Friday, July 17, 2009

Power to the People of Iran

By the time John Lennon wrote his song in 1971 called "Power to the People", many felt that it was ten years too late. Back in the 1960's, people around the world marched in the streets to protest the Viet Nam War. In the United States there were many war protests as well as marches in the South to fight for Civil Rights. Things were winding down by 1971. In the U. S., the Kent State shootings (where the U. S. National Guard fired on and killed peacefully protesting American students) had occurred in 1970. It was one of the final nails on the coffin of the old guard. Peace and change were coming. The war finally ended. True enforcement of laws protecting blacks and their rights began to occur. The power of the people eventually created change.

Perhaps we all should have realized that the song would resonate for generations. Lennon's songs "Imagine", "Give Peace A Chance" and "Power to the People" clearly still have meaning today.

As I watch the people on the streets of Tehran today. I just think of the song...

Say you want a revolution
We better get on right away
Well you get on your feet
And out on the street

Singing power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people, right on

After a period of quiet, they roared back today. They have shown that it is not over. People are still pouring over Rafsanjani's speech at Friday prayers. Looking for nuances and hidden meanings. Looking for encouragement and support. From what I understand, it seems like he's offering a hand to the opposition and chastising the current government leaders and their policies.

In any case, it is the people who are truly speaking. Who are chanting and marching and putting themselves out there in the way of the batons. They are the ones being knived, shot, and tear-gassed while shouting Allah o Akbar.

I could be wrong, but if the ISLAMIC Republic has to beat people at Friday prayers, it would seem that they really have already lost their battle. It may be a long time before they surrender to the inevitable. But the people want honest leaders, not dictators and men who pretend to speak for Allah.

A few days ago was the anniversary of the 'storming of the Bastille' in France. The catalyst that really sparked the French Revolution. I hope the brave crowds on the streets of Tehran look to one another and see their power. And that if they unite, and stay united, there will be change.

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