SoCal Joined Worldwide Weekend Protests Following Woman’s Death in Iran – NBC Los Angeles

on Sep26
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The weekend saw protests around the world and in Southern California, following the death of an Iranian woman while in police custody.

The 22-year-old woman was arrested by the morality police for not following the country’s strict dress code. Weeks later, protests in Westwood over her death blocked streets.

The large crowd of thousands of protesters, including some notable celebrities, filled the lawn and sidewalk in front of the Federal Building in Westwood. Many were holding pictures of Mahsa Amini.

Amini died while in custody of the morality police in Tehran, for reportedly wearing her headscarf too loosely.

Iranian reports said she died of a pre-existing condition, claiming she had a heart attack. However, Amini’s family denies that pre-existing condition, and says witnesses told them she was beaten by police.

“They tried to lie and say that she died of a heart attack,” said one protester in Westwood. “She was murdered.”

“This regime keeps slaughtering innocent people, and enough is enough. We have to take a stand,” said actress Nazanin Boniadi.

She and other celebrities joined the protests, using their elevated platforms to speak for those who had been silenced.

“In Iran, women are not only fighting against compulsory hijab, that is a symbol of their struggle,” said Boniadi. “They are fighting to be able to dance freely in the streets, to be able to sing, to be able to have equal rights to men before the law.”

Amini’s death has sparked protests worldwide, as well as in Iran, where men and women risk being arrested for standing against their country’s government.

In Westwood, demonstrators held signs and roses. One woman even cut her hair in protest of Amani’s death and the Iranian regime.

The large crowd blocked the eastbound lanes of Wilshire Boulevard for about 15 minutes, remaining peaceful but determined.

Many crowd members said they would continue to demonstrate until something changes for the people of Iran.

“The world belongs to all of us,” said actor Navid Negahban, who was also present at the protest. “Whatever happens on that side of the world, it will have a ripple effect on your life.”

“An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” Boniadi said.

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