Luke O’Reilly, PA
Sun, 8 January 2023 at 7:14 pm GMT
Comedian Omid Djalili told Iranian protesters that they are “bringing down the patriarchy” at a protest in London.
Thousands of protesters gathered at Marble Arch before marching through central London to Trafalgar Square for the Iran Solidarity Rally, which marked 115 days of protests.
Organisers, including human rights organisation Amnesty International, set up a stage beside Nelson’s Column, from which the British-Iranian comedian addressed the crowd.
Mr Djalili told them that they are “changing the axis of the world”.
“When British women scream and shout for the women and girls in Iran, they are not just shouting for them, they are shouting for themselves,” he said.
“They are shouting to bring down the patriarchy. That’s what we are doing.
“We are changing the axis of the world. This is why the men are joining the women of Iran, because together we know that the patriarchy hurts people.
He added that “woe betide” the men who do not listen to women.
“And right now we see with this regime… when women speak you listen, and if you don’t listen to women, woe betide the men.
“You do not mess with women, let alone Iranian women.”
Attendees carried the country’s flag with the slogan “Freedom for Iran” written on them.
Others held banners with the faces of protesters killed by the regime.
The banners read: “What crime were we killed for?”
The protesters also chanted slogans made popular during the protests in Iran, including “woman life freedom” and “justice for Iran”.
Among the thousands of attendees at the protest was engineer Farshid Farmani.
He said that the UK Government should treat Iran like it treats Russia.
“The UK Government can expel the ambassadors,” he said. “What they have done to Russia they can do to Iran.
“A lot of the relatives (of the regime) live here, and they have lots of capital here.
“They can block that capital and put pressure on them and sanction them.”
He added that the protests in Iran were for freedom.
“It’s just for freedom, basic rights,” he said.
“We are all human and we have right to live freely.”
Writer Elika Ansari, 32 also attended the protest.
“I think it’s really important for Iranian people and everyone who supports democracy to come together to support this cause,” she said
“It’s one of the biggest protests I have been to yet.”
She said the people in the UK can show their support by signing petitions and sharing the news.