In Iran, protests gaining a radical tinge
In the video, one of hundreds filmed during Iran’s nationwide demonstrations on Monday, an enraged woman’s voice can be heard as a paramilitary truck runs a motorbike off the road amid a crowd of fleeing protesters.
“This is the Islamic Republic!” she shouts, gesturing at the vehicle.
That message has grown increasingly common in recent protests, as demonstrators have made it clear that their target is not just President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or the disputed election that returned him to power in June, but the entire foundation of Iran’s theocracy.
During Monday’s demonstrations, the civil tone of many earlier rallies was noticeably absent. There was no sign of the opposition leader Mir Hussein Moussavi, a moderate figure who supports change within the system, and few were wearing the signature bright green of his campaign. [continued…]
Thousands flee Iran as noose tightens
Sadegh Shojai fled Iran after government agents raided his Tehran apartment, seizing his computer and 700 copies of a book he published on staging revolutions.
Now, he and his wife spend their days in this isolated Turkish town in a cramped, coal-heated apartment that lacks a proper toilet. But Mr. Shojai, 28 years old, continues to churn out articles on antigovernment Web sites about Iranian political prisoners, and helps to link students in Tehran with fellow students in Europe.
“I feel very guilty that I have abandoned my friends and countrymen, so I make up for it by burying myself in activism here,” he says.
He’s part of a small but spreading refugee exodus of businesspeople, dissidents, college students, journalists, athletes and other elite Iranians that is transforming the global face of Iran’s resistance movement. [continued…]