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Citizen videos show widespread defiance across Iran

April 2, 2011

Political Warfare, 25 March 2011: Videos shot by ordinary citizens celebrating the Persian New Year season show widespread defiance of the regime across Iran.

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei decreed that there be no public observations of the pre-Islamic traditions, which include lighting and jumping over bonfires to mark the arrival of spring and the triumph of good over evil.

IranChannel.org has the story.

Official censorship, the banning of foreign correspondents, and crackdowns on the Internet have choked off normal reporting about the nationwide protests, but ordinary citizens, armed with smartphones and flip cameras, have recorded the happenings on their own.

Freedom Messenger, IranStudentsCommittee, Sherlock72, Unity4Iran and others have collected some of those videos. We aggregate the links to them here to show how widespread the March 15-20 protests from Chahar Sanbeh Soori to Nowruz have been. This selection is just a sampling of what these and other bloggers have posted online to show that resistance is alive.

Note the cries of “Allahu akbar” (God is great) coupled with “Death to the Dictator” slogans. The secular opposition uses the jihadist “Allahu akbar” slogan ironically or sarcastically, as a sign of resistance to the Islamic Republic. It is not to be confused in these cases as signs of jihad.

Samples of the protest activity follows, with each link leading to the video:

Ardebil, March 15: Banned fire festival takes place in street.

Ahwaz, March 15: Young people revel in the street with a traditional bonfire, taunting regime authorities.

Babol, March 15: Ironic Allahu Akbar and “Death to Dictator” street chants.

Borujerd, March 15: Street chants for Khamenei to be overthrown in the style of Tunisia’s Ben Ali and Egypt’s Mubarak.

Bushehr, March 15: Youths control the streets in the city that houses the regime’s nuclear power plant (video grab of this appears in above photo).

Fooladshahr, March 15: Happy street celebration with music, singing, chanting, clapping and whistling.

Gorgan, March 15: Quiet “Death to Dictator” protest.

Hamedan, March 15: Loud “Death to Dictator” protest.

Isfahan (Esfahan), March 15: Celebration around a bonfire.

Karaj, March 21: Celebratory New Year’s street revelry.

Mashhad, March 15: Dancing in the streets and celebration despite official ban.

Kermanshah, March 15: Cheerful nighttime protests in defiance of Khamenei’s orders.

Qom, March 15: Forbidden fire festival in the ideological heart of the Islamic Republic.

Rasht, March 15: Motorists honk horns in celebration of the eve of the last Wednesday before the Persian New Year.

Rasht, March 15: Ironic chants of Allahu Akbar and death to the dictator.

Sanandaj, March 15: Protesters set Basij or police motorcycle on fire.

Shahin Shahr, March 15: “Death to the Entire Regime” protest.

Shiraz, March 15: Anti-regime protests, including slogans against regime support for Hezbollah.

Shiraz, March 21: “Death to Dictator” protest in the streets.

Tabriz, March 15: “Death to Dictator” street protests.

Tehran, March 15: Pedestrian and motorists celebrate the end of the old and beginning of the new, controlling a street.

Tehran, March 15: Young men and women dance in the street in defiance of official decrees.

Tehran, March 15: Basiji motorcycle paramilitaries put down youthful street celebrations.

Tehran, March 15: Authorities fire weapons in the streets during street festivities.

Tehran, March 15: Crowd chants for Supreme Leader Khamenei to be overthrown like the leaders of Tunisia and Egypt.

Tehran (Jami Street), March 15: Young people hold forbidden bonfire in the neighborhood of Supreme Leader Khamenei.

Tehran (south), March 15: Protesters in South Tehran stand up to Basij paramilitaries.

Tehran, March 15: A lone woman in Tehran chants, “Death to dictator,” to be joined by others in the street.

Tehran (Navab Street) March 15: Big nighttime demonstration with ironic chants against regime.

Zahedan, March 15: Small but defiant “Death to Dictator” protest, includes burning an image of Khamenei while chants for the regime to be overthrown.

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