Power Of the People

An eyewitness account of how frustration fueled a revolt--and why Iran will never be the same

Olivier Laban-Mattei / AFP / Getty

As smoke billows from a burning bus at a demonstration in Tehran, a Mousavi supporter flashes the sign for peace, or victory.

When a million people showed up on Revolution Avenue in downtown Tehran to protest the results of the June 12 presidential election, most of them wore sneakers, in case they had to run for their lives. The crowd included people of all walks and ages. Students holding posters that read LIES FORBIDDEN walked side by side with chadori housewives, heavily made-up young girls, manual laborers, middle-aged government workers and the elderly. They didn't chant insulting slogans, and there were few police in sight. Beneath the placid surface simmered frustration and anger--but also traces of hope. "People have come out because they've...

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