The Tweet Heard Around The World #iranelection

This is what we want:12665468#iranelection

Before June 13th, 2009 we viewed the world outside the west through a media window that we did not know was there. That window has now been broken forever. The protesters in Iran are fighting an under-reported attack on their constitution and human rights, and at the same time garnering international support while turning media on its head.  In the course of a weekend, their courage swept and inspired the internet. They also showed us how distant traditional western media has become to global experience.

The situation in Iran is now CRITICAL – the nation is heartbroken -suppression is iminent – #Iranelection

For those fortunate to have followed the protests via social media, the story is truly a masterpiece of the movement’s will to have the truth be known. They want their constitutional right to a truthful election. The brutality and censorship they face has not extinguished their hopes, it is what turned them to the streets and the internet.  Despite their latest estimate of over 1,000 arrests, 28 deaths, and hospitals running out of blood, they have yet to stop standing up to their regime.

Much of what occured in the first 48 hours after the election results was missed by media outlets. But via social media and Twitter, we knew the gravity of each situation before it happened.  They debated with each other whether to go to the march with Mousavi when national television announced to the country that it will be met with gunfire. That did not stop over 10,000 Iranian protesters.

IRG threaten to open fire at people if they try to participate in Mousavi’s rally.  State TV right now: rally is illegal and Police will use iron fist against law breakers.


The throng at the rally in the picture above is telling.  Aside from risking gunfire, a different strategy was used to stop organised protests the night before. Mousavi’s core support are university students, so the Iranian government launched an attack and round of arrests in universities.  There, Twitter was also used as a SOS for injuries, reporting how others could avoid harm, and reporting who died.

We have now some students with urgent need of medical attention.  I’m calling out to all ppl who can come here don’t leave us.  All university’s own security and personell have been evacuated by the police.


The University raids were obvious messages of state force. Their estimated aftermath is 100 arrests, 15 badly wounded, and 5 dead. When Basij and police lined the only entrance of one university with police vans, other students drove their cars in to block them. The Basij ended this with smashed car windows, tear gas and any students that fought the raid were met with metal chains. The students were then imprisoned in the buildings overnight. Everything was destroyed. When one badly injured student was allowed to leave for the hospital, he was arrested from his hospital bed.

Tired & beaten. we couldn’t break through their wall, they were too many & we were no match for an entire army of special forces.

After the rally the students came back to more Basij at the university. Names of the dead were read on Twitter:

There is no need to hide their names anymore Mobina Ehtrami, Fateme Borati, Kasra Sharafi, Kambiz Shoaee & Mohsen Imani; all killed by ansar

During the 24 hours after the election results were announced and before the university arrests, there were two media realities in the West. On social media, you had the heartbreaking flood of YouTube videos with police brutality and violent arrests, stunning images of courage and detailed testimonies on Twitter and blogs. If you went by television in the US, all you knew is that their were protests in Iran over an election. Time magizine online did cover it with an excellent article.

Police Brutality Clips from June 13th from YouTube:


The day after the election, this stunning photograph emerged of an Iranian woman showing the courage of a people standing up for their rights. It was one of the most talked about items on on June 13th.  US television had yet to report on the crackdown in Iran.


Twitter users volunteered their servers as proxies to keep Iranians online while SMS, cellphone, landline and social media sites were blocked or cut in Iran.  A much larger base of Twitter users changed their cities to Tehran and added green icons. Combined, this very broad network of global volunteers hoped the state regime would have to play online “whack-a-mole” versus more traditional and sudden censorship.  It did not go unnoticed, and someone was attacked in the US.

Government now attacking people who provided proxy for us, I don’t know exactly how, but it’s confirmed. To all friends who are providing proxy / tunnel / vpn!  Please be careful!  Do not provide them in public & to all who seems to be from Iran.

Social media users in Iran documented events and uploaded them to YouTube, blogs and Flickr like award winning reporters. Through the real-time and lightweight structure of Twitter, the videos and pictures were woven together as events occurred. The testimonies and reporting occured even though some are running for their lives.

Thanks to someone (probably gov) we’re are now also spies of Israel and to be shot on sight

The stories spreading from Iranian to Iranian through word of mouth are what matter, as this is what they are living right now. As much as Iranian state media wants to spew propaganda, or our national media wants to create their own footage, it is the protesters stories and belief in freedom that moves their fellow countrymen. It moves us.


And the movement’s support comforts them:

It is a miracle to have 25,197 people around the world supporting us! Thank you all out there.

This post was published before the harsher severity of the crackdown escalated. The Green Briefs were then organized and issued each day. Readers may begin here with Brief #1. These briefs are based on witnesses in Iran on Twitter. They report a much higher injury, death toll and number of arrests than Western media or Iran state media.