Iran: Power to the People

I was walking home from my workout at the gym, the first in way too long, thinking about wanting to express my support for the Iranian people’s rebellion. I have friends who left Iran in the eighties (when the Jews left) and in the nineties. They were artists, musicians, poets, doctors and other professionals, hippies and free-thinkers. They left to have more freedoms, as they say. They were sick of having so much of their daily life regulated, of being told what they could wear, read, watch, see, and do — and this was before the age of the internet, facebook, and twitter.

So, on the way home, dressed in my workout clothes, taking that simple thing for-granted, I wondered: How could I talk or even think about it? I’ve read reports and blogs that ask whose revolution this is? Does the U.S. have a hand in it? Is Mousavi, with his own tarnished past, really better than Ahmadinejad? (At least Mousavi campaigned with his wife, the first candidate to do so, who brought out large crowds of women to hear about women’s rights.) What stays with me is, how could so many votes be hand-counted in only four hours?

Although there must be many undercurrents, I feel that it’s the heartfelt will of the people, pent up for thirty years, influenced by our robust election here, (no matter what we think about it). It is understandable that many people here might be suspicious because they saw a corrupted national election process in their own country — three times in a row!!! For years, both sides have seen the land of the free betray its finest principles in the name of God and Democracy. I wonder how such gigantic protests would be handled here in the good ole U.S. of A.? Then again, we PUMAs did protest.

The people of Iran are fighting and dying for the basic rights that we take for-granted everyday. Twenty-three journalists and bloggers have been arrested by the Iranian regime in the last several days. Protesters are being dragged out of their homes. In other Central Asian and Middle Eastern Muslim countries, the people are not even near the point of protesting. Look at the people of Iran, all ages, largely unarmed, only a minority of them with rocks, standing up to armed soldiers in riot gear. I asked before and do again: How many times have we voted complaining about the lesser of two evils? This may have started with an election but it is the expression of something way beyond the candidates. The people of Iran deserve the united support of the people of the world for the success of their freedom movement.

Uprising cover

Press play.

Iranian Uprising (videos)

There is no doubt the people, young, old, women, are uprising in Iran. I don’t fault them for having to select what they may consider the lesser of two evils. How many times have we had to do that in our lifetime? In a “free” society, no less. The protesters are brave, considering they’re living in a repressive regime. I don’t think we know enough about the alternative candidates, also brave, whose lives are likely not safe.

These protest videos, taken in various Iranian cities, were posted along with commentary from independent Middle East reporter, Michael Totten: Totten is the 2008 Weblog Awards winner for best Middle East or Africa blog. The video below is from Tehran in the middle of the night:

Now take a look at this video [dated 6/13/09] uploaded from the city of Isfahan. A ferocious-looking unit of armed riot police officers is shown running away in terror from civilian demonstrators.

I found this one from 6/14/09, sounds like Italians with cameras:

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