We have watched with emotion and sympathy, to see the youth of Iran, "march and fight with their feet" in peaceful demonstrations, demanding policy changes, sometimes even regime changes in Iran, for the rights of women. See the photos of youth in Iran, killed by representatives of the Iranian Government, for peaceful demonstration asking for freedom of how to wear their scarves. See the grief in the face of the man for each of the "kids" of Iran who have died for this cause.
Sunday, the crowd by a major intersection in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a small group of 12 people appeared. The small group, quickly grew to 25, then 30 and then 40 and then 50 people. When we finally left, the group had continued to grow, of people who have sympathized with the cruel violent way these young women of Iran have been treated by the Government, and Religions leaders there. The word was to be there at noon, and as my wife and I walked up these few were well dressed people, who live in Albuquerque, concerned about the young people of Iran. Over 600 kids in Iran, (probably more) , 15 to 25 years old have been killed by the "Religious Police" of Iran, because they want to not have to cover their heads with scarves by law. Some 18,000 youth have been arrested, when the "Religious Police" arrested a young woman, and she was dead in 2 days, with deadly concussions apparently caused by beating and torture. Since then, thousands of young Iranians have demonstrated throughout I ran with a simple message.
My wife and I watch the news in disgust when a young doctor, a female, went to treat an injured youth, and the "religious police" shot and killed her. She was a hero, trying to save lives, and killed as a "terrorist" who many said she was like a savior trying to use her medical training to save lives. Killed, her blood on the street.
Peaceful marches and gatherings, simply calling out for the personal freedom to wear a scarf or "hijab" however they choose. The "Religious Police" has determined to punish, arrest, beat, torture, and even block any of these kids, from going to college. Official estimates suggest 600 of these youth have been killed...but unofficial reports, from Iranians say that many more have been killed, of found dead on the streets. BECAUSE THEY DON'T WANT TO HAVE TO WEAR A SCARF IN A WAY THE OLD BEARDED RELIGIOUS LEADERS DEMAND. Most religious leaders admit, it is simply a "Control issue to keep women in their place, at the control of men".
The nation has supported these young women, who risk their health, their education, even their lives to stand up for their sisters, of Iran.
Sunday, our family appeared, accepted a sign, and for two hours lined up with cheers and loud cries together, in support of these brave young girls of Iran. Millions of people throughout Iran have staged peaceful demonstrations. The Iranian law enforcement often let by the secret police, have shot, run over, beaten, tortured, and killed over 600+ youth in Iran. This demonstration in Albuquerque on January 8th, will be repeated in Santa Fe, New Mexico, January 15th. To my surprise many of the cars that drove past on Academy, honked their support, waved peace symbols and cheered as they drove by. It was an uplifting experience, after having watched some much of the violence and conflict in Iran with the Government and Religious leaders fighting these kids at every level, and feeling helpless to know how to support or encourage them.
I didn't expect, to feel happy or good. but deep down it was fulfilling to speak out for these heroic girls who are trying to bring progress and sanity to the government of Iran. Cars honked and waved their support, by amazing numbers. Even in far away "Albuquerque" from Iran, people are praying, demonstrating, and cheering for these young people!
When strangers by the hundreds drove by and honked or waved or smiled their support, it was encouraging, thrilling to do just a small part to bring attention to these heroic girls in Iran. My wife and I have a daughter who just graduated from college, and I thought..."If in Iran, she might be one of those out cheering for progress and change".... and I thought how lucky we are to live in the USA. But if you feel lucky and don't know what to do, you might at least find one of their public gatherings, to hold a sign, or perhaps speak out the words: "Peace, Freedom, Progress", or some other powerful words that you could be executed or beaten on the streets, by people who benefit from their "control of women" in Iran. The crowd was just a few, but it great from 10 to 20, to 30 to 40 to 50 in a matter of moments. Then the cars as they drove by waved, honked their support, smiled, rolled down windows and cheered. By the end of the 1.5 hours, almost half a block had demonstrators for the girls, the young women of Iran. It was inspiring, and me, a 74 year old man, felt inspired by these young people. They all yelling, cheering, encouraging, the young women of Iran. Fighting for progress, sometimes for their lives, in their homeland. The people of Albuquerque New Mexico shouting our support for you brave young women. You inspire us all! You make your country better, by demanding progress, equality, and personal freedom! When we left the event, we felt good, that so many Americans honked, waved and offered their support!. What an honor to participate in this for them. For all of us, you included. A new kind of peaceful freedom fighters, these young Iranians inspire us all to be.
The drivers of those cars that passed, honked, smiled, waved, and showed their support and vote. Perhaps a honk of the car horn isn't much, but it seemed great to me. Doing just a little thing, and when my wife and I drove home, we both commented how good it was to donate this time, for the girls. The future of Iran. The future that is making the world think of how valuable "freedom" and the right to oppose ignorance, of tyrants is. Some reports tell us that "religious police" groups have seized or gained enormous wealth and property, taking companies, homes, bank accounts, and building their power in Iran at the cost of Iranians who have fled the country in fear. We wonder how much those "bearded wonders", the religious leaders have accumulated in the last 40 years while they have wielded so much power in Iran. Think of the lives lost. These brave girls of Iran, (and their supporters around the world) are calling for a change. A better way for a nation. Away from the rules of medieval history, which in Iran seems to enrich the few, and bring hardship and difficult economic lives to the majority of Iranians. Iran is a nation of educated, sophisticated people, yet they have allowed a group of bearded old men dominate the political world and a group of militant "religious police" serve as the radical enforcers of these "rulers" to dominate the nation. Millions and millions of dollars worth of property has been seized from the "people of Iran" especially those who could not stand up to the forces there, and so simply left the country to live in other nations. It is our voice as Americans, living in a free nation, with freedom of speech to encourage and support efforts for freedom, and an educated society, not dominated by extremists or violent control groups.
January 17th, in Santa Fe, near the "Round House" another event supporting these girls in Iran, and supporting the rights or freedom and progress will be held. Someone will be there with a sign for you, if you don't bring your own. These things often start about noon, but come and hang out a little early if you like. Perhaps you will find it uplifting and joyful, to help these kids in Iran, to lead their nation to progress and the freedoms of individual choice. We have these rights in the USA, and so does France, Germany, England, Japan, Italy, Canada, and the majority of NATO nations. Add your voice to help these Iranian girls, who are leading a "charge" for freedom and individual choice, not dominated by militants, of bearded old men in robes who would use "dress codes" to hold their thumb on the women, of Iran. We will see you in Santa Fe. As you lift up a sign calling for hope and progress, you will also feel an uplifting, for helping young girls fight with peaceful intent to increase individual rights in Iran.