Monday, June 22, 2009

Beauty Amidst the Chaos

As has been widely reported, Iran is in the throws of a large social movement. Some have called it the beginning of the end for the current regime. (Another similar opinion here.) I will reserve judgment for now. But as can be gained through print and video, dissent is flowing through Tehran. And faced with such a massive political movement, the regime is threatened.

The unfortunate truth is that these movements often entail violence -- both from protesters and (especially) from a threatened government. But while surveying the many many videos of the Iranian struggle, I came across something that, I think, is worth pointing out because it rare among the footage. In a particular video (below), a motorcycle-mounted agent of the government (could have been police or Basij militia) either fell off of his bike or was forced off by protesters. Afterward, he was presumably beaten (though it is not shown in the video) by some in the crowd.

Yet in this chaotic scene filled with fire, screaming, and violence, beauty emerges. The government agent, who looks to be suffering from a concussion, is pulled out of danger by a number of protesters. Then, most profoundly, they proceed to protect and care for him. This is such a heartening act of humanity. These people had the courage and kindness to almost immediately take in the same person who, moments ago, had been beating other protesters.

It begins at about 2:20 and continues until the end of the video (3:30). I look forward to your thoughts.

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