November 4th, or 13 Aban in Persian, marks two important days in Iran's history: the day in 1978 when the Shah's forces fired on a crowd of protesting students, and a year later when the U.S. embassy was seized in the midst of the Islamic Revolution.
Some thirty years later, the day is destined to carry additional significance. The RASA (Green) movement is already determined to exploit the annual state demonstrations planned on the day to stage a major showing of force, much in the mold of what Qods Day ended up being in September. (Some estimates had turnout at more than four million.)
As with Qods Day, authorities have already stressed that any demonstrations ("without permits") would be illegal. Incidentally, no permits are issued, essentially making any form of protest illegal (while the prohibition is itself unconstitutional). In Friday prayers two weeks ago, hardline cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Janati called for a harsher government response to protests than what was witnessed on Qods Day. Confronting "rioters" with weakness would be an affront to Islam, the Revolution and its martyrs, Janati maintained.
While fliers and posters (such as the one above) have been appearing around Tehran, Janati may have inadvertently done more to spread word of planned protests on 13 Aban than the Greens had been able to thus far. It's ironic like that.
13 Aban 1357 (November 4th, 1978)
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