“I think you’re beginning to see the initial kernel of a revolution forming right now. If this thing is sustained over a period of time and the government tries to clamp down, but the numbers of protesters grow, I think at that point you’ve got a revolution on your hands,” Kaveh Sharooz, a Toronto lawyer, human rights activist and former senior policy adviser to Global Affairs Canada, told me over the weekend.

Sharooz served as prosecutor in the “Iran Tribunal,” an ad hoc initiative that assembled jurists and international law specialists at the Hague five years ago to assemble a case against senior Khomeinist officials on charges of crimes against humanity for the murder of roughly 20,000 Iranian leftists, intellectuals and minority leaders during the 1980s.

“You’ve got all the elements of a revolution now,” Shahrooz said. “You’ve got an oppressed population rising up and demanding justice—the wholesale discarding of a government—and that government is clamping down. That’s what a revolution looks like. There’s no magic to it. That’s what it is, and I think we’re beginning to see the early forms of it.”