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March 11, 2011

Last Tuesday, lots of would-be demonstrators turned out in the streets of many Iranian cities, only to find themselves outnumbered by security thugs, both the usual collection of Revolutionary Guards, Basiji, plaincothesmen and women, Lebanese Hezbollah (increasingly an adjunct of the Quds Force) and the new ranks of very young boys from religious schools who are paid the significant amount of $50 for beating up anyone who walks down the street. This is the Chinese method: overwhelm your opponents, arrest lots of people, prevent demonstrators from gathering in significant numbers by striking first in the streets that lead to the big squares, jam communications so that the demonstrators don’t know which streets are safe, and block automobile traffic at all crucial intersections. And if some foreign journalist dares to report the truth, just throw him out.

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