We will remember

June 16, 2009

culture / politics

I believe this will be an image that we will look back on and remember the way many remember Tiananmen, twenty years later. I encourage you to look through the Picasa gallery where this photo appears, as well as these larger versions at boston.com. Some of these images are graphic.

Many people are pointing out the similarities of this photo and other iconic ones to the photos we have of events like Tiananmen, and some are also pointing out the differences. Many who were at Tiananmen have said that the Iranians are not alone like they were. Twitter has made many of us see these events in a way that was not previously possible.

It is fascinating to see the outpouring of help that people have offered, from people sharing internet proxies, delaying Twitter maintenance, changing color schemes, sharing photos and videos and other information. I’ve never seen anything like this. Cable news has failed us. It is either ignoring the situation, or following Twitter, the blogs, some network news, and a couple of newspapers.

Obama has wisely stayed out of endorsing either side, for which the Iranians are grateful, and the Iranians are excited about things like internet proxies, popular websites turning green, and support.

But this is fitting, in a way. The Iranians are using street art, new technology, and the language of hope to seek change. They are staying, for the most part, quiet and peaceful, seeking reform.

May we remember this, and continue to support them.