Fresnans rally in support of Iranian demonstrators
FRESNO, California (KFSN) -- Most of the people holding signs on this street corner fled oppression in Iran, decades ago. They came out to support today's push for liberty in their homeland.
Behrouz Setoodeh, who came from Iran 20 years ago said, "There is no choice for the Iranian people except to fight for freedom."
The only video out of Iran is from amateurs in the crowd, much of it was posted on YouTube, until the Iranian government shut down the internet connections. In Iran, protestors have been killed and injured. But those here, including Shossy Mahjov, believe the people in the streets of Iran will win the fight. "Well, I have no doubt, it may take a little longer but Democracy always succeeds."
The demonstration attracted some folks like Stuart Weil, who was just driving by, then stopped to join in. He believes America should support the democracy movement in Iran. "These people have lived under oppression for 30 years and it's time to change." He said.
The hope among those here is that the United States government will take a stand. Behrouz Setoodeh said, "We are asking President Obama to support Iranian people, like he did Egyptian people."
In a statement Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said; "Let me very clearly and directly support the aspirations of the people who are in the streets of Iran today."
But while U.S pressure may have helped the Egyptian protestors bring down the government of Hosni Mubarak, Iranian Immigrant Massoodd Shabafrooz of Fresno notes the U.S. lacks influence over Iran. "The difference between Egypt and Iran is Egypt's Army is close to the United States, they receive a lot of financial and technical support. Iranian security forces are not like that. They just follow the supreme Ayatollah."
And so far Iranian security forces are attacking and killing those in the streets. But those here believe Iran will follow Tunisia and Egypt in moving toward Democracy.
iran, protest, fresno, fresno county, national/world, gene haagenson
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