Skip to comments.Pro-Democracy Protest in Iran Gains Momentum
Posted on 09/26/2004 6:10:36 PM PDT by freedom44
TEHRAN (Reuters) - A rare pro-democracy protest in Tehran gained momentum late on Sunday with hundreds of cars pouring onto the streets, blaring horns and provoking an appearance from hardline vigilantes, witnesses said. Local residents said Persian-language television channels from the United States had been broadcasting callers throughout the day who had exhorted Iranians to turn out for demonstrations.
Two hundred riot police were drafted into central Tehran earlier in the day when more than 2,000 people started milling round the streets after a minor protest inspired by the U.S.-based channels, witnesses said.
"There have been callers from all over the place, even from places like Montreal, telling people to go out onto the streets," said one with access to satellite television.
Spontaneous protests demanding greater social freedoms are rare in the Islamic Republic.
A Reuters witness saw dozens of cars near Valiasr Avenue, the tree-lined street that cuts the city north to south, repeatedly honking their horns. Another witness on a footbridge further down Valiasr saw more than 300 cars.
A group of volunteer militiamen arrived on motorbikes but there was no sign of any fighting. Hardline vigilantes crushed demonstrations by student activists last summer.
Eyewitnesses saw a further 300 cars driving up and down Jordan Boulevard, a boutique-lined street popular with the young and wealthy. The occupants made victory signs through the windows and blared their horns.
Earlier in the day, motorists tooted horns in support of what they perceived as a demonstration. A witness said scores of people had been chanting "freedom," clapping and handing out pastries.
He said police had used their batons to push people from the scene but added there had been no fighting.
The ILNA labor news agency labeled the protesters monarchists, loyal to the shah toppled in the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Some of the crowd said they had turned out because of a call by the mystic Ahura Pirouz Khalegi Yazdi, who has predicted the fall of Iran's government on Oct. 1. He broadcasts on a California-based channel and promised to charter aircraft to bring home the Iranian diaspora from the United States.
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Yah - at least reuters is saying 3,000 which means it was at LEAST 10 X that. Anyhow - this is just the beginning. I'm sure if Dr. Yazdi is so confident it must be in parallel with US Government plan to for overthrow of Mullah's regime with the Iranian people!!!!
I think they've been going on --- but the MSM here doesn't seem to want to report on them --- for example this one --- did it ever make it into the news here? Yet I think this kind of thing would be important --- it was over a year ago.
Iranians chant 'Death to Khamenei'
Religious militants on motorcycles chased down reformists and beat them with clubs early Friday, the third night of anti-clergy demonstrations in Tehran. Witnesses also reported seeing mullahs pulling young women out of cars and beating them with sticks.
In recent years, the Qom clerics have become convenient targets of public anger with the establishment, many of the clerics say. One appeared for an interview without his clerical robe and turban, explaining that the few taxi drivers who would pick him up in his clerical garb would do so only to rant at him about politics.