June 18, 2009


Tehran dispatch: "The revolution had begun." (J. Shams, June 17, 2009, Boston Globe: Political Intelligence)

The noise of the crowd was the first thing to hit me. I had been among demonstrators before, but I had never actually heard an angry crowd before.

The noise was powerful and full of fury. As I approached the street, I distinguished what they were chanting: "mikosham, mikosham, aanke baradaram kosht: I shall kill, I shall kill, he who killed my brother."

My wife, who was among the crowd, had told me that several people had been killed by riot police. I quickened my pace and approached the street. As if in sync, hands bearing stones and bricks were pumping into the air. "I shall kill, I shall kill..." I burst into tears.

The next thing I noticed surprised me: the crowd did not consist of young men, but housewives, seniors, businessmen wearing suits, even children. There was blood on many of them. They were walking downhill towards the Interior Ministry, determined and in force. The wave that had taken over Iran and partied in the streets into the morning for the last few weeks was now an army on the move. As I stood in place trying to figure out what I was seeing, I noticed shopkeepers shutting down and joining the flock. People were also chanting on the sidelines, "down with the dictator," referring to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, while the crowd chanted "join us proud Iranians, join us, join us." The crowd was growing by the moment.

I had walked with them for a few minutes when I saw the riot police in the distance.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 18, 2009 8:51 AM
blog comments powered by Disqus