So brutal was the post-election crackdown that anti-Ahmadinejad protesters no longer dare to organise outdoor demonstrations. They have not given up the fight, however. One of our Observers in the country, Sara, took part in "operation blackout" on Tuesday. Armed with an iron and hair strengtheners, she tried, along with many others, to cut the president's televised speech with an electricity blackout.

“Please plug in your electrical appliances as soon as Ahmadinejad appears on TV”

Sara is a student in Tehran.

At exactly the same time we all plugged in our most electricity guzzling household appliances: hair strengtheners, irons, hair dryers etc. By doing this we were aiming to overload Tehran's surrounding power stations one by one.  

We've already tried several times. On Tuesday [7 July] it was just before Ahmadinejad's speech on TV that the messages appeared on Twitter, Facebook and Balatarin [Iranian news sharing site]: ‘Please plug in your electrical appliances as soon as Ahmadinejad appears on TV'. It doesn't seem to have worked in the city centre but I was told that the towns of Ahvaz, Ispahan, Racht, Sari and some districts of Karaj were plunged into darkness. At the same time, people ran out onto the rooftops and shouted ‘death to the dictator!' Even television programming was interrupted because the IRIB [Iranian state TV] had to transfer to an emergency generator [not verified].

Rather than taking to the streets in protest, now we're organising things like operation blackout - we cause traffic jams as an excuse to honk our horns, graffiti the walls etc. We are however doing a demonstration in front of Tehran University today. It's the anniversary of the 1999 student revolt. We might well start demonstrating again."