Sunday, June 14, 2009

Iranian Election Fraud Protest (NYC)

I went to the Iranian election fraud protest today which had a rather impressive turn out of around 300 considering that as far as I can tell it was put together on short notice and almost exclusively through Twitter ( See #CNNFail at for how the 'Twitterverse' was fuming at the lack of coverage on the almost certainly fraudulent election and ensuing riots/protests (Berman Post: Iranian Election Viewed as Rigged). The protest was at the corner of 1st ave and 47th street which, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the layout of NYC, is within eye short of the United Nations. You will see the United Nations building in the background of some of the pictures and video clips.

There were no counter protesters that I saw. The media was out in force covering this event. I saw or heard people identify themselves as from Fox News, Fox 5, CBS, Pix 11, ABC, WCBSFM 101.1, WNYC, and the Associated Press. Another half dozen or so professional looking cameras or people who appeared to be reporters I was unable to identify.

Based on my method of telling Grassroots protests apart from Astroturf protests (Berman Post: Grassroots vs Astroturf - How to Tell The Movements Apart), I believe this to be a genuine grassroots protest. Even though there were some repeat professionally made signs there were no marks identifying them as being from an organization, and it did not appear there were any captive groups. Also, the way the information was spread (almost exclusively via twitter) cuts against the likelihood of it being Astroturf.

As usual, some of the better pictures are included below. A link to the rest of the photo album will be under that. Please link to this page (not the photo album) if you wish to use this post or show your readers the pictures (Thanks in advanced). The people who were covering their face are trying to protect themselves from persecution including family and friends who are in or visit Iran, not the now pandemic Swine Flu (Berman Post: WHO Declares The Swine Flu a Pandemic).

Working on the video now which should be available soon so be sure to check back.


Here is the video. I compiled all the clips into one so as you are watching the video you will see it cut to different shots numerous times and hear as the chants change. It is nothing fancy, but it works.

Video embedded below.

End of Update:

Pictures embedded below.

You can see all 98 photos at


  1. Berman,

    I don't know: In the video, there were an awful lot of the dark olive green "Where's my vote?" signs that looked identical to me.

    So either they're astroturf (I kind of doubt it) or your criteria have a flaw.

  2. @Neal - As I said in the post (, neither criteria is proof of an Astroturf, but the absence of both is as close to proof that it is grassroots as you are likely to find. I also said that stacks of signs could just be a sign of good preparation as I believe it to be in this case. You might also take not that the duplicate signs in this case did not have any insignia on them which is another cut against Astroturf.

    If you have any other criteria you think I should add I would be glad to hear it.

  3. it's awesome that Twitter and other online social media outlets do so much to level the information playing field


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