TEHRAN, 15 Mar. (IPS) Serious but sporadic clashes opposed Tuesday many young Iranians to security and police forces, leaving several injured, according to eyewitnesses.
In order to islamise the nation, the clerics banned all pre-Islamic traditions, including the Now Rooz, or the New Year.
“Young boys and girls, angry at the decision of the Prosecutor for Tehran and the Islamic Revolution tribunals to ban traditional and popular festivities of “chahar shanbeh souri”, or the last Wednesday of the Iranian Year, fought with Law Enforcement Forces in several areas of Tehran, shouting slogans against the Islamic Republic and some of the regime’s senior leaders like Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i”, witnesses reported.
A pre-Islamic tradition, the “chahr shanbeh souri”, meaning the Wednesday Festivity is celebrated throughout the nation by all Iranians of all ethnic and religions by preparing bonfires in the streets or in public parks and houses, jumping over the fire chanting “my yellowishness to you, your reddishness to me”, meaning one throw all its misfortunes, miseries, bad health and troubles, represented with the yellow colour, -- that of illness – met in the past year to the fire in exchange of the red colour, that represents health, wealth and good luck etc..
Immediately after the victory of the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the new clerical masters of Iran, in order to islamise the nation banned all pre-Islamic traditions, including the Now Rooz, or the New Year.
The decision met with a national resistance from the population and after years of unabated efforts coupled with uninterrupted propaganda, the clerics softened their attitude and let people celebrate the festivities by closing their eyes.
Witness said eth the exception of some major cities like Shiraz, where the local authorities had arranged and prepared special places for the bonfires, there were clashes between the population with the LEF and other forces urged by the officials to stop people from performing the ceremonies.
In the north eastern city of Tabriz, at least 100 demonstrators were rounded up and arrested by plainclothes men belonging to the Ansar Hezbollah pressure group, sources reported, adding that at least two young girls were badly beaten up.
According to some witnesses from different places in the capital, the population prepared bonfires in the streets and exploded fire crackers, some of them as strong as hand grenade from early as in the afternoon.
Most of the injured had been beaten up by plain clothes security men dispatched by the Judiciary.
The authorities said as a result of the fire crackers and bonfires, at least 2 people were killed and more than 40 others were taken to hospitals, with injuries due to the fire.
But informed sources said most of the injured had been beaten up by plain clothes security men dispatched by the Judiciary.
“The result was clashes with the police resulting in huge traffic jams, allowing people, mostly young ones, to chant anti-regime and anti-clerics slogans, with “Referendum, this is the wish of the people” as the main leitmotiv”, one eyewitness told Iran Press Service. ENDS CHAHR SHANBEH SOURI 15305