Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Iranian women stand up in defiance, flout rules

I've been reading what's been going on in Iran especially since the election. It's stunning. No matter what happens regarding the election many believe was fixed, I doubt Iran will ever be the same again. Regular people standing up and saying they've had enough and want to live differently. Threats against them, gunning them down in the streets, beating them, all their attempts to stop the protests and silence their voices will never work again. They have found the power of numbers.

Iranian women stand up in defiance, flout rules
Story Highlights
Recurring theme of Iranian protests: Women defiantly standing up against authority

19-year-old woman says, "When they want to hit me, I say hit."

A young woman named Neda has become the rallying cry of protesters

"This shows the new face of Iran -- the young women who are the vanguards of Iran"

(CNN) -- A young Iranian woman named Neda is gunned down in one of the most iconic images of the last week. Another walks down the street, defiantly showing off her hair and body in a revealing dress. And still another woman says she's not scared of paramilitary forces -- no matter how many times she gets beaten.

"When they want to hit me, I say hit. I have been hit so many times and this time it doesn't matter. I just want to help my brothers and sisters," says the 19-year-old woman whose identity is being withheld by CNN for her safety.

Amid the clashes and chaos, there has been a recurring scene on the streets of Tehran: Women, in their scarves and traditional clothing, at the heart of the struggle. Some are seen collecting rocks for ammunition against security forces, while video showed one woman trying to protect a fallen pro-government militiaman wounded in the government crackdown. At Shiraz University, riot police clubbed women dressed in black robes. "Don't beat them, you bastards," one man yells.

When security forces come to attack, the 19-year-old woman protester says she looks them in the eye and asks: "Why do you kill your brother? Why do you hit your mother, your sisters?"

"We all tell them, if you're Iranian, you shouldn't do that to your people, to your own country's people," she told CNN by phone.
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