Whereas Roozbeh Farahanipour was testifying final week in help of Los Angeles County displaying 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 pictures on Instagram of a brand new memorial on the cafe honoring Iranian ladies not too long ago killed throughout ongoing protests, and the show was featured on completely different nationwide information retailers.
However Farahanipour says he stays steadfast in his help of protesters in Iran and throughout the US calling for an finish to the Islamic Republic’s authoritarian decades-long maintain over his homeland, undeterred by the current vandalism.
“Compared to what’s happening to the people in Iran, that’s nothing,” Farahanipour mentioned. “Until this regime ends power, no one’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 1000’s extra, in keeping 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 pictures 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 demise sparked the widespread protests, after she was arrested and accused of not accurately carrying her hijab.
“I will leave the table here,” Farahanipour mentioned. “For me, that’s nothing new. I’ve been getting these types of things for, almost, my entire life.”
Farahanipour was jailed and overwhelmed in Iran for his function within the 1999 pupil protests, earlier than looking for political asylum within the U.S. Whereas he’s now not main protests within the streets, the 51-year-old Farahanipour mentioned he continues to advocate for democracy in Iran and towards the Iranian authorities — and believes spreading consciousness and speaking with prospects is a crucial method he can try this.
“Life is continuing, no one died” [in the attack on the cafe], the West L.A. Chamber of Commerce president mentioned. “The people in Iran, they died in the street for no reason. … We can keep the movement in Iran on [people’s] minds and support the movement.”
Farahanipour mentioned he reported the damaged glass door to police on-line. An LAPD spokesperson mentioned a detective will examine any studies made on-line, however couldn’t give an replace.
Farahanipour mentioned he hopes they’ll quickly substitute the door, but it surely might take greater than two weeks. For now, Farahanipour is paying for the enterprise’ opening to be boarded up each night time, then reopened within the morning. However he mentioned that job is a small worth in comparison with what he sees taking place throughout Iran, greater than 8,000 miles away from his cafe.
“It’s really, really hard watching, many times it’s brought tears to my eyes,” Farahanipour mentioned. “To see people just get shot for no reason on the streets of Tehran … I’m speechless.”
He stays hopeful that these deaths won’t be in useless, and can maintain supporting his folks from afar.
“The people in the streets are hoping for a better life,” Farahanipour mentioned. “This is the biggest chance they have in 43 years to get rid of the regime.”