Good morning —
It is with full hearts that we write to you this morning to announce the release of our first song in almost two years. “Neda” — a song about Neda Agha-Soltan, whose brutal murder at the hands of the Iranian regime during the protests in Tehran last year made her a symbol of human rights the world over — is now available on iTunes. All proceeds from the sale of the song will benefit Amnesty International. To purchase the song, click HERE, or go to the link below:
In addition, we have made a web-only video for the song. The video is a retelling of the historic events surrounding Neda’s death: the disputed Iranian Presidential election, the brutality of the regime in cracking down on dissent, the desecration of Neda’s grave, the massive movement towards freedom and peace in Iran… You can watch the video above, or on YouTube.
We believe that the viral video of Neda’s death was a sea change in political power in the world. It was the first viral video to change the course of history, a symbol that the power of broadcasting is no longer simply in the hands of governments and corporations, but in the hands of people. It is in the hands of anyone with a cell phone camera and an internet connection. It is in your hands right now.
There’s also something about Neda herself. About the simplicity of her request (that her vote be counted) and the violence of the response her government gave her. She represents the most fundamental decency of the human spirit standing in the face of the most base corruption of that spirit. All she wanted was for her vote to be counted. For that, she was shot through the heart in the street in broad daylight holding a sign that said simply “freedom.”
Many others died that week and more were wrongfully imprisoned, beaten, tortured and executed in the year since. Some still sit in jail cells. These are people we do not know and we will never meet. But we have to let them know that we stand with them.
There are a few things you can do to help:
1. Go to nedaspeaks.org (the website we built to help the cause) and click the “ACT” button. The link will take you to the specific political action Amnesty International has crafted to urge the release of political prisoners in Iran.
2. Go to nedaspeaks.org and click the “DONATE” button and give money to Amnesty International. Not your whole paycheck. Just what you can afford. It is appreciated. It is necessary. It is good.
3. Blast out the link to the video on your Twitter and Facebook, Imeem, Myspace, email. We are asking you to help us tell this story, to allow it in some small way to enter the public consciousness, to change the subject on Iran from the horrific little man who has hijacked the country to Neda, a warm and independent, educated and loving soul who is a more fitting symbol of one the world’s great cultures.
4. Go to nedaspeaks.org and upload a picture of yourself holding a sign saying “I am Neda.” This is a simple act. A show of force. A personal sign that you support the cause of freedom. Make it your profile picture on Facebook.
There are a lot of us. We need each other, and we need your help.
On the day of her death, the the last phone call Neda made before she was shot was to her mother. Her mother begged her to come home since everyone knew there were people being killed in the streets.
Neda said, “If I don’t go, who will?”
This is the question we pose.
If we don’t raise our voices, who will?
with all our love–
Mikel, Anna, Steven, Daren, Noah
the Airborne Toxic Event