Friday, June 26, 2009

This Little Light of Mine- Orlando Candlelight Vigil for Peace in Iran

Today is our Independence Day when our forefathers decided to stand up for themselves and for what they believed. Iran had one thirty years ago with the Islamic Revolution. I am left with the question, "Will they have one again?"

Last week on June 25th, I attended a rally for peace in Iran. For the most part, I felt as an outsider. Most of the participants spoke Farsi and had lived in Iran for at least some part of their lives. I have only lived in the United States. As of yet, I haven't been outside of here for any extended period of time. I have studied history and other governments, but I do not know what it is like to live under a truly repressive regime. I admire all of the people who came out to the candlelight vigil. They are speaking out on something in which they believe. I hope their voices are heard.

I do not speak Farsi, but I understood what they were saying. I have not been to a rally like that since I went to the rally to Free Tibet in Washington DC in 1998. I forgot what it was like to demand change, to demand freedom. Still, I question what the United States role in this should be. How do we help these people who just want freedom? Isn't this something that the US should be supporting? See, that is where I am left dumbfounded. I cannot in good conscience enforce my beliefs on anyone else. How can a country enforce its beliefs onto another country? The United States has been seen as a bully since the end of World War II, and this perception was reinforced recently by President Bush. Is this a perception that we would like to continue?

The Iranian citizens have to do this on their own, and I believe that they can. Yes, there are going to be disappearances and Human Rights violations. This is where such organizations as Human Rights Watch & Amnesty International come into play. These NGO's can speak up for the lost. It is going to be difficult, and we, as humans, do not want to hear about how bad it can get. It has been strange that since Michael Jackson passed that any news about what is going on in Iran has been few and far between. It seems that the public is easily distracted from the serious problems of the world.

I believe in these people who speak out. As they continue to work from the inside, I will continue to hold up my candle and not forget about them. What will you do?

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