Where is My Vote? Latest News on Politics, Protests, Elections and More

Bon Jovi and Armenian/Iranian singer Andy jointly sing for Iran

June 29, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Bon Jovi and Armenian/Iranian singer Andy have joind to sing for Iran. The song is a remix of “Stand by Me” with some Persian lyrics. The video of the track can be seen on Andy’s website and Youtube

The Opposition Weights Its Options

June 24, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The chances of the iranian opposition now bringing down the regime on the streets now are very slim, even if they went on head to head battle with the security forces. Even though 17 people have lost their lives to the cause and with hundreds injured filling up the hospitals, this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the amount of force that the authorities could use to quell such an uprising. To add to that, the security forces have shown no sign of wavering in their commitment to stop the protesters, completely and utterly crushing  any resistance they encounter. The warnings have been getting louder than there will be absolutely no tolerance for those violating the band on demonstrations and the signs are that all major opposition leaders including presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi are going to be arrested sooner or later. Probably sooner if the protest grow stronger. In the immediate aftermath of the election, there were a million protestors on the streets, over the last two weeks it has now dwindled to just three thousand now, and although the numbers are less the opposition has not gotten any weaker.

Despite this drop in the numbers of protesters, it appears as if the opposition is gearing for a long term campaign against the president. The opposition has very strong ties in both the civil society and deep within the regime, leading some to believe that the strength of the protests were meant to show the popular support that it has and that their demands cannot be ignored for very long.

Ultimately it looks they will be pushing for some form of compromise, as it is going to be very difficult for the regime to face the coming challenges without the support of the people, who support the opposition by a vast majority. The end game is going to be how much either party is willing to give up in this compromise, this could play out over the next weeks or even the next few months but despite the dropping voracity of the protests, this isn’t over.

The Life And Death Of Neda

June 23, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

In what has become an iconic symbol of the struggle for freedom in iran, the LA Times ran an amazine story by Borzou Daragahi on the death of Neda Agha-Soltan. Her death, recorded on a cellphone camera as she bled to death close to the scene of the protests spread online and across the world in minutes. This is what the article had to say:

The first word came from abroad. An aunt in the United States called her Saturday in a panic. “Don’t go out into the streets, Golshad,” she told her. “They’re killing people.”

The relative proceeded to describe a video, airing on exile television channels that are jammed in Iran, in which a young woman is shown bleeding to death as her companion calls out, “Neda! Neda!”

A dark premonition swept over Golshad, who asked that her real name not be published. She began calling the cellphone and home number of her friend Neda Agha-Soltan who had gone to the chaotic demonstration with a group of friends, but Neda didn’t answer.

At midnight, as the city continued to smolder, Golshad drove to the Agha-Soltan residence in the eastern Tehran Pars section of the capital. As she heard the cries and wails and praising of God reverberating from the house, she crumpled, knowing that her worst fears were true. “Neda! Neda!” the 25-year-old cried out. “What will I do?”

Neda Agha-Soltan, 26, was shot dead Saturday evening near the scene of clashes between pro-government militias and demonstrators who allege rampant vote-count fraud in the reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The jittery cellphone video footage of her bleeding on the street has turned “Neda” into an international symbol of the protest movement that ignited in the aftermath of the June 12 voting. To those who knew and loved Neda, she was far more than an icon. She was a daughter, sister and friend, a music and travel lover, a beautiful young woman in the prime of her life.

It is a crying shame that so many young people have to lose their lives in the quest for freedom. They deserve our support, and our prayers.

Obama Steps Up Criticism of Iranian Regime

June 23, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

In what was a departure from the usual diplomatic approach to iran, US president Barack Obama declared that he was “appalled and outraged” by the way in which the iranian regime crushed the protesters. Ever since the election victory and the subsequent protests, obama has been careful to maintain the diplomatic path in dealing with the crisis, but this reversal in his message indicates that there is only so much that can be tolerated.

“I strongly condemn these unjust actions,” he said. “I have made it clear that the United States respects the sovereignty of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and is not interfering in Iran’s affairs.”

“But we must also bear witness to the courage and dignity of the Iranian people, and to a remarkable opening within Iranian society. And we deplore violence against innocent civilians anywhere that it takes place.” he added.

In particular he paid tribute to Neda Agha Soltan, the protester who has become known as the “Angel of Freedom” after images of her death in Tehran were posted on the internet.

He said: “We have seen courageous women stand up to brutality and threats, and we have experienced the searing image of a woman bleeding to death on the streets.

“While this loss is raw and painful, we also know this: Those who stand up for justice are always on the right side of history.”

The president has come under criticism from republican lawmakers and commentators that he did not criticize the regime more strongly and remained quiet on whether the vote was rigged. While this was done to discourage any insinuation that there was american support for an insurrection, it has only resulted in the administrations initial response appearing soft amid the tragic loss of life.

The people have however now changed tactics and have switched from day to night for their protests. Yelling slogans and God is great from the rooftops and honking horns and flashing lights at night. “People
are calmly protesting, more symbolically than with their voices,” said a Tehran resident.