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Green shoots

The aftermath of Iran's election may have been bloody, but it marks the start of a new era

“However this struggle ends,” said a perspiring middle-aged woman at the first of the monstrous anti-government demonstrations in Tehran on 15th June, “something in Iran has changed forever.” She gestured over her shoulder, back along the broad, sun-baked Azadi Street, at the solid mass of Iranians behind her, marching, chanting and showing the victory sign. This event, many participants said, was easily the biggest show of popular discontent since the Islamic revolution of 1979. Unlike other rallies of recent years—state-sponsored affairs dutifully attended by government employees— this one was illegal, self-policed, and exuberantly good-humoured.

I walked with the marchers for…

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