One guy and a crowd


The images arriving out of Tehran this afternoon are stunning. Thousands of supporters of Mir Hossein Musavi gathered to protest his apparent election loss in presidential elections. The Associated Press is reporting gunfire broke out and an AP photographer reports seeing at least one person dead.

It’s interesting to see how comparatively young the crowd is. Does this signal a generational split in the country?



Click on the image above if you want to play “Where’s Waldo?”.

The image of Musavi rallying his supporters against the government …


… is reminiscent of times when one guy in a crowd represented the beginning of a changing nation.

Boris Yeltsin atop a tank thwarting a conservative coup…


… or Lech Walesa in a shipyard in Poland (New York Times)


It’s too early, of course, to know how this uprising is going to go.

Twitter is providing “tweets” at an astonishing rate, although it’s very difficult to separate the first-hand information from the noise. A crescendo of anti-CNN fever is threatening to drown the voices in Tehran, however.

Update 1:40 p.m. Recommended: Boston Globe’s Big Picture blog from Iran. Also, plenty of pictures at (h/t: @PoliticsMN)

(Photos: Getty Images)

  • justacoolcat

    “It’s interesting to see how comparatively young the crowd is. Does this signal a generational split in the country?”

    Perhaps, but it’s more likely because Iran is a young country with about 70 percent of the population being under the age of 30.

  • Holly cairns

    Thanks for the post! This is huge, isn’t it… those pics are incredible.

    Love that Lech photo. I’m Polish, BTW.

  • Holly Cairns

    Oh, and why do you think they look young? Looks like a variety of ages to me… maybe they look younger because there seems to be a fit trend in the crowd.

  • Heather

    Thanks for the Globe link, Bob. #5 in their collection looks like a Marjane Satrapi drawing come to life.

  • Bob Collins

    //Oh, and why do you think they look young?

    The older I get, the younger everybody looks to me.

  • Elizabeth T

    After looking at these pictures, you’ll never convince me that people here *really* care if Franken or Coleman wins.

  • Mark Gisleson

    Bob, you’re right to note the ages of the protesters but I’m surprised you haven’t figured out why there are so few middle-aged people in the crowd.

    From 1980 until 1988 Iran was defending itself from Iraqi aggression. Reagan officials including Donald Rumsfeld gave Saddam the greenlight to keep fighting, Khomeini got bullheaded, and as a result over 100,000 Iranian youth died from chemical warfare attacks alone. All total over ONE MILLION IRANIANS were killed or wounded.

    Had the fallen Iranians lived, they would be in their late 30s and 40s now. A client of mine was also a child during that war. His father was a doctor and my client often rode with him in ambulances to transport the severely wounded to field hospitals.

    There are 70 million Iranians but if you only count men, approximately 3% of their population died in that war. Since protesters are disproportionately male (in most countries but especially in Islamic nations), the absence of one generation is quite noticeable.

    Very nice pix, btw. Juan Cole has one of Moussavi demonstrators protecting riot cops from the mob.