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Local students protest Iranian election results [Updated]


Hundreds of people protested outside the Federal Building in Westwood today against what many believed was vote tampering in the recent presidential election in Iran, according to demonstration organizers.

[Update: Associated Press estimated the number of protesters in the dozens.]

The protest, organized by students from various Southern California colleges, including USC and UCLA, began about 11 a.m. at Wilshire Boulevard and Veteran Avenue.

Cars honked as sign-wielding protesters shouted, “Where is my vote?” and “One country, one state,” in English, Persian and Farsi, according to student Philip Grant.

Grant, a 32-year-old doctoral candidate at UC Irvine who is studying Iranian women’s-rights activists, said the event was planned shortly after hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad easily won a second term over reformist Mir-Hossein Mousavi.

“People expected at the very least this election to be close,” Grant said. “This was a predetermined coup d’etat.”

He said the area's Iranian student community as well as its supporters wanted to show solidarity with demonstrators in Iran.

-- Corina Knoll

Photo: A group of protesters chant slogans against Iran's election results. Credit: Ringo H.W. Chiu / For The Times

Related stories:
Iran election anger boils; Ahmadinejad defends results
Iran election result makes a U.S. overture more difficult
Complete coverage of Iran's presidential election.

Comments () | Archives (3)

Clearly the LA Times and Associated Press reporters contributing to this story must have arrived on the scene either before or after the main demonstration. Between 11:00 a.m. and noon, according to participants, there were over 2000 protesters gathered at the Federal Building, and City News Service (LA News) reports, "Thousands Gather in Westwood to Protest Iran Election." That is a pretty big discrepancy, and to report that there were "hundreds" or "dozens" or protesters because you were there at the wrong time (probably too late) demonstrates poor journalism.

I am very happy to see this coverage. There have been similar protests in San Francisco and San Jose (one in San Jose tonight (Friday) from 6-8 outside the Fairmont Hotel) that have received little or no coverage in Northern California's papers.

I would like to see the Chronicle cover the rallies in the Bay Area in support of the people in Iran. There is one tonight in San Jose outside the Fairmont Hotel from 6-8PM, and there have been at least 2 others in San Francisco earlier this week.

It's noteworthy that Iranian expats who have lived in the US, some ever since the 70s, who have fully integrated into America and haven't been to a protest since perhaps they were students in Iran, have begun to turn out. Interviewing them would make for an incredibly powerful human interest slash political current events story, I believe, and would be a great service to other Americans who have little insight into the complex history and dynamics of the US - Iranian relationship.

These protests have gone on for 6 days straight and are utterly and completely useless. Instead of actually doing something like going back to Iran to protest where it might actually matter, all they do is incite honking and disturb the neighbors.


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