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depends how wide those streets are and how well trained the basji are. 50 could easily be enough to hold a street, unless completely overwhelmed with numbers

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 01:18:26 PM EST
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I don't know Tehran so I don't know the strategic or tactical importance - if any - of those areas.

50 are enough to block or channel small groups of people but the basij are isolated or semi-isolated from reinforcement.  Meaning they can be overwhelmed anytime enough people decide to do it.

What this says to me is their command structure still hasn't gasped the situation.  The regime isn't going all-out to repress the protests but is using enough force to drive the situation in an increasing cycle of violence.  Further, the use of violence by the regime seems to be destroying the last shreds of popular - in the cities, anyway - support and popular legitimacy.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 01:37:18 PM EST
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From the little I´ve read (and I might be totally wrong) the majority of Basiji militia aren´t that well trained. Military / police training seemed to be less important than religious "training" to ensure their loyalty.
Their main weapon in the past seemed to be intimidation.

An organized group (with some leadership) and knowledge of the location probably could easily infiltrate around them and attack them from all sides. Not even needing overwhelming numbers.
The only thing going for them right now seems to be that the protesters are more or less leaderless.

by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 05:12:47 PM EST
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isn't that the nature of protest, the lack of leadership.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 05:39:59 PM EST
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