Friday Dec 1, 1978
The Muharram protests
On 2 December 1978, the Muharram protests began. Named for the Islamic month they began in, the Muharram protests were impressively huge and pivotal. Over two million protesters (many of whom were teenagers organized by the mullahs from the mosques of southern Tehran) took to the streets, crowding Shahyad Square. Protesters frequently went out at night, defying the set curfew, often taking to rooftops and shouting "Allahu-Akbar" (God is Great). According to one witness, many of the clashes on the street had an air of playfulness rather than seriousness, with security forces using "kid gloves" against the opposition (nevertheless, the government reported at least 12 opposition deaths).