“…she was happy screaming ‘freedom.’ “

We happened to be on Twitter that night in June when the Iranian election took a turn no one could have anticipated.

None of the candidates was a good one by any Western standards. One or two were a little better than others. One of those anticipated a landslide win and, when he was told the incumbent had won in a landslide, he announced that news to his followers who took to the streets and the rooftops of Tehran and other cities.

Twitter and YouTube were the means by which young Iranians began to tell the rest of the world their story. Those of us following on Twitter began to realize something very big was happening as we saw message after message appearing in breath-taking succession telling us, in 140 characters or fewer, that an election had been subverted by the powerful machinery available to the incumbent, and that people were in the streets. In the West, especially in America, young people who use Twitter began to realize neither of their preferred networks, MSNBC and CNN, were reporting this historic event either on television nor on their websites. On that Friday night into the early hours of Saturday morning, they learned that their previously trusted media outlets had failed them. The trending hashmark #CNNfail was born that night.

Those of us on Twitter who wished to protect these “reporters” went to our profiles on the site and changed our time zones and locations to “Tehran.” This helped to thwart the authorities from tracking Iranians who were sending information via satellite and internet connections. Suddenly, too many of us where from Tehran and they could not be sure who to hack, or track and arrest.

Those protests and that violence continues even now, though almost nothing is reported to Americans. Twitter and YouTube are the primary outlets for continuing news from Iran. One of the most faithful and accurate reporters on Twitter is a man named Raymond Jahan who uses the ID “StopAhmadi.” He joined Twitter on the day of the election and has written nearly 2500 messages since. He is followed by nearly 15,000 accounts on the site. He has told us of the unspeakable and humane punishments of protestors and the innocent by-standers who have been arrested or detained. Thousands have probably died, he tells us. People wait outside the prisons every day for word of their missing family members. A vicious, brutal nightmare has been unleashed upon the people of Iran by their government and clerics and there is no end in sight.

Today Raymond Jahan wrote two messages that, after the weeks of violence and brutality, held all the simple beauty of Japanese haikus. At 21:20 today he wrote:

Young woman passing by on a motorcycle in Tehran. I saw all her hair (not covered), she was happy screaming ‘freedom.’

And at 21:28 he “tweeted”:

Over the past few weeks many young Iranian woman have been taking their shawls off as protest. #IranElection

After the long list of atrocities, and terror, and barbarism, and announcements of global rallies that StopAhmadi has painstakingly reported to those of us following him, the small but potentially life-threatening decision of women to expose their hair in public…”screaming ‘freedom’ ” seemed the most beautiful thing imaginable this evening.

[[For more about post-election events in Iran–this is Day 43–and tributes to some of the students who have been killed by the regime there, please visit Atlas Shrugs ]]

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