Thousands rally in downtown L.A. for regime change in Iran
Tens of thousands of Iranians have protested across the country in support of peaceful protesters who have been demonstrating against the government of their country, who they say have been held under military lockdown without access to basic rights.
The demonstrators have also condemned attacks by the government and other powers, who they say have used violent tactics in an attempt to suppress the demonstrations.
“We are here to express our solidarity with all who have been arrested or detained in Iran and express our hope that they will soon be released,” Iranian opposition leader Hekmati Husein Karbasi said in a statement read out on state television.
“This demonstration is against the oppressive and authoritarian regime that continues to ignore the legitimate demands of the Iranian people, and for the freedom of our fellow citizens.”
Iranian state media said more than 50,000 people turned out for the demonstration.
“Iranian opposition groups and civil society organizations have joined this historic rally,” the semi-official Mehr news agency quoted Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, as saying.
“The rally aims to protest against the current government’s repression and to demand a fundamental change in the direction of the country,” he added.
He also said demonstrators would be marching towards Tehran, where thousands have been gathering every day since the start of the annual Ashura festival.
“Iran’s ruling elite is trying to break the will of the people, but if the people’s power is allowed to prevail, then there will be no more opposition,” Hamid Aboutorabi, the head of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), told AP.
The state news agency IRNA said more than 80,000 people took part in the protest, in which women took to the streets wearing niqabs.
In addition to Husein Karbasi, protesters carrying placards reading “Freedom, Freedom” and “The people want change” were among those in attendance.
Hundreds of thousands of Iranians took to the streets in the city of Mashhad on Friday, marking a sixth day of anti-government demonstrations that have plunged the Islamic