(UPDATE: A day-after analysis of the 16 Azar demonstrations is available here).
As the day is just beginning in Tehran, there is still uncertainty as to what form the day's protests will take, and further, what impact they will have in the weeks and months to come. Regardless, the protests provide the Green movement with a necessary chance to come up for air, if only for the political space it provides the opposition to show the regime (and remind the world) that this uprising is far from over.
The question remains, will the regime's response to the protests be similar to what was witnessed on Qods Day, where massive turnout caught the regime off-guard, or will it instead be in the vein of 13 Aban, where gatherings were systematically and ruthlessly broken up by Basij and Revolutionary Guard agents? If events leading up to today's demonstrations are any indicator, the regime is undoubtedly preparing for a clash with protesters: student leaders and activists have been arrested en masse, internet access has been all but disconnected as of yesterday, and most recently, the mothers of 21 victims of the regime's post-election crackdown have been arrested for congregating in Tehran's Leleh Park. (The mother of Neda-Agha Soltan, who recently and explicitly blamed the regime for her daughter's death, is rumored to be among those arrested).
The increasingly confrontational approach taken by the regime (likely out of fear) has worried some within the opposition that what has thus far been a peaceful movement could soon give way to violence. Such concerns were even voiced by Tahkim Vahdat, one of the most radical student groups within Iran. In truth, things are likely just as fluid on the opposition's side as they are in the coup's. And while the possibility of any shift in strategy by the Greens is impossible to tell -- for the movement is fractal, horizontal, and a grassroots -- it does point to the fact that there is no single 'leader' leading the Green Movement anymore. Mousavi's candidacy -- or more accurately, his refusal to concede 'defeat' -- was the catalyst that Iran's long-steaming underbelly had been waiting for. Now that it has come and gone, turning the streets first Green, and then red, the movement has gone from a campaign for one man to a cause for a nation. Tellingly, as students begin preparing for a day of protest as this blog post is being written, there is still no word of whether either Mousavi and Karoubi will join them in the streets (albeit due to a state of virtual house arrest).
By day's end, the dust will have settled and the significance of the today's protests can begin to be slowly gleaned. Meanwhile, all eyes are on the regime to see whether it chooses accommodation or further confrontation. The latter is naturally the likelier (not to mention bloodier) of the two paths, but more and more, it is becoming apparent that all avenues lead the regime to a dead-end.
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