Friday, June 4, 2010

Free goodies: It must be another regime event

Arch-concervative newspaper Keyhan wrote yesterday that two million people would attend. The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps announced that it could have brought in five million people, but that housing issues precluded busing in so many.

Whatever the number of participants at the ceremony for the 21st anniversary of Ayatollah Khomeini's death held at his mausoleum on June 4, 2010 -- and we can almost be certain that Keyhan's figure of 2 million will be presented as fact in tomorrow's newspapers -- it wouldn't be a proper regime-organized, yet somehow 'spontaneous' show of popular support, if there were no handouts for the masses, particularly the ever-popular Sundis fruit juice. The term Sundis-khor (Sundis drinker) has entered the Iranian political lexicon as a term for those who support the regime out of interest.

Already yesterday, as a part of preparations for the event, Basij trucks loaded with crates of juice, fruit, and other goods could be seen around Tehran and the suburbs. The photo to the right shows a vehicle with the emblem of the Karaj chapter of the Basij.

Well today's event did not disappoint as videos posted to the Internet show.

The beginning of the first video shows what are referred to as istgaheh salavati or praise booths where gifts are handed out to participants. The second part shows people carrying away crates of fruit or other gifts. Incidentally, the voice heard over the loudspeakers is Leader Ali Khamenei delivering his long-awaited sermon:

The second video shows youngsters carrying away as many crates as they can, with whatever means at their disposal. Notice another mainstay of such events -- the buses in the background:

In the following videos, the masses converge on the handout booths with extreme vigor:

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