Sunday, 20 June 2010

We Are All Neda

Dearest Neda,

It has been a year since you were cruelly taken from your friends, from your family and from those you loved, and much has happened in that time. I cannot begin to tell it all but there are some things that we around the world who know of you wish to be able to share with you.

If I were to be speaking to you now I would have many things to say to you.

I would say sorry. Not because I caused it, but because I feel it. Sorry for the life you were forced to live, that it was one of oppression, inequality and fear. Sorry for your death, for the pain and fear that it caused you and that it left behind for your family. Sorry that your family were afterwards forced from their home and your fiance forced into hiding out of fear. Sorry that your grave was desecrated, your headstone removed, bullets fired into your portrait to destroy it.
Most of all, sorry for the many others who shared your fate in having such a life and such a death, and who continue to share that fate.

I would also say you did not die in vain. Your struggle is no longer hidden, no longer only for the people of Iran, no longer unknown to the rest of us in this world. For this I would say thank you. You certainly did not plan to, but you brought Iran into the world's consciousness. You have galvanised your people into revolution. You have inspired us all to stand, to march, to rally, to shout, to protest, to demand.

Your death has been seen by many, and you are in the hearts of revolutionaries and supporters of equality and freedom all over the world. Though of little comfort, you have given the Iranian people such spirit and determination that the only possible outcome is their success in your quest. Your death has ensured that the people of not just Iran, but of the world, are united in this battle. Men and women of all ages, all races, all religions and all nationalities stand together in solidarity and raise their collective voice to demand freedom for your people in Iran. We stand together today to demand this in your name, and in the name of all those many others who have given their time, their efforts, their freedom, and like you, their lives.

I did not know you, and I will not pretend otherwise. But I feel that I do. I never used to be especially political, as you never used to be, but I saw an injustice as you did, and I feel compelled to stand against it as you did. But I have what you wanted. I have freedom, I have equality, I have peace, I have security. And I shall not take it for granted. You saw a revolution of your people in your country, and now today, we see a revolution of many people in many countries. You demanded that the people's vote be counted, and now we all demand that the people's vote be counted. And we shall not be stopped., not until what I have has been given to your people in Iran, as you wanted for them.

I would speak these words to you on my behalf, but also on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of people across the globe who remember you today, who never knew you but will never forget you. Until everyone has those basic things that you stood up and asked for on this day one year ago...until then, we are all Neda.

Neda was one of 18 protesters killed that day.
Neda's death was not initially reported via the state controlled Iranian media.
Images and video footage of Neda's death spread virally across the internet via YouTube and Twitter.
The Head of IRI Broadcasting claims that the videos of Neda's death are all fakes made by BBC and/or CNN.
The IRI Ambassador to Mexico suggested the CIA were involved in Neda's death.
IRI state media claims that a group of protesters faked the video and that Neda was later murdered by her accomplices.
No memorial was permitted for Neda and mourners were not permitted to gather together in public.
Crowds of protesters and mourners were dispersed with live ammunition and tear gas by IRI riot police.

1 comment:

  1. I printed a copy of this letter and after the Iranian Solidarity protest outside the London embassy of The Islamic Republic of Iran I taped it to the railings outside the embassy next to a picture of Neda.