injured in, they would be treated and then shortly thereafter arrested! From now on, people will most likely go to private clinics for treatment.

Each night, per the request of Mousavi, the people chant from their homes Allaho-Akbar (God is great). Last night [Saturday] people also began chanting slogans against the Supreme Leader.

If you ask me, these rallies will not end, the people are angry.

The regime must pay attention to the will of the people, if not they will forget about the elections all together and call for an entirely different order for Iran.

May God help us!

-A protester in Iran

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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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