Today, President Barack Obama quoted Martin Luther King saying, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Obama added, “I believe that. The international community believes that. And right now, we are bearing witness to the Iranian peoples’ belief in that truth, and we will continue to bear witness.”
Bearing witness can be difficult during a media blackout. While the Iranian government is evicting foreign journalists, cutting off cell phone service in order to block text and photo transmissions, prohibiting cameras in the streets and constraining social networking , citizen reports continue to trickle out of the country, particularly on YouTube and Twitter.
Bearing witness is vitally important as it holds authorities accountable, balancing power.
The ability of citizens to publish online in this instance gives voice to a suppressed and muted country as its people cry out against their dictatorship. What major news networks pick up from these reports and broadcast across the world is shaking the Iranian government. Bravo to these citizen journalists and to the platforms that host them.
Having a voice gives hope.