Iran protests ‘bringing down patriarchy’, says Omid Djalili

British-Iranian comedian says protests are 'changing the axis of the world'

Protesters at Marble Arch in London before matching to Trafalgar Square to protest against the Iranian regime on Sunday. PA via AP
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Iranian protesters are “bringing down the patriarchy”, comedian Omid Djalili said at a demonstration in London on Sunday.

At the Iran Solidarity Rally, which marked 115 days of protests, thousands of demonstrators gathered at Marble Arch before marching through central London to Trafalgar Square.

The British-Iranian comedian addressed the crowd from a stage, which had been set up by organisers including human rights group Amnesty International, next to Nelson's Column.

They are “changing the axis of the world”, Djalili told the protesters.

“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.

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“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.”

Protesters 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.

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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 at the protest was engineer Farshid Farmani, who said that the UK government should treat Iran like it treats Russia.

“The UK government can expel the ambassadors,” Mr Farmani 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 said the protests in Iran were for "freedom, basic rights".

“We are all human and we have right to live freely,” Mr Farmani said.

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Writer Elika Ansari, 32, was also at the protest.

“I think it’s really important for Iranian people and everyone who supports democracy to come together to support this cause,” Ms Ansari said

“It’s one of the biggest protests I have been to yet.”

She said the people in the UK could show their support by signing petitions and sharing the news.

Updated: January 08, 2023, 10:43 PM