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Eye-popping videos show tens of thousands of Iranians marching, chanting ‘death to the dictator,’ ‘freedom,’ and more

Iranian protests 12/2017(Twitter)
December 31, 2017
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In what some estimates are calling over one million people having protested over the last four days, Iranians are taking to the streets in groups of hundreds, thousands and tens of thousands around the country to protest the dictatorial and tyrannical rule of the current Iranian regime.

What started as a protest in one city over extreme price increases of everyday grocery items has turned into a nationwide movement that is now beginning to call for regime change with violence starting to break out.

Eye-popping videos are littering Twitter showing these protests. Since international journalists are barred from reporting freely in the country most of the videos and reports are coming from various social media outlets and other advocacy groups inside the country. These videos appear genuine and are being put out by Iran based groups and journalists with strong ties to the country. Some videos are being directly put out by participants or observers.

Since the Iranian government has cut off some of the internet including the most popular communication app in the country, Telegram, and others such as Instagram, it is yet to be seen how large the protests will be going into the fifth day, Monday. It is estimated that half the country uses the messaging app Telegram.

Many people are finding ways around the internet and messaging apps partial blackout and it appears the protests are continuing to grow.

On Sunday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani noted the people’s right to peaceful protest but warned that security forces would not tolerate vandalism and chaos.

Rouhani said, “According to the constitution, and based on basic and citizens’ rights, the people are completely free to make criticism and even protest…The government, however, will most certainly not tolerate the action of any group that wants to vandalize public property or disrupt public order and create social disorder.”

Violence seems to be growing with some thinking the violence will only increase going into the fifth day of protests as the calls for revolution grow louder and other groups get involved.

There is also a lot of misinformation going around social media. One video tweet that has gone viral claiming 300,000 Iranians are marching on Tehran is actually a video from the February 2011 Bahrain anti-government marches.

There is no organization to the protests nor a clear goal so it is unclear what the end point will be. The protests may fizzle out or keep gaining steam over the next few days. No one knows for sure how it will go.

Donald Trump has repeatedly come out in support of the protestors while criticizing the Iranian government for sponsoring terrorist groups around the middle east. Trump also warned that he and the United States are watching for human rights violations.

Here is a video showing tens of thousands marching in the city of Rasht on Sunday.

The protests started Thursday in Iran’s second largest city, Mashhad, which is one of Iran’s holiest places due to extreme price increases of everyday grocery items. The protests then spread to more cities and the message turned more towards regime change.

These are the biggest waves of protests since the nationwide protests in 2009 that the world watched through Twitter.

The protests have also now formed in Tehran, the capital, and are gaining strength there.

Many police vehicles are being burned as the violence increases across the country. A Buzzfeed reporter in the region tweeted: “Youth torch police motorcycle in ‘conservative’ Mashhad. No matter how much Iran regime spends to indoctrinate youth, each generation gets more radical: 2017 more than 2009, more than 1999. They hate you, Khamenei. They really, really hate you.”

These videos are just a small sampling of what is coming out of the country.

One tweet read, “The crowds are growing bigger. In Khorramabad (western Iran), protesters chant “We don’t want an Islamic republic!” and “Down with the dictator!””

VOA posted this video of protesters chanting “death to the dictator” in Urmia, Iran, on Sunday, December 31, 2017. The video was provided to VOA Persian by a local resident. Under normal situations, saying ‘death to the dictator’ is unimaginable in everyday life due to the extreme measures the Iranian government goes to suppress free speech and criticism of the government.

Here is a video of a crowd in Tehran toppling a police van that was reportedly carrying arrested protestors. The cameraman is yelling “topple it!”

Scenes have been coming out Iran through social media while media global media coverage seems to be lacking.

Trump’s latest tweet, after a number of tweets on Sunday supporting the protestors is in contrast to then President Barack Obama’s reaction to the 2009 Iranian pro-freedom protests. Instead of supporting the protestors, or staying neutral, Obama reached out to Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei, further enabling him and his President to suppress the uprising.

President Trump tweeted Sunday, “Big protests in Iran. The people are finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism. Looks like they will not take it any longer. The USA is watching very closely for human rights violations!”

On Saturday, among other tweets, President Trump tweeted out two clips from his United Nations speech where he also spoke about Iran,

Fox News reports that estimates are that up to one million Iranians have been protesting across the country. A prominent Iranian opposition group says the protests have turned into a protest for regime change.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) which is a coalition of pro-democratic groups told Fox News that President Trump’s tweets are encouraging to the protestors.

Newsmax spoke with Ali Safavi an official with the Washington office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran

He [Safavi] also reminded fellow Iranians that the Obama regime reacted quite differently during protests over disputed elections in 2009.

“When millions of Iranians poured onto the streets, demanding regime change in 2009, the Obama administration reached out to the Supreme Leader Khamenei, enabling him and his President to suppress the uprising,” Safavi told Newsmax, “President Trump’s expression of support for the Iranian people and his condemnation of the arrests of the protests send an encouraging signal to all those who want to see Iran liberated from the yoke of the medievalist mullahs.”

Safavi’s comment came shortly after the NCRI’s President Maryam Rajavi told reporters that “the ongoing protests in different cities against the regime reveal the explosive state of Iranian society and the people’s desire for regime change.

Mrs. Rajavi added that the “Iranian people demand the overthrow of the ruling religious dictatorship. It is their right to topple this repressive regime. And I emphasize: Regime change in Iran is within reach.

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