Rallies In SF, Around World Call For End To Abuses In Iran

Oct 10, 20090 comments

KTVU, July 25-

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Protests were held around the world and in the Bay Area Saturday in solidarity with Iran’s opposition movement. The massive rallies were timed to coincide with the inauguration of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which could take place any day.

Before a crowd of more than 1,000 in front of San Francisco City Hall, protesters called for freedom of speech and human rights for the people of Iran.

Brisbane Mayor Sepi Richardson, the first Persian-American woman voted into elected office, says she was pushed into action by the protests that stemmed from the June 12th elections in Iran and the brutal crackdown that followed.

“The first thing I did is send a letter to the mayor of Tehran,” said Richardson, “Because the day you get sworn in you are asked to uphold the law and protect people and their property– none of which has happened in Tehran.

”Attorney General Jerry Brown and other dignitaries took to the stage in what was a worldwide event. There were rallies in about 80 cities including Paris and London.

“When the people of the Soviet Union were fostering peace and social justice movements and anti-nuke movements and religious interfaith freedom movements, that was connecting with us back then, and that was part of the grassroots thaw of the Cold War,” said San Francisco Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi. “We believe that we have the fertile opportunity to do that here with the people of Iran.

”Also at Saturday’s rally were those from the Bay Area’s large Iranian community, many with direct, sobering ties to the events in Iran.

Taraj Zaim says his father Kourosh Zaim, a well known political activist and dissident, now sits in an Iranian prison.He says he hasn’t been able to speak to his father in 22 years, but received an email from him just a few weeks ago.

“He told me that people had lost faith in the supreme leader completely,” said Zaim. “That the protests were going on regardless, and that there were many more killed than officially reported.

”He says his father was jailed in the days after the election and that there’s still no sign of when he will be released.

“These sorts of things are what help the Iranian people feel less isolated and show the Iranian government that they can’t keep doing what they’re doing,” said Zaim.

The group behind Saturday’s global day of action is also calling on the United Nations to investigate the fate of political activists, politicians and journalists who have been jailed or simply disappeared since the election.

Copyright 2009 by KTVU.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

You may see this article at its source.