Saturday, June 13, 2009

Where is my vote?

Well as much as I wanted to stay away from the politics of Iran I got sucked in bad today after reading about the massive fraud that occurred. I got sucked in because of my sister. You see she is 26, idealist, hopeful and young and believes that the world can one day be a better place. She asked me on Thursday if I was going to vote in the Iran elections. I doubt my answer will win me friends in the Iranian community, but then again I never really cared what people thought of me, specially the persians. I told her I was not voting. Because Iran is not my home. It is my birth country yes. But the day I left that country I knew I was leaving it never to return again. I was leaving for a new world and with it I was giving up my rights to have a say in what transpired in Iran. The law may say I have the right to vote. Okay I actually don't have any documents I could have used to vote, but that's another story. But my point is on principle I don't believe you should get to decided the fate of people living in another coountry. No matter that you share the same birthplace.

I know my sister felt somewhat let down by my response. She wanted to believe that change could happen. That I believed in that change and wanted to be a part of it. Don't get me wrong. I want good things for the people of Iran. I know what these people have gone through. I was there... But like I said my interest in Iran is more as an outsider. I want people of all nations to have the kind of freedom that I enjoy in Canada and the US. It's human right issue afterall. And my interest in the fate of Iranians is no different than my interest in the fate of people of Darfur, or the people of Iraq or anywhere else in the world where tyrants rule...

So when I read the news this morning, I felt I needed to do something. To show my little sister that I cared. So I set up a group on facebook and proceeded to collect all the news, pictures and videos from around the internet and post it there. It's a very small step, but it was the least I could do.

One of the links I posted was a slideshow on youtube that used the persian version of the protest song El Pueblo Unido Jamas Sera Vencido as musical score.

It is a protest song that rose to popularity in Chile in 1970's by the leftist marxist supporters of President Allende. Over time is has been used by many nations including Iran as an anthem to call people to rise up. I heard it first 30+ years ago when another revolution was taking place in the streets of Tehran. When idealist students marched the streets and sang this song, with the goal of overthrowing the monarchy and bringing freedom and a republic to its people. Little did they know that the republic would turn out to THIS republic.

Nonetheless the song is about hope. About overcoming. About rising up and taking a stand against tyranny. It was also part of a sound track to a movie about Allende that I saw as a child and that I will never forget. I wept for Allende, even thoogh I did not know who he was, or that he was a leftist marxist or what that even meant. All I knew was he was fighting for his people, to give them a better life and the brutal General Pinochet destroyed that hope and dream. And to this day whenever I hear this song I cry. Beacuse I think of all the youth that have lost their lives fighting for freedom and marching to this song.

Here is the translation of the song and regardless of your political views, you have to agree that it IS a beautiful song. It is a hopeful song...

Peace and love and may the people of Iran know real freedom one day
Join me on Facebook:

The people united will never be defeated,
The people united will never be defeated...

Arise, sing
We are going to win.

Flags of unity
are now advancing.
And you will come
marching together with me,
and so you'll see
your song and your flag blossom.
The light
of a red dawn
already announc
the life to come.

Arise, fight

the people are going to win.
The life to come

will be better.
To conquer
our happiness.
and a clamor
of a thousand fighting voices will rise,
a song of freedom.
With determination
the fatherland will win.

And now the peo
who are rising in struggle
with a giant voice
crying out: Forward!

The people united will never be defeated,
The people united will never be defeated...

The fatherland is
forging unity,
from north to south
they're mobilizing.
From the salt mines
burning and mineral
to the southern forests.
united in struggle and labor
they go
covering the fatherla
Their steps already
Announce the future.

Arise, sing
the people are going to win
millions now
are imposing the truth
Their steel battali
are on fire,
taking in their hands

justice and reason.
with fire and courage
is already here
Along side the worker.

El pueblo unido jamás será vencido,
el pueblo unido jamás será vencido...

De pie, cantar
que vamos a triunfar.
Avanzan ya
banderas de unidad.
Y tú vendrás
marchando junto a mí
y así verás
tu canto y tu bandera florecer,
la luz
de un rojo amanecer
anuncia ya
la vida que vendrá.

De pie, luchar
el pueblo va a triunfar.
Será mejor
la vida que vendrá
a conquistar
nuestra felicidad
y en un clamor
mil voces de combate se alzarán
canción de libertad
con decisión
la patria vencerá.

Y ahora el pueblo
que se alza en la lucha
con voz de gigante
gritando: ¡adelante!

El pueblo unido jamás será vencido,
el pueblo unido jamás será vencido...

La patria está
forjando la unidad
de norte a sur
se movilizará
desde el salar
ardiente y mineral
al bosque austral
unidos en la lucha y el trabajo
la patria cubrirán,
su paso ya
anuncia el porvenir.

De pie, cantar
el pueblo va a triunfar
millones ya,
imponen la verdad,
de acero son
ardiente batallón
sus manos van
llevando la justicia y la razón
con fuego y con valor
ya estás aquí
junto al trabajador.

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