Times are a changing:
A third night of student protests outside Tehran University’s dormitories exploded into the surrounding middle-class neighborhoods early today, with large gangs of students fighting running street battles against vigilantes armed with sticks and chains. At one major intersection demonstrators hurled bricks at trucks of riot policemen who were rushing to lift barricades and douse fires protesters had ignited in the streets.
The protesters chanted “Death to Khamenei,” a slogan that can bring a jail term in this country, where Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme religious leader, goes unquestioned.
“I’ve been lashed, jailed for having a satellite dish,” said a student, underscoring the simmering social frustrations behind the riots. “It’s time to stand up for what we want.”
In a nationally televised speech on Thursday, Ayatollah Khamenei accused the United States of trying to foment disorder here and warned protesters that the government would be merciless against those acting in the interests of foreign powers.
Good luck to them.
Free speech is all well and good, but do you think protesters in the US would get by with yelling “Death to Bush”? There is a line here too.