Many commenters are calling the presence of governmental security forces “stifling,” using violence and intimidation to prevent demonstrations from growing beyond relatively small numbers. With over a month to prepare, the government’s security forces were out in full force today, immediately reacting when opposition leaders like Karroubi, Khatami, and Mousavi appeared among the people. For much of this week, Internet service was spotty and Gmail has been taken down completely, all in preparation for today’s expected events. (Compare this to Ashura, when the government had hardly any time at all to prepare, and the reaction by Basij and police was much more careless and led to more bloodshed).
From the same live-blog:
According to the source, the biggest difference between today’s events and previous demonstrations was the amount of undercover police among the crowd. The moment anyone indicated an opposition or “green” point of view, plainclothes militiamen would come out of nowhere and take that person away. One gentleman remarked about all the buses funneling people in from out of town, only to be whisked away by three undercover agents.