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Next flash point in Iran face-off: Friday prayers

Ahead of a sermon by Mousavi supporter Hashemi Rafsanjani, protesters have taken their fight off the streets – including trying to crash the electricity grid by turning on kitchen appliances en masse.

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Iranian worshipers perform Friday prayers at the Tehran University campus on July 10.

Vahid Salemi/AP

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Though street demonstrations in Tehran have largely died out under the government's strict security measures, Iran's protest movement is gearing up for a big showing at Friday prayers this week – an action that would mark the hijacking of a conservative bastion by the media-savvy opposition.

Meanwhile, passive resistance includes trying to crash the electricity grid by turning on home appliances at appointed times and creating power surges, or stuffing newspapers into Islamic charity boxes reputed to contribute to the upkeep of ideological militias involved in suppressing the protests.

Following two weeks during which the government prevented the sending text messages, many Iranians are trying to affect text-messaging profits by boycotting the medium altogether.

"People are still continuing their support, but it has been moved from streets to homes. People are changing their lifestyles to support the cause," says Pouya, an office worker reached by phone who requested anonymity for fear of retribution. "And there's still a lot of violence on the part of the ninja turtles [heavily armored, black-clad riot police] who ... wear masks that cover their faces."

Top military official vows to continue crackdown

The regime has signaled it will not back down. More journalists were arrested in recent days and the commander of the Joint Armed Forces pledged Sunday to continue the crackdown until order is restored.

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