Whereas Roozbeh Farahanipour was testifying final week in assist of Los Angeles County exhibiting solidarity with Iranian ladies and women protesting their nation’s brutal regime, his spouse discovered their Persian cafe in Westwood vandalized.
His spouse, the store’s pastry chef, confirmed as much as open the Persian Gulf early Oct. 18, however as an alternative discovered the glass entrance door shattered, Farahanipour mentioned. He mentioned the assault, which he believes was carried out by sympathizers or actors of the Islamic Republic, got here simply days after he shared photos on Instagram of a brand new memorial on the cafe honoring Iranian ladies just lately killed throughout ongoing protests, and the show was featured on completely different nationwide information retailers.
However Farahanipour says he stays steadfast in his assist of protesters in Iran and throughout america calling for an finish to the Islamic Republic’s authoritarian decades-long maintain over his homeland, undeterred by the current vandalism.
“In comparison with what’s occurring to the folks in Iran, that’s nothing,” Farahanipour mentioned. “Till this regime ends energy, nobody’s going to see the peace.”
Demonstrations in Iran have swept the nation after a younger lady died final month whereas within the custody of the nation’s morality police. The federal government has responded with a violent crackdown, killing greater than 200 folks — many ladies and kids — and arresting hundreds extra, in accordance with human rights teams estimates.
However Farahanipour mentioned he has no plans to take away the cafe’s show that honors the ladies killed within the current unrest, their photos proven on a desk alongside roses, candles and an Iranian flag. Included within the memorial is a photograph of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, whose in-custody dying sparked the widespread protests, after she was arrested and accused of not accurately carrying her hijab.
“I’ll go away the desk right here,” Farahanipour mentioned. “For me, that’s nothing new. I’ve been getting a lot of these issues for, virtually, my whole life.”
Farahanipour was jailed and crushed in Iran for his function within the 1999 scholar protests, earlier than searching for political asylum within the U.S. Whereas he’s not main protests within the streets, the 51-year-old Farahanipour mentioned he continues to advocate for democracy in Iran and in opposition to the Iranian authorities — and believes spreading consciousness and speaking with prospects is a vital approach he can try this.
“Life is constant, nobody died” [in the attack on the cafe], the West L.A. Chamber of Commerce president mentioned. “The folks in Iran, they died on the street for no motive. … We will hold the motion in Iran on [people’s] minds and assist the motion.”
Farahanipour mentioned he reported the damaged glass door to police on-line. An LAPD spokesperson mentioned a detective will examine any reviews made on-line, however couldn’t give an replace.
Farahanipour mentioned he hopes they will quickly substitute the door, but it surely may take greater than two weeks. For now, Farahanipour is paying for the enterprise’ opening to be boarded up each evening, then reopened within the morning. However he mentioned that activity is a small worth in comparison with what he sees occurring throughout Iran, greater than 8,000 miles away from his cafe.
“It’s actually, actually onerous watching, many occasions it’s introduced tears to my eyes,” Farahanipour mentioned. “To see folks simply get shot for no motive on the streets of Tehran … I’m speechless.”
He stays hopeful that these deaths is not going to be in useless, and can hold supporting his folks from afar.
“The folks within the streets are hoping for a greater life,” Farahanipour mentioned. “That is the most important likelihood they’ve in 43 years to do away with the regime.”