Babylon & Beyond

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IRAN: Protesters turn anti-American holiday on its head, videos show

November 4, 2009 |  6:31 am

Picture 3 Thousands of anti-government protesters took to the streets of Tehran today, hijacking what was supposed to be a state-sponsored celebration of the 30th anniversary of the takeover of the American Embassy by Islamist revolutionaries.  Videos posted on Facebook and YouTube show police forces clashing violently with the demonstrators, led mostly by young activists and students.

 Protesters in the above video, which was posted on YouTube, chant, "Allahu Akbar" or "God is great," an echo of the nighttime rooftop chants in protests that have taken place since the disputed presidential elections in June.

Protesters also shouted, "The Russian Embassy is a den of spies," re-appropriating an old state accusation against the American Embassy.

Reports have surfaced of security forces using violence to disperse the crowds. In the above video, a student protester is seen staunching blood from a head wound.

-- Meris Lutz in Beirut

Video: YouTube