Coming back to our story. On Saturday, thousands of people protested outside of City Hall on the 44th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution of 1979. Demonstrators stood in solidarity with the people of Iran and rallied against the human rights violations and mistreatment of women occurring in the country. Sarah Kahn has the story.
On Saturday, tens of thousands of people gathered outside Los Angeles City Hall to protest the Iranian regime on the 44th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution of 1979. Attendees used the protest as an opportunity to express their distaste for the Iranian government while simultaneously showcasing their solidarity with the people of Iran. This demonstration is one of many that has rallied against the Iranian government’s treatment of women. These protests have pushed courageous women to the frontline of the cause.
One of these women is Mercedeh, an attendee of the protest who prefers to have her last name redacted for safety reasons. She describes the value of going to the protest and showing support to the Iranian people across the globe.
Mercedeh: To me, it was more like just the solidarity, right? The people coming together and letting the people in Iran know that we’re here. We understand what you guys are going through and we’ll support you whatever you guys want, because you’re the one paying the price.
Although Mercedeh lives in California, she still holds a strong connection to Iran, explaining that she attended the protest in part due to her strong feelings for the country.
Mercedeh: Why I personally was there is because I have a very strong nationalistic feeling towards it. And I feel terrible about the situation that the people of Iran are going through right now.
Sepideh, who asked we only use her first name, was another protest attendee. She believes that this solidarity should be focused on pursuing human rights, an ideal she thinks has not been prioritized in recent years. Sepideh sees Iran as a country that once had incredible potential to advance into a first-world country but now has had this potential stripped away.
Sepideh: I just think human rights has been kind of pummeled over. I mean I see it over here. Obviously it’s over there. And Iran is considered like a quote unquote third world country. But my goodness, it was so forward thinking. So many people were on their way to really get that country to become a first world country and it was very capable of doing that, being that, it just didn’t happen. So I think human rights is a huge thing and true democracy.
For Sepideh, the heart of the protest lies in coming together. Her mother, who immigrated to the United States at 19 years old, attended the protest, showing the multi-generational breadth of the cause.
Sepideh: It was pretty emotional, I have to say. Like even my mom to came to this, you know, she’s like 77, 78 years old. It was it was powerful.
Saturday’s protest showcases the vast support for the people of Iran across the world. Many have gathered in cities across the United States in recent weeks to make clear their desire for a regime change in Iran. Despite the distance between California and Iran, protesters such as Mercedeh and Sepideh exemplify how far-reaching this movement is.
For Annenberg Media, I’m Sara Kahn.