How 5 revolutions got their names

Green Revolution – Iran, 2009

In Iran, the weeks of street protests and regime crackdown after the disputed presidential elections in June 2009 have attracted a number of names: to some, it was the "Green Revolution;" to others the "Twitter Revolution." The uprising was a response to what was widely seen as widespread election fraud that reinstalled the arch-conservative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The name "Green Revolution" comes from the color identified with presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, who most protesters believed should have won the election.

Despite disillusionment with the political process in the years before the election, in the last weeks of 2009, the opposition Green Movement began to catch fire among young voters. In the days before the election, many Iranians who had not voted for years now vowed to do so. In Tehran thousands took to the streets in nightly parties to drum up more support.

But when the result was declared almost immediately to be a landslide for Ahmadinejad, these young Iranians and all those who voted for Green Movement leader Mr. Mousavi felt cheated and took to the streets again in protest. Scores and perhaps hundred died across Iran, as regime officials declared the result a "divine assessment" that could not be challenged. The Revolutionary Guard later said the violence had brought the Islamic regime to the brink of collapse – but in the end, the protests were crushed and Ahmadinejad remained in power.

Middle East bureau chief Scott Peterson

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