Page last updated at 17:08 GMT, Monday, 7 December 2009

Eyewitness: Iran protester Behrooz on political slogans

Iranian opposition supporters flee police
Iranian opposition supporters run away from riot police in Tehran

Iranian student Behrooz voted for opposition candidate Mehdi Karroubi in his country's presidential elections.

He has joined all the main opposition demonstrations in Tehran since June.

I would say the atmosphere of the protests has definitely changed.

As the government gets more violent with us during the protests, we become more fearless, and the chants become more accurate.

We used to ask for our votes to be returned, and walk silently holding our fingers in a V-shape but no one asks for their votes anymore.

Now we call Khamenei a murderer. We call his leadership invalid and we tear down his pictures around town.

My friends say they will not get beaten anymore and will carry their own batons, sticks and knives at the next planned rally [marking University Students' Day on 7 December], which I don't think will help.

People, especially women, have become so brave.

Opposition leaders Karroubi and Mousavi are actually following our movement, not leading it

During the last demonstration [on 4 November], I saw soldiers hitting a young man in the stomach in Haft-e Tir Square.

He was collapsing as they started to drag him away and I thought of running away.

Then three or four women jumped on the boy to protect him. A few of us men then joined in and we got the boy back to safety.

There was a lot of tear gas in the air so everyone was smoking cigarettes. The soldiers were seizing anyone they could without reason.

My friend and his brother were arrested for wearing black scarves around their necks but they were released the next morning.

I have never been to a demo with my mother but she and my aunt are even more serious than me about attending each and every one.

She keeps saying it's too dangerous for a young man like me to attend these demos but she thinks no-one will harm a 46-year-old woman like her.

The leaders of our movement, Karroubi and Mousavi, do nothing now other than announce rally dates and places. They are actually following our movement, not leading it, waiting to see what we are going to do.

The government is totally confused and they have no idea how to handle us!

I think if President Ahmadinejad enacts the law to remove subsidies on petrol, gas, electricity, water and bread, people will become so angry, it will be the day this wretched system falls.




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