A new piece from the NYTimes' brave Roger Cohen begins this way:
The Iranian police commander, in green uniform, walked up Komak Hospital Alley with arms raised and his small unit at his side. “I swear to God,” he shouted at the protesters facing him, “I have children, I have a wife, I don’t want to beat people. Please go home.”Read the whole thing.
A man at my side threw a rock at him. The commander, unflinching, continued to plead. There were chants of “Join us! Join us!”
I don't know how effective these protests will be, whether they will - or even should be - continued (not anxious for another Tiananmen). But you have to be moved by the breath-taking, soul-stirring courage on display. They thought they were living under an Islamic Republic, but it has been shown to be a military dictatorship, a rule they are refusing to accept under pain of sticks and tear gas and bullets.
Here's hoping the sentiment of this commander is widespread and growing among police forces; that loyalty to conscience and to family convince them to turn their resentment away from the protesters refusing their demands, and onto those who order their beating.