Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

The Eyes that Won't Go Away – Open Thread – x3 Update

You can’t forget the eyes.

For all the horror of the blood, and consternation and panic in the crowd at the gruesome murder of this young woman, what draws us are those beautiful big eyes, dimmed and then extinguished, forever.

As Obama said today, to Khamenei’s regime, to all those protestors on the streets of so many Iranian cities

The World is Watching

Today, June 20th 2009, on the streets of Shiraz, women in chadours, old and young, were beaten with batons by riot police.

In a Tehran main street at about the same time, a man with his hands covered in someone else’s blood yelled “Death to the dictator”. Another man, on a different street, also raked by gunfire, yelled “they are killing our sisters and brothers”.

Our eyes can’t turn away

Tonight in Iran, after this terrible momentous day, when one of the leaders of a popular revolution, defied his own legitimacy by shooting at his own people on the streets, the people are hiding on the rooftops and changing:

“Death to the dictator”

The world is watching, in awe and amazement, with pity and terror, with hope and horror, but let it be known to all those risking their lives…

Our eyes won’t turn away.

UPDATE Roger Cohen, one of my favourite journalists (because of his bravery and honest in Bosnia – along with David Rohde who mercifully escaped from the Taliban today) has defied the Government bans and been out on the streets of Tehran. He just filed this amazing account of the role of women in this revolution.

I don’t know where this uprising is leading. I do know some police units are wavering. That commander talking about his family was not alone. There were other policemen complaining about the unruly Basij. Some security forcesjust stood and watched. “All together, all together, don’t be scared,” the crowd shouted.

I also know that Iran’s women stand in the vanguard. For days now, I’ve seen them urging less courageous men on. I’ve seen them get beaten and return to the fray. “Why are you sitting there?” one shouted at a couple of men perched on the sidewalk on Saturday. “Get up! Get up!”

Another green-eyed woman, Mahin, aged 52, staggered into an alley clutching her face and in tears. Then, against the urging of those around her, she limped back into the crowd moving west toward Freedom Square. Cries of “Death to the dictator!” and “We want liberty!” accompanied her.

There were people of all ages. I saw an old man on crutches, middle-aged office workers and bands of teenagers. Unlike the student revolts of 2003 and 1999, this movement is broad.

“Can’t the United Nations help us?” one woman asked me. I said I doubted that very much. “So,” she said, “we are on our own.”

The world is watching, and technology is connecting, and the West is sending what signals it can, but in the end that is true. Iranians have fought this lonely fight for a long time: to be free, to have a measure of democracy.

[UPDATE 2 – CB – Warning, the video is worse than the still]

[UPDATE 3 by BRIT: as Fogiv points out her name was Neda, which means voice or call in Farsi. There is now an #neda twitter source, and a Facebook page]