What gave so many ordinary citizens such courage?

Via the Times Online

What gave so many ordinary citizens the courage not only to speak out after years of fear, but to take to the streets in numbers not seen since Ayatollah Khomeini overthrew the Shah in 1979? And where was this heading? Will yesterday’s events presage a brutal crackdown, or are they just a pause in an extraordinary display of “people power”?

ARTEMIS, a 41-year-old Tehrani woman, is the proud holder of a law degree, but one who has never been allowed to work. She was clear about why she joined the million-plus men, women and children who took to the streets of Tehran last Monday.

“People want freedom and justice,” she said. “They stole the vote. No one in his right mind believes this result.”

She said she had been afraid to voice criticism before. “The neighbours listen to you, and people go to prison just for what they say, or what they write. But this is contagious. What you are seeing, all these people, this comes from 30 years of oppression and now we have had enough.”

Gathering in Revolution Square in the summer sun, they walked miles to Freedom Square, shoulder to shoulder, filling the boulevard and spilling onto the pavement.

More news at iranelection

Back in 2004, when John Kerry was in hot water for dissing the Iranian pro-democracy activists while kissing up to the Mullahs, I noticed that many Iranian bloggers understood (and loved) democracy more than many Americans do.

So now they have a revolution, they’re bravely facing an army of goons armed with nothing but their ideals – and we have John Kerry, Ron Paul and Glenn Beck…

About marypmadigan

Writer/photographer (profession), foreign policy wonk (hobby).
This entry was posted in middle east. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to What gave so many ordinary citizens such courage?

  1. Infidel753 says:

    The brutal crackdown is in effect, that much is clear. What matters now is how the people respond.

    Almost certainly, yesterday’s violence has inflamed both their fear and their anger. The question is which of those two feelings will prove the stronger.

  2. mary says:

    If it inflames their anger, I hope they decide to fight smarter. I read that some protesters were shot after they threw a molotov cocktail at Basij headquarters – these are university students, can’t anyone mix up some c4?

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