Thousands rally in downtown L.A. for regime change in Iran
FOUR thousand demonstrators gathered in downtown Los Angeles and marched to the Iranian consulate Saturday in an act of solidarity for a country where the United States and Israel are pushing for regime change to remove President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
About 10,000 people gathered in a plaza next to the consulate, according to police and the Los Angeles mayor’s office. Demonstrators chanted and waved banners that read “Death to the regime” and “Iran is a great country.” A few threw bottles and garbage on the consulate and consulate employees.
The demonstration ended after several hundred people refused to leave the plaza, but protesters did leave peacefully at 1 p.m.
The last-minute show of force comes as California and the world have watched with horror as the regime has carried out one of the most brutal wars in the Middle East in a decade, and as Iran seems to be on the verge of a nuclear weapon.
Iran has called on the U.S.-led sanctions and military might of the United States to crush its economy, but U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Saturday that Washington’s sanctions had not yet cut off the cash flow that could enable Iran to build an atomic weapon.
As the protest movement continued through the afternoon, the protesters turned their attention to the consulate.
“They are going to continue to kill us,” protester Sam Ramey said about the Iranian government.
Hundreds marched to the consulate, with some carrying signs that said “Free Iran,” “Death to Israel,” “Death to America” and “The United States out of Iran.”
“The Iranian people have had enough,” said resident Linda Miller.
“I feel bad for them,” said attorney Gloria Sinemet, who said the protesters are “stinking rich.”