A Brief History of People Power

Green Revolution, Iran 2009
Majid / Getty Images

The Green Revolution, Iran, 2009
The buildup to Iran's 2009 presidential election seemed like an exciting testament to the spirit of democracy in the Islamic Republic. But its aftermath showed how far democracy still had to go: it appeared that incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had won a fraudulent victory over his closest challenger, Mir-Hossein Mousavi. Clad in green, the Mousavi campaign's color, millions of people rallied across the country, coordinating their protests in part with the use of social media like Twitter. But Tehran's leadership cracked down brutally, rounding up dissidents and deploying the Basij militia to wade into the protesters' ranks with truncheons and other weaponry. Dissidents say the death toll numbered well over 100, and Ahmadinejad remained as the country's President. Mousavi (whose portrait, pictured above, is held aloft by a female protester in 2009) remains in an embattled position in Iran and may face prosecution alongside other opposition figures.

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