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Widespread Protests Anticipated in Iran

Protesters against the recent Iranian election are calling for marches tomorrow, the 10th anniversary of a bloody confrontation in which thousands of students, protesting the regime's shutdown of a popular reformist newspaper, were attacked, beaten and arrested.

The clashes began on 18 Tir (July 9) in 1999 when government security stormed a university dormitory. Several students were reportedly killed; scores more were beaten and hospitalized.

(AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
In the days following as many as 10,000 students marched in protest of the crackdown (left), with skirmishes between protesters and conservative factions erupting in Tehran and other cities.

At least 1,000 students were reportedly arrested in what was up to then the largest demonstration of unrest since the 1979 Revolution.

To mark the 10th anniversary, the Web site lists rallies scheduled to be held on Thursday in 30 Iranian cities.

Not surprisingly, Twitter is a-twitter with supporters of the reformist candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi calling for participation in the rallies.

The Los Angeles Times also reports a circular being distributed recommending marchers carry roses as weapons, in commemoration of those killed in the 1999 attacks — a potent visual, should any images emerge despite the country's press restrictions.

The Iranian government, meanwhile, has closed universities and government offices for several days, ostensibly because of pollution and heavy dust clouds. also lists 18 Tir protests and candlelight vigils scheduled in cities around the world Thursday, including Boston, Washington, D.C., New York, Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, Austin, Los Angeles, Seattle and Tempe, Ariz., as well as Vancouver, London, Canberra, Paris and Stockholm, among others.

A human chain is being called for in Toronto.

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