Bypassing regime attempts to clamp down on social media during countrywide popular protests that began on Thursday, Iranian activists have been flooding Twitter and other sites with video clips of the mass demonstrations, including individual acts of defiance.
The protests, sparked by President Hassan Rouhani’s austerity measures and fueled by the shooting deaths of two protesters Sunday night in the small town of Izeh in southwestern Iran, have evolved into attacks against regime symbols. Videos have shown protesters tearing down posters of Rouhani and even of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic, and of police vehicles being overturned and set ablaze.
In Tehran, demonstrators stopped an Islamic Revolutionary Guard van carrying arrested protesters. The cameraman can be heard shouting, “Topple it!”
In Isfahan, central Iran, protesters attacked and set ablaze vehicles belonging to members of the Basij after the latter had opened fire. The Basij forms part of the regime’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps.
#Iran #News:Setting Ablaze the Cars of the Repressive Paramilitary '#Basij Force' in #Esfahan Province
After opening fire on demonstrators by the regime's repressive paramilitary force in Esfahan, people attacked them and set their cars ablaze #FreeIran #Iranprotests #No2Rouhan pic.twitter.com/yxsjZKa1OU
— IranNewsUpdate (@IranNewsUpdate1) December 31, 2017
In Ahwaz, in Iran’s southwest, demonstrators responded to anti-riot police action by pelting them with stones.
Anti-riot police attacked peaceful protesters in #Ahwaz, and people stoned them in response. Protests against corrupted Shia clerics and authorities of Islamic regime of Iran. #IranProtests #FreeIran pic.twitter.com/iy8WSOCupQ
— Babak Taghvaee – Μπάπακ Τακβαίε – بابک تقوایی (@BabakTaghvaee) January 1, 2018
In Pardis, in the east of Tehran Province, protesters could be seen ripping down a poster of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, supreme leader of the Islamic regime.
— Hossein Abedini (@HoAbedini) December 31, 2017
In another, unclear location, a poster of Ayatollah Khomeini was seen burning on the ground.
#IranProtests. Reminiscent of the last days of the Shah.
— M. Hanif Jazayeri (@HanifJazayeri) December 31, 2017
In Kermanshah in western Iran, riot police could be seen kicking protesters and beating them with wooden batons.
Thousands took part in anti-regime protests in multiple cities #Iran
Chanting "No to the Islamic Republic" "death to Rouhani"
— ????????????ℯ????????????ℯ????????-ℯ????ℯ????????????ɳαɳ૮ن (@LVNancy) December 30, 2017
Women have also taken an active role in the protests.
In an image that may well come to symbolize the countrywide outpouring of frustration, a young women can be seen taking off her hijab head covering and turning it into a flag, in protest at the Islamic dress code imposed on women since the 1979 revolution.
#IranProtests: Hundreds of thousands across #Iran chant "We don't want Islamic Republic!" & "Clerics shame on you, let go of our country!" Woman in video took off her #Hijab to protest Islamic dress code imposed on Iranian women since 1979. #IStandWithHer pic.twitter.com/CHNwrTsWPA
— President-Elect Mark Vallen (@mark_vallen) December 29, 2017
In a quieter sign of defiance, a Kurdish girl in the Iranian Kurdish city of Ilam was seen spraying “Death to dictator” on a wall as the man filming urged her to hurry.
Elsewhere, a female demonstrator could be seen crying, “We have everything in this country, yet women are forced to sell their bodies and souls!”
Female demonstrator cries 'We have everything in this country, yet women are forced to sell their bodies and souls!' #Iranprotests #تظاهرات_سراسري #HappyNewYear #IranUprising pic.twitter.com/JxmxivqMh1
— ALI (@AliSalari1965) January 1, 2018
The protests appear to have spread like wildfire, affecting cities of all sizes, among them Aligoudarz, located 503 kilometers (312 miles) from Tehran in the country’s northeast.
— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) January 1, 2018
— Salman Al-Ansari سلمان الأنصاري (@Salansar1) December 31, 2017