Over the weekend, hundreds of Iranian Americans and Germans took to Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Toronto and Berlin to march in solidarity with Iranian protesters protesting in favor of the toppling of the Islamic Republic. The latest protests come as regime officials deploy more security forces throughout Iran while blaming the West and Israel for propagating the demonstrations.
According to reports in Berlin, around 80,000 people, young and old, took to the streets of Germany, chanting for the downfall of the Islamic regime. Organizers of this event initially expected only 50,000 participants and were surprised to see the large turnout of Iranians and non-Iranians participating in the marches and chants.
At the beginning of the demonstrations, thousands of people from many parts of Europe had gathered at Berlin’s Victory Column and surrounding area, where participants held up Iranian flags and signs criticizing Iran’s leaders, many with the tagline “Women, Life, Freedom” in both English and German. The demonstration in Germany was organized by the Woman Life Freedom Collective, an organization that stands against oppression and discrimination in Iran.
In D.C., thousands of Iranian Americans gathered at the U.S. National Mall, wearing red, white and green, the colors of the Iranian flag, and shouting anti-regime slogans like “Death to Khamenei” and “Women, Life, Freedom.” Iranian figures like Princess Yasmine Pahlavi and her daughters also attended the protests, marching with Iranians. On Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, Iranian Americans posted photos, videos, and hashtags of Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old who died in Iran for her hijab wear, which sparked national protests.
Between chants, protesters in D.C. broke into song, singing traditional Persian music about life and freedom written after the Islamic Revolution in 1979 brought religious fundamentalists to power in Iran. Many sang “Baraye,” meaning because of, which was written and sung by Shervin Hajipour, and has become the unofficial anthem of the Iran protests. Hajipour was detained by the regime after his song went viral on social media.
In Los Angeles, home to the largest population of Iranians outside of Iran, protesters formed a slow-moving procession along blocks of a closed downtown street. They chanted for the fall of the Islamic government while waving Iranian flags and carrying posters of those killed by the mullahs. Protesters in L.A. chanted “We want freedom” and called for the downfall of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his regime.
In Toronto, Canada, thousands of Iranian and non-Iranian Canadians gathered in Montreal and other parts of the country to stand in solidarity with the people of Iran. Additionally, Members of the Canadian parliament joined in with the protesters to show their support for the people of Iran and condemn the regime for their violent actions against Iranian women who are calling for their human rights. Protesters called for the Canadian government and politicians to stand with the people of Iran and enact stronger sanctions against the regime.
Currently, protests in Iran are entering their sixth week, with businesses, universities, and bazaars shutting down to show solidarity against the Islamic government. In response to the continued protests, current and former members of the Islamic government have continued to blame America, the E.U., and Israel for inciting and supporting protests to overthrow the mullahs. These officials do not believe that the Islamic Republic will fall and have called for top members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps IRGC and the paramilitary Basij force to show no leniency against Iranian citizens on the streets.
With protests continuing from morning to dawn in Iran, the Biden administration has said it stands with the protests, issuing sanctions against security forces and regime officials. Officials from the Biden State Department have stated that the administration is not currently pursuing a nuclear deal with Iran, given its brutal actions for the past several weeks.