Iran protests trigger solidarity rallies in U.S., Europe



Chanting crowds marched in the streets of Berlin, Washington DC and Los Angeles on Saturday in a present of worldwide assist for demonstrators going through a violent authorities crackdown in Iran, sparked by the demise of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of that nation’s morality police.

On the U.S. National Mall, hundreds of men and women of all ages — sporting inexperienced, white and purple, the colours of the Iran flag — shouted in rhythm. “Be scared. Be scared. We are one in this,” demonstrators yelled, earlier than marching to the White House. “Say her title! Mahsa!”

The demonstrations, put collectively by grassroots organizers from across the United States, drew Iranians from throughout the Washington D.C. space, with some travelling down from Toronto to affix the group.

In Los Angeles, dwelling to the most important inhabitants of Iranians exterior of Iran, a throng of protesters fashioned a slow-moving procession alongside blocks of a closed downtown avenue. They chanted for the autumn of Iran’s authorities and waved a whole bunch of Iranian flags that turned the horizon right into a undulating wave of purple, white and inexperienced.

“We need freedom,” they thundered.

Shooka Scharm, an lawyer who was born in the U.S. after her mother and father fled the Iranian revolution, was sporting a T-shirt with the slogan “Women, Life, Freedom” in English and Farsi. In Iran “ladies are like a second-class citizen and they’re sick of it,” Scharm mentioned.

Iran’s nationwide antigovernment protest motion first centered on the nation’s necessary hijab overlaying for ladies following Amiri’s demise on Sept. 16. The demonstrations there have since reworked into the best problem to the Islamic Republic because the 2009 Green Movement over disputed elections. In Tehran on Saturday, extra antigovernment protests occurred at a number of universities.

Iran’s safety forces have dispersed gatherings in that nation with dwell ammunition and tear gasoline, killing over 200 folks, together with teenage women, in accordance with rights teams.

The Biden administration has mentioned it condemns the brutality and repression in opposition to the residents of Iran and that it’ll search for methods to impose extra sanctions in opposition to the Iranian authorities if the violence continues.

Between chants, protesters in D.C. broke into music, singing conventional Persian music about life and freedom — all written after the revolution in 1979 introduced non secular fundamentalists to energy in Iran. They sang one in specific in unison — “Baraye,” that means due to, which has turn out to be the unofficial anthem of the Iran protests. The artist of that music, Shervin Hajipour, was arrested shortly after posting the music to his Instagram in late September. It accrued greater than 40 million views.

“Because of girls, life, freedom,” protesters sang, echoing a well-liked protest chant: “Azadi” — Freedom.

The motion in Iran is rooted in the identical points as in the U.S. and across the globe, mentioned protester Samin Aayanifard, 28, who left Iran three years in the past. “It’s pressured hijab in Iran and right here in America, after 50 years, ladies’s our bodies are below management,” mentioned Aayanifard, who drove from East Lansing, Michigan to affix the D.C. march. She referred to rollbacks of abortion legal guidelines in the United States. “It’s about management over ladies’s our bodies.”

Several weeks of Saturday solidarity rallies in the U.S. capital have drawn rising crowds.

In Berlin, practically 40,000 folks gathered turned out to indicate solidarity for the ladies and activists main the motion for the previous few weeks in Iran. The protests in Germany’s capital, organized by the Woman(asterisk) Life Freedom Collective, started on the Victory Column in Berlin’s Tiergarten park and continued as a march via central Berlin.

Some demonstrators there mentioned that they had come from elsewhere in Germany and different European nations to indicate their assist.

“It is so necessary for us to be right here, to be the voice of the folks of Iran, who’re killed on the streets,” mentioned Shakib Lolo, who’s from Iran however lives in the Netherlands. “And this isn’t a protest anymore, this can be a revolution, in Iran. And the folks of the world must see it.”


Blood reported from Los Angeles.


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