Alex Massie

Is this 1989 in Poland or 1989 in China?

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That's a gross simplification, of course, but it's also, in the broadest terms, the question. Or one of them, anyway*. The death - no, murder - of a protestor increases the stakes still further. Meanwhile, what's happening in the provinces?

Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Iranians carry a wounded protestor after gunmen opened fire during an opposition rally in Tehran on June 15, 2009. One protestor was shot dead and several were wounded during a rally in Tehran staged by hundreds of thousands of people demonstrating against the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a local Iranian photographer told AFP. The incident occurred in front of a local base of the Basij volunteer militia, which was set on fire, the photographer who declined to be identified said, adding that the dead man had been shot in the head. Photo: AFP/Getty Images.

Photo: AFP/Getty Images

More photos here.

*Most probable answer: it's not like anywhere in 1989. It's like Iran in 2009. Different and new and entirely unpredictable.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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