A British-American bluestocking living in the UK writes about politics, pop culture, and emerging new paradigms as they unfold on both sides of the Atlantic. (New content.)

Monday, 22 June 2009

The Fight for Freedom in Iran Now Has a Face

As Obama still does not take a firm stand on the Iranian situation, blood is running in the streets of Tehran. Protesters are clashing with police and brutal beatings and arrests are taking place. Some journalists are being carted away and many students who have been using Facebook and YouTube to chronicle and send images abroad are also being arrested and tortured.

Prime Minister Shimon Peres, Nobel Prize winner spoke from Israel in support of the protesters."The women of Iran are very courageous...they are fighting for equality..." He is right, the women of Iran are out in the streets fighting for freedom alongside the men. Gone is the face of the old revolution, the middle-aged bearded cleric. The face of the Iranian revolution may well be remembered as young and beautiful and the face now has a name: Neda.

Neda Agha Soltan was a beautiful 27 year old young woman who was a philosophy student and she was gunned down by a single sniper bullet as she walked along a side street. Her dying moments have been captured on a video, covered in blood with her eyes wide open. It was a harrowing image.

A commentator on the evening news and said glibly that he felt this would be "just another Tiananmen Square". I don't agree. This is the first revolution that is being brought to you by YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Despite the efforts of the Iranian Guard to squelch the instant transmission of images, and the arrest of some of the students who are generating these images, there are more...and more....and more...it is like someone trying to put their finger in the dyke to stop a leak. Another one appears and then another. This may well become the grassroots revolution that was won, not with sophisticated ammunition, but with cell phones and uploading. The Iranians are passionate and they pride themselves on their own individuality and this is quite in contrast to the Chinese who have learned to subjugate their own individuality for the state. This is why this will not be another Tiananmen Square.

Yes, the face of the Iranian revolution is a young and beautiful woman....and she looks like she could be our sister, our daughter, our friend.

And today, sadly, it feels like she is.