Posted By: Rachel Bevilacqua
The Webby Awards recently recognized the Iranian election protests and their use of Twitter as one of the top ten Internet moments of the decade, so it's no wonder I became interested in the topic, like millions of other people, in June 2009 when major protests were flooding the streets with millions of Iranians demanding their rights.
Since then, the vast majority of people who were interested in the story have moved on, and some have even mistaken this loss of popularity for the actual cessation of Iranian protests themselves. Nothing could be further from the truth. Every single day since June, some kind of protest has gone on in Iran, even if it's "only" hundreds of people chanting every night from their rooftops loud enough to be heard from within the walls of Evin prison.
I've been asked countless times by my hipster friends why I persist in tweeting and writing about this topic, which is considered "so last summer" by the twitterati and memesters of the world. Well, when I was a little girl, my grandmother told me about World War II. She said people would gather by their radios every evening and wait for word from the front. Some days there wasn't much news. Some days the news was heartbreaking. Some days they heard things that made them whoop for joy.
All my life I've been told that Generation X, my generation, is the "Slacker" generation, and that's true. We do tend to reject busywork or artificial formalities that serve no purpose. But we're not clones of Bill and Ted either. We have deep and serious concerns that matter to us, even if the fascinating pinwheel of the internet tends to carry us off on a flow of must-watch content that makes it very difficult to remember one particular cause or event steadfastly.
All my life I've been told that the Greatest Generation was, well, the greatest. So, don't even bother trying, Gen-X. You don't have what it takes to be like your grandparents. Maybe we don't, but I aim to live up to what I think my grandparents would be proud of, and that means following this story, not turning away and leaving these people to die, unnoticed by the world. I know I can't save them. Maybe they don't even know I'm watching. But I will do what I can to expose to the world the things this brutal regime wants hidden, and to extol the bravery of these people facing death, torture, and rape, barehanded and armed only with their will to be free and slips of green ribbon.
I will listen for news from the front, for the duration.