The most interesting incident in Wednesday's anti-government demonstrations in Tehran involved the confrontation between the police and Iran's "vigilante" thugs. Here's the AFP's description:
Police also briefly clashed with Islamist vigilantes trying to approach an area where a traffic jam of protesters' cars was backed up—in what appeared to be an effort to prevent any violence between the rival camps.
That's a careful decription, and I'm not saying it's wrong. But going after the thugs is a notable call on the part of the cops. Another possible reading is that these cops chose to protect these demonstrators. During the Aghajari demonstrations in Iran a few months ago, cops also sought to prevent violence by reportedly using it against Islamist thugs.
One question about Iran's student movement keeps coming up: How much real activist support does it enjoy in the general population? You don't have to ask that question about the ruling mullahs: Their activist support has been reduced to the goons they control, and their relationship with the populace has been reduced to the threat of violence.