One of the Green Movement’s biggest problems is the Western media’s expectations game. Since the Green Movement put together crowds of millions in 2009, the media now uses that as the standard for determining whether the Greens are succeeding or not and whether their actions deserve coverage. Such is the case with the Student Day protests on December 7 and the acts of defiance on and around the Ashura holiday.
Last week, the Iranian regime worked hard to avoid repeating the threat to its existence it faced last year. The holiday, which is in honor of Imam Hossein, was used by Ayatollah Khamenei to link fighting the shah’s oppression with the imam’s martyrdom. Today, the Greens are doing the same to the ruling regime.
Dozens of people were arrested and anyone gathering in groups in Tehran was forcibly dispersed. It was reported that in the morning, many cell phones in Tehran were unable to operate. Trash bins were taken away to prevent them from being set on fire and no cars were allowed to be parked on streets that have been the scene of major gatherings. Security personnel confiscated cameras to stop images of protests from spreading. The family members of those visiting the graves of their loved ones lost at the regime’s hands last year were only allowed to visit the graves of their relatives and could not express solidarity with the families of others.