Behind the Protest Scenes
Institute for War and Peace Reporting / Yassaman Baji

Within hours of the Iranian opposition clashing with police and militiamen on the Tehran streets, the municipal cleaners emerge to wipe away the blood and other signs of unrest.

They sweep away the broken glass and clean up the trash that the demonstrators burn to counter the effects of tear gas, so that the city can get back to normal.

To make their lives easy, the city authorities have replaced plastic trash cans across with metal ones. These do not burn but protesters have learned to use them as war drums.

Then the people get back to their daily lives – but, for many, life has changed irrevocably since the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on June 12 last year, which sparked the protests of the Green Movement.

The latest clashes on February 11 were minor compared to what happened last year as this time the authorities swamped the streets with police and made life difficult for would-be protesters in numerous ways.

After the protests, some people have to go looking for their missing relatives and friends in hospitals, police stations, Evin Prison, the Revolution Courts, and, sadly, cemeteries such as Tehran’s Behesht-e Zahra.

Doctors and nurses who have secretly set up clinics in their homes must use their free time to tend to those injured in the protests.

People seem to talk much more in shared taxis and buses in the days after the protests. “People want to deal with the psychological damage ca... >>>

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