On Sunday many Iranian Americans went to the Golden Gate Bridge to protest the government of their home country and the death of a young woman who died in police custody.
Some people carried signs that said “Iranian Lives Matter” and said that this was Iran’s “George Floyd Moment.”
Organizers say that more than 6,000 people mostly Iranian Americans, gathered on the bridge to show support for the protesters in Iran.
“Honestly, everyone is here not because of us. It’s because of the people of Iran. People see what’s happening to the people of Iran and come here. That’s it,” said volunteer organizer, Kamran Amintaheri.
After Mahsa Amini died, there were protests all over the world. She was arrested in Tehran because she wasn’t wearing her head covering called a hijab the right way. She died while being held by police.
Iranian officials say that the 22-year-old woman had a heart attack but witnesses say she was beaten badly. Protests that began in Iran have spread around the world. Demonstrators all agree on what they want to achieve.
“For change. Hoping something could change in Iran, the government. Hoping for freedom,” said Dorsa Yavari of Foster City.
“Sharia law has been ruling Iran for the past 43 years. I think right now a moment has been created where people are explaining that they don’t want it anymore,” said Ava Rasouli of Martinez.
A lot of the people at the protest were born in Iran. After the Iranian Revolution in 1979 when the Islamic Republic was set up some people left in protest. Before the revolution a woman said she worked for the Shah. She asked that her name not be used.
She said she was one of many people who gave up their money and what was left of their families to leave the Islamic Republic. “Most educated, wealthy Iranians they left in 1979 and they are scattered all over the world and they don’t want to go back because they are against this government.”
Protesters say that Iran’s harsh treatment of protesters is killing more people. One volunteer made 500 signs that showed the names of other Iranians who had recently died in fights with the government.
Amintaheri pointed to the man’s picture on the sign he was holding. “He was just a common worker, low wage. He came out they killed him,” said Amintaheri. Some people say that the chain of protesters that stretched across the bridge was a sign of a turning point in Iran.
“Now everyone is out so they are going to change and I just can’t wait (for) that happens,” said Amintaheri. “It has to change. We don’t want this Islamic Republic,” said the woman who wanted to remain anonymous.
The people who planned the protest on the Golden Gate Bridge say they are planning more events for next weekend.
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