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18th of Tir

Student protestors arrested in Iran's "18th of Tir" speak to pro-democracy rally in Washington.

On July 9, Iranians bravely commemorated the beginning of 1999 protests and VR recorded Iranian-Americans' solidarity rally in DC that day.  Watch their video record of the July 11 rally here.

This year's challenge of Iranian election results drew millions to the streets and vastly many more to venues across the Internet-connected world for news and support.  The revolution was tweeted: Google even released a new translator, Persian ALPHA, while on Facebook and Twitter, people of the global village watched and participated where possible, in the inspiringly massive and originally peaceful demand that the government deliver the democratic change they believed was due. 

The right to dissent is not so guarenteed by clerics who disagree, however, and scenes of students battling Basijis through the university gates emerged as new emblems of an older Iranian tradtion where students lead in protest against excesses of monarchs and mullahs.

This weekend's pro-democracy rally in Washington, DC was timed to promise solidarity of Iranian-Americans with the people of Iran while celebrating the 10th anniversary of students dying to defend another democratic essential, independent media.

On July 11, 2009, speakers drew straight lines from the student protests known as 18th of Tir to current events in Iran.  The rally featured personal messages from four former students arrested after the hardliner-controlled judiciary forced shutdown of a pro-reform newspaper on July 7, 1999.  Demanding removal of a ban that silenced the presses of reformist-Salam, demonstrations turned violent when a student in an attack by police.

Eventually, a week that saw major unrest spread to cities across Iran left at least three dead, scores missing, and hundreds detained by authorities.

Watch videos of the weekend anniversary rally below.

[CORRECTION: The July 11 event was not organzed by the Facebook group, Iranian-American Youth.]

 

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