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Iran Election Update, Green Revolution, and the power of… Twitter?

June 16, 2009

The days following Saturday’s Iranian election have been a blur of demonstrations, riots, violence, and censorship for the people of Iran. After Saturday’s highly disputed landslide win for incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian youth has come together in an amazing show of strength and solidarity, demanding their votes be counted, and their voices be heard.

Much like their parents fought the revolution of 1979 which put the militant Islamic government in power, the supporters of reformist Mir-Hossein Mousavi are fighting to overthrow this government, and have the fair election they were hoping for on Saturday.

The result has been a revolution that is being fought not only on land, but on the internet, and the response has been phenomenal. While the Iranian government is determined to silence information coming out of the country, the internet has provided a unique and historic look at exactly what is going on, real-time. Sites like Twitter are ensuring that the flow of information coming out of Iran isn’t being cut off, and the global community is coming together to show their support.

Earlier today, The Big Picture an amazing follow up to Friday’s initial post covering the election. Many of the pictures are graphic and exhibit the amount of violence happening right now in Tehran, but it’s worth looking at, just for photos like these:

Defying an official ban, hundreds of thousands of Iranian supporters of Mir Hossein Mousavi demonstrate in Tehran on Monday, June 15, 2009.

Defying an official ban, hundreds of thousands of Iranian supporters of Mir Hossein Mousavi demonstrate in Tehran on Monday, June 15, 2009.

I believe I read someplace that the sea of people shown in that picture went on for five miles. That’s incredible.

An image of Mir Hossein Mousavi is seen (lower left), fixed to a desk with a smashed computer monitor in a room in a Tehran University dormitory after it was attacked by militia forces during riots in Tehran, Iran in the early hours of Monday, June 15, 2009.

An image of Mir Hossein Mousavi is seen (lower left), fixed to a desk with a smashed computer monitor in a room in a Tehran University dormitory after it was attacked by militia forces during riots in Tehran, Iran in the early hours of Monday, June 15, 2009.

An injured backer of Mir Hossein Mousavi covers his bloodied face during riots in Tehran on June 13, 2009.

An injured backer of Mir Hossein Mousavi covers his bloodied face during riots in Tehran on June 13, 2009.

See the rest of the photos here: link.

Again, there are also some great photos on TehranLive.org of the demonstration before all hell broke loose:

Credit: Tehran 24

Credit: Tehran 24

Credit: Tehran 24

Credit: Tehran 24

More pictures here: link

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In addition to the multitude of both horrifying and incredibly moving photos coming out of Tehran over the past two days, the global internet community has come together to show their support for the Iranian people, informing us of the things we can do to help. Austin Heap has been doing his part to keep the flow of information running, by writing up guides, explaining how we can set up proxy’s for people in Iran to use, since their internet is being monitored and censored heavily.

  • The guide to set up a proxy on Windows is here: Windows Proxy
  • The guide to set up a proxy on Linux is here: Linux Proxy

Emsenn.com has written up a simple page outlining the goals of the Iranian Reformists:

What do we want?

  1. Remove Khamenei from supreme leader
  2. Remove Ahmadinejad because he took it forcefully and unlawfully
  3. Put Ayatollah Monazeri as supreme leader until a review of the constitution is set up
  4. Recognize Mousavi as official president
  5. Let Mousavi rule as the constitution is reformed
  6. Free all political prisoners, immediately
  7. Call off all secret militia and offices
  8. Where else should you do? Follow people you’re interested in, show your support. Also, RT the advice from @ProtesterHelp. They are tweeting suggestions for Iranian protesters in English and Farsi (granted, it’s broken Farsi, but Farsi nonetheless!
    And of course, RT this post

    via.

They’ve also provided a list of tips we can use while tweeting about the Iran Election:

So you want to help Iran, but you’re not actually in Iran? here’s what you can do to help.

  • Change your location and time zone on Twitter to Tehran, Iran (that’s GMT+3:30
  • Change your profile icon to green in some way.
  • Set up a proxy. and send a DM to @ProtesterHelp. On Windows, do this and on Linux do this. On Mac, do this
  • DO NOT retweet posts from Iran. This puts the users at risk. The Iranian Minstry of the Interior is watching Twitter closely now.
  • Submit e-mails to CNN and other news sources about the Iranian Revolution- demand more coverage

via.

And something a little fun, if you check out PicFog right now, you can see how many people are interested in the efforts. It’s a cool little site.

Can I take a moment to be a bit mushy? Let me tell you guys, I have been on the internet a long, long time, and I have never seen something like this before. It kinda warms my cold, dead heart to see so many people doing what they can, be it by tweeting and re-tweeting news coming out of Iran, setting up proxy’s, blogging, photoblogging, spreading the word, demanding that the public be informed, or even something as silly as changing their twitter icon to something green as a show of support. In an age where I’ve begun to think that the internet couldn’t surprise me anymore, it is wonderful that I have been surprised, and for something so important (instead of, you know, debating whether or not the Miley BJ pic is real).

Seeing those photos and reading the news about the Iranian election has made me so grateful that I live in a country that has it’s problems, but whose freedom I am so thankful for. I said it a few nights ago: I am so glad that I don’t live in Tehran, and I hope that the violence stops, the people get their fair election, and that the citizens are safe.

Keep bloggin’, guys. This ain’t over.

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