Over the weekend in downtown LA, thousands of people took to the streets to rally against Iran’s government and its brutal crackdown on demonstrations in that country. What began as a protest of Mahsa Amini’s death has grown to over a month of political outcry within Iran and around the world. The Iranian diaspora in LA, the largest group of Iranians outside the country, is especially vocal.
Journalist Lisa Daftari says Iranians have been waiting 43 years for this movement. “I know there have been protests throughout the last four decades, but this time around, it's different. People really feel hopeful, they feel like there's a chance, they feel like the time has come.”
She notes how broad the support for the regime change movement is: “This is truly a pure movement that has not been hijacked by any nefarious identities or groups or individuals. This is solely a movement for human rights. And the Iranian people want to keep it that way, both in the expatriate community here in Los Angeles, and inside Iran.”
More protests are scheduled throughout LA with no end in sight. Daftari sees them as much as a show of support for Iranians living under this regime as a protest of it.
“The expatriate community's message to the people of Iran is: ‘As long as you're going to be out on the streets, we will be there side by side with you, supporting you all the way.’”