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Watching events unfold on Tehran's streets has made a journalist of everyone. The regime has cracked down on the mainstream media. But an epic narrative is being constructed out of the bits and pieces streaming from Iran to the Internet — photographs, videos shot with mobile phones, Twitter updates, telephone calls to media offices or to exiles describing the activity and rumour outside so many windows. Much of this is amateur, with dates, locations and even content often not verifiable. But taken together, it provides a chilling three-dimensional view of the post-vote protests in that country.
It is far from determined how this will pan out, whether it will head to a Tiananmen-type crackdown, a sort of Orange Revolution, or a very Iranian resolution 30 years after its big revolution. But as videos continue to come in from Iran, showing the grit of young and old Iranians refusing to surrender the street, the protest already has a face. On a video posted on YouTube, they call her Neda, as she meets her death by taking a bullet in her heart. There is always a reluctance to see another's death up so close, and out of concern for the dignity of the young woman, many television studios have chosen to blur her face as she is killed by a Basij cadre. But in that moment, she reconfigured the coordinates of the protests completely — from the fault lines in the political and clerical elite to the aspirations of so many average Iranians.
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