As covered ad nauseum in the press over the last two weeks, Twitter has been both an organizing force within Iran and a platform to broadcast injustice to the larger world. But it has never been a perfect source of reliability–while many reported with vigor and authenticity, others mistakenly posted false information, and still more used it inside the country to deliberately mislead.
But there was no one more accurate, more galvanizing, or more widely read than @Persiankiwi.
Both Andrew Sullivan and Nico Pitney quote him regularly and it is obvious many other reporters follow his lead. Often Persiankiwi posts news hours before any major news outlet does, always with a sense of optimism and hope,Â and the posts are invariably confirmed and reported later as truth.
This is a small synopsis of the guy/girl/group who ran the feed, as well as reflections on today’s ramped up violent attacks and its impact on the movement.
And here are Persiankiwi’s final anguished–and poetic–posts, spanning a few hours, from earlier today:
just in from Baharestan Sq – situation today is terrible – they beat the ppls like animals -I see many ppl with broken arms/legs/heads – blood everywhere – pepper gas like war -they were waiting for us – they all have guns and riot uniforms – it was like a mouse trap – ppl being shot like animalssaw 7/8 militia beating one woman with baton on ground – she had no defense nothing – #Iranelection sure that she is deadAllah – you are the creator of all and all must return to you – Allah Akbar -so many ppl arrested – young & old – they take ppl away -ppl run into alleys and militia standing there waiting – from 2 sides they attack ppl in middle of alleysall shops was closed – nowhere to go – they follow ppls with helicopters – smoke and fire is everywherephone line was cut and we lost internet – #Iranelection – getting more difficult to log into net -rumour they are tracking high use of phone lines to find internet users – must move from here now – #Iranelectionreports of street fighting in Vanak Sq, Tajrish sq, Azadi Sq – now – #Iranelection – Sea of Green – Allah Akbarin Baharestan we saw militia with axe choping ppl like meat – blood everywhere – like butcher – Allah Akbar -they catch ppl with mobile – so many killed today – so many injured – Allah Akbar – they take one of usthey pull away the dead into trucks – like factory – no human can do this – we beg Allah for save us -Everybody is under arrest & cant move – Mousavi – Karroubi even rumour Khatami is in house guardwe must go – dont know when we can get internet – they take 1 of us, they will torture and get names – now we must move fast -thank you ppls 4 supporting Sea of Green – pls remember always our martyrs – Allah Akbar – Allah Akbar – Allah Akbar
It is entirely possible Persiankiwi will be back tomorrow or some other time in the near future, there is no way of knowing. But if he is not, as his 37,000+ followers surely can attest, how extraordinarily tragic.