Tens of thousands protest in Iran, battle police
Tens of thousands of protestors have taken to the streets of Tehran and at a half a dozen other cities across Iran in the largest demonstrations since the disputed elections in June. Shots have been fired in the capital city, and scores are reported to have been beaten or arrested.
Foreign media have had their passes confiscated and internet traffic has been disrupted.
Well over one hundred members of Irans opposition parties have been arrested recently, an attempt in part, by the Iranian Government to quell todays planned demonstrations.
TEHRAN, Iran – Security forces and militiamen clashed with thousands of protesters shouting "death to the dictator" outside Tehran University on Monday, beating them with batons and firing tear gas on a day of nationwide student demonstrations, witnesses said.
The rallies were the largest in months, bringing tens of thousands out on more than a dozen campuses around the country and in several major squares in Tehran as university students energized the opposition. The Green Movement has been reeling under a fierce crackdown since turmoil in June.
Thousands of riot police, the elite Revolutionary Guard and the Basij militiamen flooded the area around Tehran University since the morning, trying to seal off the campus. The fiercest violence was on the streets outside Tehran University. Thousands or protesters massed in support of the students, some chanting "death to the dictator," witnesses said. Footage posted on YouTube showed some protesters burning pictures of Khamenei — breaking a major taboo against insulting the supreme leader.
Riot police fired tear gas and Basij militiamen, some on motorcycles, charged the crowds. The plainclothes Basijis beat protesters on their heads and shoulders as the crowd scattered. They regrouped on nearby street corners, setting tires and garbage on fire to ward off the stinging tear gas. .
Shots were heard on nearby Enghelab Street, witnesses said. Pro-opposition Web sites reported that at least one protester was wounded in the area, but the reports could not be independently confirmed.
Inside Tehran University, hard-line students loyal to the government scuffled with protesters and some fist-fights broke out. In one photo obtained by The Associated Press, a pro-reform student wearing a green headband had blood streaming down his face after a beating. A young woman overcome by tear gas slumped to the ground as two other students tried to help her.
Protests erupted at seven other universities in Tehran and on campuses on at least six other cities, the New York-based International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reported.
At Tehran's Amir Kabir University, Basiji militiamen entered the campus and tried to break up a march by students, witnesses said. The Basijis pushed and shoved the students, dragging some away. Thousands more demonstrated at Tehran's Polytechnic University, denouncing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with chants of: "You traitor Mahmoud ... you destroyed our homeland."
Journalists working for foreign media organizations, were banned from covering Monday's protests. They were told late Saturday by the Culture Ministry that their press cards would be suspended for three days starting Monday. Authorities also slowed Internet connections to a crawl in the capital. For some periods on Sunday, Web access was completely shut down
Update - at 6:00 CST - these are a few twitter feeds copied in the last hour. Gives a good sense of the excitement, confusion, and feelings in Tehran.
looks like there will be no internet for a while.,we are yet to see the real truth ,to sep good peep on here from bad peep.
50students chanting, ppl out of their works join them, B4 Felestin St 200more ppl have joined them
2 plainclothes who tried to arrest a girl beaten by ppl & had to run & leave their MCs
Why R basjis masked? What R they afraid of? Could it be that even they know Greens will be victorious soon? (Basjis are the secret police)
Iranian police shoot at unarmed protesters during Tehran demonstrations
Today students waved Iranian flag without the Islamic signs in the middle.
We are approaching the time to start severely disrupting regime operations