Tuesday, June 16, 2009
History Repeats Itself
My previous post about the attempted uprising in China 20 years ago seems to be replaying itself this week, only in the country of Iran. After an election that many people felt was "rigged", protesters took to the streets to demand a recount. Tensions have escalated, with both pro-government supporters and backers of the opposition candidate demonstrating. As with the "Tiananmen Square Uprising" , many of the protesters are college students, alongside many others, calling for more freedom and a fair election.
Earlier today, the Iranian government banned all foreign journalists from reporting on the streets, threatening them with arrest. Other foreign reporters have had their visas revoked and must leave Iran. Some Iranians are using Twitter and other internet tools to try to get the news out to the outside world, but the government is blocking more and more of those methods. I just read a recent Twitter update from saying that pro-government militia, known as the Basiji, are approaching a college dorm in Tehran. Another Twitter user in Iran says there are reports that Tehran University will be attacked tonight.
All this seems eerily similar to the events 20 years ago in China. News blackout, followed by a brutal crackdown on protesters--I sincerely hope the events in Iran don't end up in a massacre in the same manner as happened in China.
I have been trying to get news updates on CNN's and Fox News' live feeds on their websites, but they both seem to be more interested in blabbing on about celebrity gossip and other nonsense, than reporting any "real news". The Huffington Post blog has a "live blogging" going on that is updating fairly often and is a pretty good source for news right now.
Oddly enough, I am off in a few minutes to attend a local "Tea Party " protest outside the New York State Capitol in Albany. But my thoughts are with the brave citizens of Iran who are trying to gain a little freedom and fair elections.