E-mail From Iran: Government May Attack Protesters, But 'We're Going Anyway!'
I've been getting e-mails from people I know in Iran. They give a flavor of some of what's happening in the aftermath of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed re-election. Below are excerpts from a note by a person who for her own protection doesn't want her name used. They are the perspective of one witness, and give a vivid sense of the dismay in some quarters of Tehran (we've added three parenthetical explanations):
"The very first thing that You've got to know is that we are in complete state of isolation, we have no access to either Facebook or YouTube. We can hardly connect to Internet.
"I'm wondering why we're having Internet right now! And it's going to go off again for sure. ...
"Lots of people have got beaten in the last 2 days. We can see everything just by going on the balcony! ... We, mostly young students, know everything by printing every single detail that we hear, and try to give the papers to everyone that we can. ...
"Everything is so shocking, people swear at HIM (Ahmadinejad) just like they did to SHAH. They say really bad things and it shows that they're very angry and uncontrollable. ... Yesterday policemen shot us with paintballs! Which are so heavy and painful! They shot us while we were standing in our yard watching the street!
"And HE was having a party in a big square in Tehran, something that we have never had before! A big ceremony for a president! This was the very first time and has made people so angry.
"People are saying 'Allahu Akbar' ("God is Great") every night on their roofs. We don't have one, but we can hear them all.
"Today we're going for ... a long walk for Mr. Mousavi (reformist candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi), from Enghelab St. to Azadi Sq. And the government have said they would attack and shoot everyone that they see, because it's not legal to do this. But we're going anyway! I guess this is all that I can help for now! No Facebook, no nothing!"
Note: Some Iranians had been posting eyewitness accounts on Facebook and other social networking sites. But in the past 24 hours, the government has made that difficult, if not impossible.
(Davar Iran Ardalan is the supervising senior producer of Weekend Edition.)