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Did or Didn’t Mousavi Appear on Saturday?

That has been a question of much debate and a video has surfaced overnight purporting to show him speaking to the people on Saturday at Imam Square. I’m still not convinced. With so many cellphones in the air and a video cameraman shooting it from behind Mousavi, why have no videos to date besides this one surfaced? People have been shot at while filming violence and an outpouring of footage has streamed onto the net almost instantly, yet if he was really here, I am surprised nothing was posted sooner and that this is, to date, the only footage on-line proving that he did in fact appear in front of his supporters on Saturday. Many Iranians voiced criticism of Mousavi on Saturday for not taking to the streets with his base, and it’s still not clear if he did appear or not. I don’t want to suggest that he didn’t as I want to avoid demoralizing, but if he was there, I think it’s safe to say his people need to see the proof. At this point, however, I would almost argue that Mousavi is irrelevant to the situation. If he is arrested, the movement would continue to take shape and find its identity on its own. Those I have spoken with on the ground are not disheartened by yesterday’s tough security measures that prevented major gatherings, and seem to be moving into a different phase with different tactics that could prove far more debilitating that mass rallies: nationwide strikes. This week could see a lot of pressure suddenly on the state as they feel a noose tightening around the economy.

Mousavi’s latest statement reads:

“In the name of God, the compassionate and merciful, We are all from God, and one day we will return to Him [A Koranic quote, that signify readiness for death] The heart-wrenching news of martyrdom of a group of protestors, against widespread cheating in recent elections, has cast a pall of silence and sadness over our society. Opening fire on people, militarizing the city, spreading fear, provoking [the public] and power displays are all illegitimate children of the unlawfulness which we face and it is bewildering that the perpetrators of these acts accuse others of this.

To those who call people lawless, for expressing their opinions, I say that the biggest act of lawlessness is indifference [to the public] and contravention of the explicit [text] of article 27 of the constitution [allowing public demonstrations] by the government in not issuing permits for peaceful gatherings. Do revolutionary people who, with gatherings like these, brought you and us out of the dark history of Shah’s tyranny must be beaten and wounded and be threatened with force?

I, as a mourner, invite the people to self-restraint. The country belongs to you. The revolution and the government are your inheritances. Objecting to lies and cheating is your right.

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