Within this fascist country, where the police and army are an extension of the absolute power, these days police are cheered and thanked by the Moussavi crowd as they buffer and “protect” their joyful gathering from the angry mob across the street. Besides a couple of shots of gas (not tear gas, but some milder irritant) into the crowd, the riot police are mostly just bystanders. This is where things become perplexing. This fascist regime has found a way to purge itself of its authoritarianism and allow the steam to escape from this social pressure cooker: people are allowed to gather within the contained setting of the election context as long as they stroll back to their homes in the wee hours of the night. Which is exactly what has been happening. Around 4 in the morning, everyone makes their way home, and tomorrow is another normal day. In the morning, the streets have been swept clean of protest residue, and people calming go about their daily activities (work, school, etc.), knowing that again at 7 p.m. they will gather in the streets to yell out once again. This will continue each and every night, and most likely will cease to exist once the new president, whoever he may be, is elected.
There is much, much more in this Dispatch from Tehran by a blogger named Bani, available in an extraordinary English-language online paper from Iran called –
And indeed, nothing is sacred: on the front page, there is this political cartoon:
This is the online, English-language voice of young Iranians, and if all you know about the country comes from White House press briefings and the mainstream American media, it will astonish you.