6:50 AM Eastern Time
How can I sleep. So much information coming in. I am not going to format them. The following are raw tweets from twitter. How to read them: Each line is a message from someone on twitter. If you see “RT from Iran” that means that I Re-Tweeted or re-sent someone’s message from Iran to my followers on twitter. I have left most of the names out to protect the brave people on the ground in Iran. God bless them and keep them safe. Read the messages how they sound. #IranElection is a hashtag in Twitter. It basically lets people follow specific threads, in this case the Iran Election thread. I will massage these tweets into a narrative for you later. For now, just feel the excitement, the power, and the history of it all.
# @g38 impossible. This is history in the making. Yeah, so much 4 going to sleep…3 minutes ago from web
Rafsanjani speech has opened door 2 the ppl, regardless if that was real intent. He left an inch, the ppl will take a mile. #IranElectionv4 minutes ago from web
RT Iran: Ya hossein mir hossein also was chanted by ppl! #IranElectionv5 minutes ago from web
RT Iran: The ppl also chanted the political prisoners must be freed! Here that hashemi had also said that! #iranelection 5 minutes ago from web
RT Iran: We are alive we dont want this killer gov.the world must not accept them.! #iranelection 6 minutes ago from web
RT Iran: Violence there was equal to what mangols do to our ppl. will send photos from ppl gathering there before they attack. #iranelection 6 minutes ago from web
@royasmusic Power 2 the people! 7 minutes ago from web
RT Iran: The mobile phone systems where off near prayerside so i couldn’t tweet from there! #iranelection 8 minutes ago from web
RT Iran: They threw ppl tear gas and kick ppl.lots of blood! #iranelection 8 minutes ago from web
RT Iran: The moto bike riders attack ppls even in sidewalks and water channels near university! #iranelection 9 minutes ago from web
RT Iran: People chant hashemi hashemi if you dont support ppl u are betrater to the ppl. #iranelection 9 minutes ago from web
RT Iran: See shopkeepers and ppl that open the door so ppl could go there!! #iranelection #IranElection 10 minutes ago from web
The Attack to the ppl was so harsh.ppl also chant down with russia! And down with china! #iranelection (China/Russia support Ahmadinejad) 10 minutes ago from web
RT Iran: There are more than 1 million ppl there! from enghelab avenue near tehran uni where i was! I couldnt see both ends! #iranelection 11 minutes ago from web
RT @iranbaan: Hashemi’s solutions: Freedom in IRIB,discussion of conflicts, freedom of detainees, sympathy with those suffering #iranelection
6:20 AM Eastern Time
First video out of Iran from today (via @onlymehdi from Twitter https://www.twitter.com/onlymehdi):
5:50 AM Eastern Time
People are chanting loudly. Rafsanjani asking them to be patient.
– If this is not a Republic it is not anything.
– People are trying to divide us.
– My view is, we should all think together so that we can maintain the unity of the system.
I missed the last part of the speech. I also was trying to listen to the speech (very low volume on my feed), while reading other people’s tweets on it, while typing after being awake for about 30 hours. So missed much. Certainly much better transcripts of the speech will emerge shortly.
In the meantime, I look forward to hearing from you about your thoughts on the speech. If you actually heard it live, all the better.
Now I need to take a break and then it’s interpretation time. This speech had meaning on several levels. It was bold, but cautious at the same time. Sort of a friendly plea and if you dig deep, even a threat to Khamenei. How? It basically contradicted much of what Khamenei has been doing/saying.
More to come after I get some sleep!
Love you all and god bless Iran and Iranians. This is FAR from over.
5:47 AM Eastern Time
Rafsanjani is making religeous analogies. Lots of religious talk. Will continue when he starts to talk about current situation.
5:41 AM Eastern Time
– I have been with the election from the beginning. Let’s ask what Imam Khomeini wanted from the revolution.
– Imam Khomeini said you should always listen to the people.
– If people are with us then we have everything.
– People should be put into the system first and this is why Imam Khomeini had success.
– Years of difficulty have brought us to where we are.
– People filled the streets for Khomeini.
– Even though getting help from East and West the stood their ground.
– Imam Khomeini said without the people the revolution could not be successful.
– The Imam gave the people a very high place.
5:25 AM Eastern Time
Finally getting this live feed, will do best 2 translate (and will combine w other sources of translations via Twitter): http://www.epersianradio.com/
Rafsanjani: “I am going to talk about the situation in China.”
People are shouting “Freedom! Freedom!”
Rafsanjani: “People please stop the chanting of slogans… As the leader of this sermon I am asking you.”
Rafsanjani: “The government of China has put down the protests … There are more than a billion world Muslims. China should pay heed to its own internal relations. Such harsh treatment can endanger these relations.”
He talks about conflict in Palestine and Pakistan and expressed that this should stop.
Now he is referring to Iran Elections:
Rafsanjani: “The election preparations that took place were good. The four candidates talked openly and this gave people hope about the elections. We should have been proud of the elections because of the high voter turnout. Large numbers of people took part. Too bad that this situation did not continue to this day.”
5:20 AM Eastern Time
Continued Rafsanjani speech in reverse chronological order:
Rafsanjani speech updates. In reverse chronological order, from various sources:
— The Prophet was so concerned about harming anyone that he asked for forgiveness before death, if he has in anyone caused harm to his people.
