Sunday, June 28, 2009

Dissent, Protest, and Any Support?

Hello - if anyone is reading this.

I haven't given up blogging, although my life gets busy and crazy and I don't post as often as I would like.

I finally felt I had to post about recent events in Iran. My heart just breaks for those people. To see and hear of folks beaten or killed, harassed, having their property trashed, having communications cut off is so upsetting. How can some humans mistreat other humans so miserably - especially peaceful protesters? What kind of animals would do things like that to others? And what kind of government oppresses its own people so?

Not that this country is or has been perfect. Anti-war protesters in the 60's were often beaten and those of us of a certain age cannot forget Kent State (and how protesters were beaten in Chicago at Democratic Convention, 1968). More recently, when preparations were being made for the last Democratic National Convention, a news report showed jail cells being built for protesters. Why was protesters needing jail cells the first thought about them that came to mind? Further, some of my previous posts talk about how protesters were treated at both of the last two major party conventions. And locally, 2 graduation speakers at a nearby town had speeches critical of the way the school was run. The administration didn't want them to give their speeches at all. Eventually they gave shortened speeches. The administration then barred the two from going to the post-graduation party. I'm left wondering why there's such a problem with peaceful dissent and protest.

Is "power" such a strong aphrodisiac that those with it will do anything to maintain it? Why do some (too many, really) of the "powerful" resort to physical force and intimidation , caring nothing for human rights at all?

And I'm also feeling somewhat discouraged. It seems that there really isn't much the International Community is doing to help those struggling for human rights. Amnesty International does some good work, Human Rights Watch, too. But they only seem to be able to do so much. Burma/Myanmar has been a terrible situation for many years. Tibet and Darfur, too. Now Iran. Those who follow the situations wonder what can be done; wonder why more has not been done to support people struggling for basic rights.