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Experiments with truth: 12/23/09

  • The streets of Qom, Iran’s holy city and the center of its religious life, filled with tens of thousands of mourners on Sunday. They came both to honor a founding father of modern Iran, Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, and to protest the government he had come to oppose.
  • In New York City, students left school early on Monday in a walk-out to protest the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s plan to stop giving students free Metrocards. The youngsters left school at 2 pm and gathered in front of the MTA’s headquarters to demand that the agency find a way to fill its $400 million budget shortfall that won’t force students to pay to commute to city schools.
  • Over 5,000 indigenous, Afro-Colombian and farming community members are occupying the community center of Piñuña Negro in the department of Putumayo, Colombia. A crowd of all ages has gathered at the highest government office in the area—the Police Inspector’s office—to demand negotiations with local and national government representatives and an end to military and paramilitary harassment and coca eradication programs that are causing thousands of residents to be displaced.