It seems like the day before yesterday, but it was more than five years ago that angry Iranian students, many hiding their faces with paper sacks, marched frequently though the streets of downtown Washington, shouting "death to the shah," and distrupting local traffic in the process.
Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi died in July 1980, and the Ayatollah Khomeini took over as a successor despot.
Judging from posters that are plastered all over town (as seen in the accompanying photo) and in many suburbs, Washingtonians will be exposed to another round of demonstrations tomorrow by an anti-Khomeini faction of Iranian students. According to the posters, the students will gather at 11 a.m. at Farragut Square for their march, sponsored by the Union of Moslem Iranian Students Societies Outside Iran.
Such demonstrations, to varying degrees, disrupt the normal life of our town, but, as a world capital, Washington has learned to live with them.
But Metro Scene frankly is affronted by the clutter of hundreds of red and blue posters advertising the demonstration that are pasted, in most cases unlawfully, on traffic signal control boxes, construction fences and on the sides of D.C. sidewalk trash cans (often below the clear legend, "posters illegal"). To me, it's a visual violation of our national hospitality.
One problem is that those who stick up the signs rarely come back afterward to remove them, so they -- or shreds of them -- will be with us for months to come.