Saturday, July 25, 2009

Human Rights Yes! Intervention No! - Iran Rally, July 25, 2009

(I delivered this short rallying call at the Human Rights Yes! Intervention No! - Iran Rally, in San Francisco today, July 25. About 7,000 people showed up at SF City Hall. See the list of speakers, etc. And Listen to interviews recorded by KPFA Radio, too.)

Thank you for being here. That you are here today is a testament to a saying in Iran, “It might seem quiet to an outsider, but there is fire below the ashes .” Today, the fire is in all of our hearts.

For over seven weeks now -- for 52 days -- the fire below the ashes has been reigniting. For over 7 weeks, the freedom loving people of Iran have demonstrated to one another and to the world that they will not be silenced, they will not go home and shut their doors and they will not shutdown the spirits.

One of the most touching features of this movement for civil and human rights in Iran is hearing peoples’ voices echoing across the neighborhoods at night. When I first heard those calls I was deeply touched by the peoples’ determination to have a say, to not be silenced. I heard the dignity and the deeply human need to reach out to one another through the uncertainty, the fear, and the anger.
Through the dark these voices encouraged one another to keep going, they called out to boost one anothers’ spirits in the face of brutality and repression, they called out to one another to stay the course for their civil rights, for the right of the people to choose their own direction and their own leadership, a leadership that is responsive to them, the people. These nightly calls through the dark, from one neighborhood to another , expressed the essence of the peoples’ courage and fortitude.

These messages were sent to all of us – to those in their neighborhoods and to those listening from so far away, was a heartfelt message of hope and of determination to keep on struggling to express their full humanity.
And here today, 52 days later, in San Francisco, we join with hundreds of thousands of voices from over 100 countries around the world, and we send a message back the people of Iran.

We hear you ……we are inspired by your determination. …We support you in your struggle for civil rights and justice …..And we reach out to you, from human spirit to human spirit, from around the world. …..We support you with a light touch, a deeply respectful touch, a deeply human touch.
Today, We will do our part to ensure your peace and your safety. And soon, perhaps it will be you, the people of Iran, showing the world’s people of peace how to win the struggle for civil rights.

Today, we the people of the world are living in a time when we can reach out to one another and with this reaching out comes the real power to change the world, to change the status quo, to really change hearts and minds, and to change our leadership. But we need courage to do that. And we need good examples. Today, Iranians are lighting the way.

Perhaps, when the day comes that, we The People of America , need to wage a real struggle for our real freedom the people of Iran will show us how to do it.
Remember, there is fire below the ashes.
So, I invite you to add your voice and let’s call out to Iran:
We are with you…

The whole segment . (My 3 minutes is the last half hour of the audio segment.)

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