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‘A powerful hope’: Tens of thousands demonstrate in downtown L.A. against Iranian government



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1000’s of individuals gathered exterior Los Angeles Metropolis Corridor on Saturday, calling for regime change in Iran and rallying in solidarity with the nation’s female-led protest motion.

Protesters chanted, “Zan, zendegi, azadi,” or “Girl, life, freedom” — phrases which have change into a rallying cry for the reason that loss of life in September of Mahsa Amini sparked an enduring protest movement. Amini, 22, died in detention after being arrested by the nation’s morality police for allegedly not sporting her headband accurately.

Mona and Tamanna, two Iranian American sisters of their early 30s who declined to share their final identify as a result of they feared for his or her household in Iran, stated they had been impressed to be a part of the refrain of voices around the globe demanding change in Iran. They’d carpooled as much as Los Angeles from Orange County with 15 members of the family in tow.

“I personally would like to see in my mother and father’ lifetime that the Iran they bear in mind is restored,” Tamanna stated.

“An Iran that was stolen from them,” Mona interjected.

Saturday’s demonstration coincided with the Feb. 11, 1979, when Iranians observe the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, which overthrew Mohammed Reza Shaj Pahlavi’s pro-Western monarchy.

Sepehr Khosravi, left, and Nasrin Nav, right, in the center of a protest

Sepehr Khosravi, left, and Nasrin Nav, proper, shout slogans in opposition to the Iranian authorities throughout a rally exterior Los Angeles Metropolis Corridor on Saturday.

(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Instances)

Held aloft within the wind, draped over shoulders and affixed to strollers, a sea of pre-revolutionary Iranian flags stuffed Grand Park. The flags, which characteristic a lion and solar on the heart as a substitute of the stylized pink image of the Islamic Republic, had been banned after the revolution and have change into an emblem of opposition to the theocratic authorities that has dominated since.

“There’s a robust hope amongst all of us Iranians lately,” declared Pezhman Ghiassi, a 33-year-old hairstylist sporting beaded necklaces within the colours of the Iranian flag. Regime change feels nearer with “each single second that passes by,” Ghiassi stated.

A number of demonstrators stated that they had traveled from Northern California to attend, with organizers saying others had come from so far as Arizona and Nebraska.

“Los Angeles stands with you in your battle for democracy and respect and dignity and human rights,” Los Angeles Metropolis Council President Paul Krekorian advised the gang, saying he hoped the message would carry from Los Angeles to Tehran.

Hours into this system, the shock look of Reza Pahlavi, the son of the late shah, drew overwhelming pleasure, with demonstrators cheering and filming as he waved and raised his arms to them in help.

Instances employees author Laura Nelson contributed to this report.