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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Fighting for Democracy in Iran

The color green is associated with the heart chakra, the seat of love, symbolizing protection, harmony. It is also the color that protestors in Iran are wearing as they take to the streets to demand a recount in an election they say has been rigged.

As of today sate-sponsored violence against protestors is said to have resulted in 150 deaths. Foreign embassies throughout Tehran are taking in wounded. Hospitals report 19 killed today. Rumors on Twitter say houses are being raided and people are being dragged from their homes. Protestors claim that acid or liquid tear gas is being dropped on them from helicopters. Iran has blacked out the media.

More women than men have voted in the last few elections and they too are out on the street in large numbers They currently hold  legally defined second class citizenship in Iran and the risks they face in protesting and being arrested are far greater than those faced by male protestors. Yet they take to the streets demanding their right to elect their own leader.

When we Americans had our votes stolen in 2000 we protested but not for long. We let a man- George W. Bush- that we did not elect rule as our president for four years. We think of ourselves as the greatest democracy but we let our election be stolen. Iranians are willing to die rather that have their vote not count. Perhaps we could learn a democracy lesson from these freedom-seeking people, members of one of the oldest civilizations in the world.

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