Despite Saturday’s heat, several hundred demonstrators gathered in Pioneer Square to protest the post-election violence in Iran in a show of solidarity with Iranian green movement.
The Portland Stands with Iran demonstration was one of at least 110 worldwide recognizing the Global Day of Action on July 25. In Portland, demonstrators wore green, the color of the opposition (who support Mir Houssain Moussavi, not President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose reelection is speculated to be due to election fraud), and waved Iranian flags and signs demanding civil and human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Goudarz Eghtedari, of Portland’s Iranian-American Friendship Council, led the crowd in cries of “Down with dictators!” and “We stand united!” Speakers included Hala Gores, a Palestinian-American activist, and Martín González a Latin America solidarity activist and Portland School Board member, who spoke about dispelling rumors that Palestinians and Latin Americans support Ahmadinejad.
Reverend Kate Lore summed up the peaceful demonstration, which even attracted a surprise visit by Mayor Sam Adams: “One of the things we all cherish is democracy and freedom. I came to support those in Iran peacefully protesting for a free democracy.”
Speakers and demonstrates alike made it clear that showing solidarity with the Iranian community working for a peaceful and democratic government is the most important thing the international community can do — US intervention is not the answer.
“We want them to know we have heard their voices in the past 40 days, and we’re here to support them,” said volunteer Mahnaz Milani-Baladi.