CNN is reporting that 5,000 dissidents marched silently on Shariati street near a major mosque in downtown Tehran, ostensibly in honor of cleric Mohammad Beheshti, who was killed in a bombing by the terrorist organization Mojahedin-e Khalq (Holy Warriors of the People) in 1981. But in fact they were protesting the stealing of the recent presidential election and the betrayal of the ideals for which Beheshti died. By casting their march in the terms of a commemoration of a martyr to the revolution at the hands of a despised dissident group, the crowd cleverly made it difficult for hard liners to depict them as agents of a foreign power or revolutionaries seeking an overturn of the government. CNN says that they walked slowly as part of their protest, despite attempts of government security forces to move them along.
The resort to licensed, legal demonstrations is a way for the movement to keep making news and coming in public, something the regime refuses to allow in the case of unlicensed protests. Opposition leader Mir Hosain Mousavi is alleged to have promoted today’s event via Facebook.
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