Saturday, July 4, 2009

Bearing Witness -July 4th

Today as Americans celebrate our liberty, it is proper to consider the plight of those who struggle under oppression:

Over the last few weeks I have closely followed the news out of Iran. The highly suspicious election results spurred large protests throughout the country followed by a media blackout and a violent crackdown. Now most of the public protests have been crushed, and the protesters are being executed or tortured into making false confessions.

I justified spending so much energy on this because I have occasionally helped by passing messages for protesters so they can hide their identities from authorities, but I have wondered how much of my interest was just morbid curiosity for sensational events? For this reason I have hesitated from posting about Iran on my blog.

Last weekend we went to a candlelight vigil with Iranian students here in Georgia. They emphasized that they don't want US government intervention, which would play into the hands of their oppressors. Many Americans asked what they could do. A young Iranian man said, "the people of Iran need your support and praise."

This is Iran's struggle. But many protesters risked their lives to get this documentation of their movement out to the world. Iran needs the world to witness their boldness and suffering. Their love of liberty is deeper than ours.

Therefore this post is to bear witness and respect their courage:

A video about the election aftermath posted 6/19/09:

To show their number those who oppose the government go to rooftops each night and call out "God is great" the same as happened a generation ago during the 1979 Revolution. This is a video taken by a young woman:

Police on roof firing at protesters in the street below:

The death of Neda Soltan, a young woman shot in street on 6/20/09 by militia for protesting for freedom: (Warning: Graphic Video only watch if you feel you are able.)

To read more about Neda Soltan click here.

A protester calling CNN on 6/24/09:

An Iranian propaganda film blaming the West for meddling and justifying rounding up students and intellectuals who espouse democratic ideals:

Today as we celebrate our freedom and liberty, let us not forget those around the world who struggle under oppression, especially our brothers and sisters in Iran.

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