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Solidarity Protests in California and New York Show Support for Iranians, Murder of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini

Protestors gather in front of the Federal Building in Los Angeles, CA on September 21, 2022. Photo: The Foreign Desk

Amid ongoing protests throughout Iran, Iranian Americans in New York, California, and other major cities in America gathered to protest in solidarity with protesters in Iran and call for the downfall of the Islamic government. The protests in the United States came as Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi traveled to New York and addressed the U.N. General Assembly despite widespread opposition to his visit. 

“Down with the dictator” and “We want women’s freedom” were just a few of the many slogans echoed by protesters throughout Los Angeles, New York, and other cities.

In California, a large group of Iranian Americans of all ages gathered at the Federal government building in Los Angeles Wednesday evening. 

Many of the protesters carried large American flags and Imperial Iranian flags, Iran’s flag before the downfall of the Shah in 1979. Protesters also carried signs that called for regime change with placards against Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Cars driving by the gathering honked loudly in favor of their cause, receiving praise from those present, according to The Foreign Desk’s own reporting. 

Many captured the protests with videos and photographs to post to social media, spreading the movement’s message with hashtags like #MahsaAmini, #IranProtests, #IranRevolution, and many more. The protesters also brought speakers to play and sing patriotic Iranian songs, containing words of freedom and liberty for all Iranians.

Some of the big signs by Iranian protesters included photos of Iranian victims killed under Ebrahim Raisi during his time as Iran’s top judicial chief, where he executed as many as 3,000 people in the late 1980s and earned himself the nickname “Butcher of Tehran.”

In Los Angeles, protesters wore shirts and had large photos of the Shah of Iran’s son, Prince Reza Pahlavi, chanting pro-Shah slogans in unison. 

The gathering also had people onstage with large bullhorns leading everyone into chants against Iran’s regime and calling for justice for Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old woman who was brutally killed at the hands of the hijab police.  

Many protesters denounced the Islamic Republic’s strict hijab policies, with some women cutting their hair on stage to show solidarity with Iranian women marching in the streets of Tehran and elsewhere in the country.

Local reporters in New York and Los Angeles interviewed protesters, calling on media outlets to provide more coverage of the ongoing protest movement in Iran and hold the Islamic regime and its officials accountable. 

Protesters also called on the Biden administration to punish the Islamic regime harshly and not meet with President Raisi, urging the administration to cease negotiations with officials from Tehran over the country’s nuclear program.

In New York and Los Angeles, human rights activists like Masih Alinejad, actors like Navid Negahban, singers like Ebrahim Hamedi or Ebi, and members of the Iranian royal family, gathered with the protesters in solidarity and spoke about the outrage that many Iranians and Iranian Americans over the Islamic Republic. 

Outside the U.N., many Iranian Americans protesters gathered directly outside during President Raisi’s speech, denouncing the Biden administration for allowing him on U.S. soil.

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