Thursday, March 08, 2007

Happy International Women's Day

Women’s groups in Iran have abandoned plans to demonstrate for equal rights on International Women’s Day today, after more than 30 of their colleagues were jailed for protesting on Sunday. But even after that decision, rumors spread by e-mail and cell phone text messages Wednesday night that an ad hoc protest might take place anyway, in front of parliament.

1- For March 8th, women’s movements have declared a protest in front of the parliament, without any banners, “to avoid more arrests” (link).

2- More than 20 teachers were arrested overnight (link). They are the organizers of the current series of protests in front of the parliament

Kamangir reports that the Police started the day in full preparedness (for background read this). According to this blogger, cellphone coverage was disrupted around the parliament. He remembers that the last time this was done, it was the July 1999 protests. He writes “you can imagine how much dangerous these women are considered to be”. In similar protests, cellphone and SMS are good means of communication and management. Parastoo writes, “two thousand people were gathered in front of the parliament”. To force them to leave, the Special Police Force used batons and also “kicked them“. Ten to twelve more arrests are reported by this bloggers. The Police has announced only four arrests (link).

Update1: Iranian women get violently beaten with batons at their rally today!

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