Martin Luther King once said: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” I believe that. The international community believes that. And right now, we are bearing witness to the Iranian peoples’ belief in that truth, and we will continue to bear witness.
— From Obama’s speech on the events in Iran.
We are witnessing in Iran something both historic and profound. When the protesters this weekend chanted “Marg bar dictator” (“Death to the dictator!”) the world should have stopped in their tracks and listened to it. When people are out on the streets in droves calling for death to their leader in a country where freedom of speech often appears to be a myth, that is the sound of a revolution.
The people of Iran have taken to the streets knowing very well that they can die. They have put their lives on the line in order to make their voices heard. This is no longer about a stolen election. This is about freedom, justice, and years of oppression. It’s about voices that were held down for too long finally finding a way to cry out.
This is a revolution that is not only being televised, but publicized moment by moment across the world through the power of the internet. From blogs to Twitter, from YouTube to mainstream news sites, events are being broadcast as they happen. Videos, photos, sound bites, 140-character play-by-plays of courage and violence.
The world needs to see that violence. We need to see these images; the world needs to see these images. They impact us. They allow us to see what is going on not only through the eyes of the regime and through filtered news reports, but with the eyes and ears of those right there. And to see the death and violence is to understand not only what the protesters are facing, but what freedom means to them. It means so much that they would put their lives on the line in order to obtain it. They know that what they are doing today may not result in their freedom tomorrow, but perhaps it will come for the next generation. They are willing to sacrifice to make their country a better place for those that come after them.