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We are all Iranians

I’ve been watching this story on Iran’s “election” build for weeks now; and I, like everyone in the U.S. just assumed that Friday’s vote would come and go and that Ahmadinejad would be reinstated, as dictators always are, and that would be that.

Then, when I started to see images on blogs of rallies starting at Tehran University, I thought it was just a few rebellious youth. But then I started to see streams of Twitters from people in Iran talking about the police coming for them, and in their communication there was a determination I did not expect. Then, to my horror, I started to see images of bullet-riddled dorm room doors, bloody fighting, fires, continuing police brutality–there were reports of police firing into crowds and at least one person confirmed dead.

I notice that many of the larger news outlets were not reporting the uprisings much until last night, but instead on Saturday many were leading with stories like crowds hold “celebrations for Ahmadinejad.”

But then social media outlets dominated and broke through. I think the government in Iran cracked down on the Internet, but people were still able to Twitter using mobile phones. It’s almost as if the youth (those under 25, who are reportedly 70% of Iran’s population) have seized on a rare opportunity to let the world know what is really happening in their country. I fear they only have a few days left before the remaining foreign reporters are expelled or quieted. The foreign reporters who were allowed in to cover the “election” will be sent home now. I fear the government will become more violent at that point, and I hope the international community will not forget what it happening there and what has happened to the people.

No matter the outcome, I think it is too late for the Iranian government to escape without injury. The current regime has lost any remaining respect they had, and I believe the days of dictatorship in Iran are numbered. The people want to be free, and this is clear.

I just read on Bloomberg.com that “[H]undreds of thousands of people demonstrated today in downtown Tehran at a rally led by Ahmadinejad’s defeated opponent, Mir Houssein Mousavi, who charges widespread fraud in the June 12 vote.”

This is a huge movement of brave dissenters! Now, I don’t know Mousavi, and I don’t know how he would rule under the clerics. But I still think the revolt itself is a hopeful sign in the right direction.

In honor of the protestors, and as we approach July 4th, here are the opening words of our own Declaration of Independence…

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world…

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