East Iran city, scene of bloody crackdown, sees new protests
By Trita Parsi
17 June 2011
On Monday evening, Iranian protesters poured into the streets to protest the deadly crackdown on June 5. The number of demonstrators had swelled to more than 100,000 by the evening. In the face of these swelling numbers, and given the huge number of police and soldiers, the government has decided to deploy the military against the protesters.
One of the demonstrators was a young man from the northern city of Karaj who called himself “Mokhabbar,” or “The People” in Persian. Mokhabbar told Human Rights Watch how the demonstrations began in Karaj’s Khajar Khomeini Square where a march was held, gathering supporters every night.
“They said that they would only give us a month’s notice to leave,” he said. “The police came in the afternoon, and then they [the police] started shooting tear gas, and then they started beating the crowds. Everyone was injured.” Mokhabbar added, “That night, a group of people from Karaj’s police and army reached the square and started the beating. There were so many of them that they couldn’t beat us.”
The army and the police are using a combination of tear gas and live ammunition. On Monday evening, protesters were using plastic bags filled with rocks to shield their bodies from the tear gas.
Mokhabbar said, “There were so many people that they couldn’t beat us.” He added, “All the people are in a bad mood. They are angry.”
On June 14th, as many as 3,000 people marched on the square, waving signs that read “We want Iran, not the United States.” These protesters were part of an antigas front called “Banned from Iran,” which is part of the campaign against Iran for blocking the nuclear deal. These “Banned from Iran