This report is by James Miller (Dissected News) Both Dave and James are still on the road today, but will be making sporadic updates.
2148 GMT – Massive Security, Few Protesters – Several opposition websites are reporting that during the course of the day there have been small scale, silent protests in Tehran. RAHANA is reporting that nine men and one woman were arrested at Vali-e Asr Square, and there were several reports of clashes, but today’s protests were clearly not anywhere close to the scale of recent unrest.
Today’s protests were not a surprise to many of us who had been following these developments very closely. What was a surprise, however, was the sheer scale of the security forces on the street, both in Tehran and in Mashad (see pictures and videos below). Several sources inside Iran were not surprised that protests were unorganized (as few organizations inside Iran had called for them) but by the almost martial law on the streets.
An eyewitness, claiming to be in Tehran today, gave this account:
They are just arresting people and shoot into the air to provoke fear and horror.
They have blocked the road. When I wanted to go from Eskandarieh to the other side of Enghelab, they wouldn’t let. The street is blocked.
If somebody starts to talk he or she is beaten.
Security atmosphere is too high. The suppressive agents are within the crowd.
There are female agents. When you look at her, she doesn’t look at all like an agent. But all of a sudden she grabs a protester and starts shouting and then ten men attack the protester and arrest him or her.
1502 GMT – Today is international women’s day, and some have expected protests in Iran to protest the lack of women’s rights. Before last Tuesday’s protests, there were some voices that called for protests every Tuesday. There have been very few signs that many in the opposition movement have adopted this plan. Also, Nobel Prize winner Shirin Ebadi, an expatriate, had called for protests today.
Though there were few organizations inside the movement, it does appear that some small crowds of protesters have answered the call. There are reports that a few hundred protesters are gathering in silence at various locations. Security is high, much higher than a normal day, but some reports say that it is not nearly as high as previous protests. That said, Unity for Iran has released this video, showing police harassing some protesters.
We will try to keep an eye on these events and write more later.