— First shot at Khamenei? Rafsanjani says, the Prophet was always careful not to violate any person’s right.
— Rafsanjani discussing the origins of Islamic rule and how it turned Medina in Saudi Arabia into a major influential story. “I guess his point is Mohammad didn’t use force,” one reader says.
5:12 AM Eastern Time
Picture from today (Source Nico Pitney, reader Chas):
5:08 AM Eastern Time
Small clashes being reported outside prayer hall.
5:02 AM Eastern Time
From Nico Pitney:
— I have three items to discuss. Number one, explaining the fundamentals of Islam and the Islamic Republic. Number two, goals of the revolution. I want to clarify the goals of the revolution to the youth, so they understand where we have come from and where we are going. He says he will express his personal views and hopes that people in charge will listen. The third part will be about current day events and the conditions we are in. I will try to draw out solutions the way I see them. Of course, these will be my personal opinion.
4:56 AM Eastern Time
I am having trouble with the live feeds. None of them working for me. I have to rely on third party sources for now.
From Nico Pitney’s Blog
4:49 AM ET — Rafsanjani speech updates. In reverse chronological order:
— This is a holy place, let us not allow events to get out of control…
— Basij chanting: the blood in our veins is a gift to our leader (threatening Rafsanjani) & Raf says tnk u! let me start!…
4:41 AM ET — Prayer organizer warns speakers. Taghavi, “the head of the organization that oversees the Friday prayer imams is still speaking,” according to one source providing updates from Tehran. A few of his Taghavi’s comments:
Whoever participates in the Friday prayers is strengthening his ties with the leader… The Imam is speaking on the behalf of the supreme leader and thus must only speak of those policies approved by him. The Imam must organize his speech according to these policies… This podium and this gathering must never be used on behalf of any political party or political cause. The Friday prayer is a prayer said in allegiance with the supreme leader. It is a prayer of unity and brotherhood… Unity is a policy that must be propagated by the Friday prayer. Respect for the law is another such policy. We must accept the law even if it is not to our advantage.
4:33 AM Eastern Time
This site: http://www.sidewalklyrics.com/ says will translate Rafsanjani’s speech live. But so far, no sign of the guy. Here’s a quote from the site about the state sponsored channels:
Iranian state TV is currently broadcasting via its five channels:
1) a discussion on havij bastani (an Iranian desert with carrots and ice cream)
2) a 1986 Japanese cartoon
3) an Indian movie
4) an even cheesier Iranian movie
5) a documentary on the Iran-Iraq war
Seems like the government might try to blackout Rafsanjani’s sermon from state channels. We’ll have to wait and see.
4:28 AM Eastern Time
Unconfirmed, but multiple reports coming in of massive crowds in streets of Tehran, massing towards university, upwards of 1 million people. Will try to confirm.
Have conflicting reports of cellular service in Tehran. One person says phone working fine, others say its down. Service could be sporadic.
3:56 AM Eastern Time
Twitter source in Iran: “Massive crowds marching toward Tehran Univ as I type this,I’m hoping4a historic day,hope is all we have now.”
3:48 AM Eastern Time
Massive crowds marching toward Tehran Univ as I type this,I’m hoping4a historic day,hope is all we have now #iranelection
4,000 to 5,000 Basijis are in the prayer area, having slept there (presumably to prevent Mousavi supporters from getting in). Most of crowd is stuck outside but the chanting is louder than speakers inside.
The number of people is increasing by the second. Chants getting ridiculously loud.
People are still coming to Keshavarz Boulevard. Amirabad is full of people. People are going to Laleh park.
3:21 AM Eastern Time
A report on Twitter just came in that cell-phone service is down. I can’t confirm this yet. Will try to confirm.
3:05 AM Eastern Time
Around Tehran University where Friday Prayers will be held is fully populated with people. The crowd is growing quickly. Security presence is in full force.
3:00 AM Eastern Time
From a trusted source:
Rezai and many clerics are planning to attend the Friday prayers. Many people are coming from cities near Tehran.
2:38 AM Eastern Time
Reports coming in that Metro station in Tehran is full of people. Some people wearing green wristbands have been “caught.” Advice from person on a metro train is to NOT wear green today if attending Friday prayers or protesting.
2:10 AM Eastern Time
In a few hours, Rafsanjani is going to start his Friday Prayers sermon at Tehran University in Iran.
I’m currently holed up in a hotel with limited access to television, but I will follow the events of the day to the best of my ability using other good sources available to me.
It is expected that Rafsanjani will support Mousavi, the presidential candidate whom the election was stolen from by the incumbent, Ahmadinejad.
Mousavi is expected to attend the sermon, along with possibly Mehdi Karoubi, another reformist who also ran for president on June 12, and Mohamad Khatami, the former president of Iran (also a reformist).
So far, all indications are that there will be a large if not massive turnout of supporters of Mousavi, and people who generally oppose the Ahmadinejad government.
Current reports coming in:
Eghelab and Valiasr Streets are busy, and there is heavy security around Tehran University, where the sermon is to be held.
The L.A. times provides pointers on how to attend Friday prayers to protestors, to help them keep safe under the heavy gaze of the Basij and government forces.
A trusted source on Twitter says tweets “Massive are crowds marching toward Tehran University, hoping for a historic day, hope is all we have now.”