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Count me Out of the July 19th Protests Against Iran for their Death Penalty!
(London – 26 June 2006) To mark the first anniversary of Iran's hanging of two gay teenagers, Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni, gay campaign groups OutRage! and IDAHO, International Day Against Homophobia, have declared 19 July 2006 an International Day of Action Against Homophobic Persecution in Iran (IDAAHOPI). http://mpetrelis.blogspot.com/2006/06/iran-stop-killing-gays-apparently.html
I'm sorry for what happened to those boys. However, I will not protest in the current political environment lest my actions be mistaken or misinterpreted as support for regime change in Iran. I will not add any kindling, no matter how small, to the mad fires of U.S., Israeli and Western imperialism and the quest for world domination, which want very much to torch Iran to the ground, its institutions, civil society, museums, libraries, schools and mostly its people, as has been done in neighboring Iraq.
I will continue to protest where it actually can make a difference: right here at home in the good old U.S.A. I will continue to fight the barbaric and often racist U.S. death penalty.
You can find me at midnight sitting on lawns outside of U.S. state prisons chilled to the bones and saddened to the very depths of my soul, as yet another person of color, impoverished and/or working class person lacking the means for adequate legal defense, or severely and profoundly mentally ill person is executed by the State.
I will toll the bell that anti-death penalty folk haul around to protest executions. I will say prayers. Hold hands with Michael Berg, Nick Berg’s father, now a death penalty opponent. I will say prayers led by a Catholic nun. I will listen quietly as good people from "Murder Victims Families Speak Out" and tell the media why they are staunchly against the death penalty. I will persevere silently, stoically, majestically when heckled by the pro-death penalty counter demonstrators. I will brace and prop myself upright against a wooden saw horse, police barrier or any other immovable object, to help collapsing from heartache, down to the ground, in a heap when I hear my fellow humans, the pro-death penalty insurgents, shriek at the top of their lungs "BURN HIM, BURN HIM!" I will indeed console the condemned man’s family members holding vigil outside and within earshot too. Most of all I will pray and hope for a time when an enlightened nation no longer engages in medieval justice, even though for the most part I’ve stopped believing in prayer (or the nation for that matter).
I will bear witness, here. Please forgive and understand my absence from your demonstration against Iran. On the other hand, I wonder how many of my fellow queers who will be out protesting the Iranian execution ever even once saw fit to protest the death penalty in their homeland. Why is that?