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Large demonstration at Azadi Stadium against the Iranian regime.

Soccer Match Turns into Protest against Regime

Large demonstration at Azadi Stadium against the Iranian regime.

The Iranian youth turn the soccer match in to a large demonstration against the regime, chanting “death to the dictator”

A soccer match between Tehran and Tabriz clubs at Azadi Stadium erupted into protest on Friday, August 10th, when fans began chanting, “Death to the dictator!” The chants soon spread across the stadium, despite the heavy security presence stationed in and around the stadium.

Prior to the game, the regime attempted to prevent a possible protest by stationing Basiji forces, Revolutionary Guards, anti-riot police, and plainclothes agents amongst the crowd. The regime has continued to step up its efforts at suppression as the protest movement has spread since July 31st, but bringing anti-riot police into the stadium was an unprecedented move,

Despite these measures, the youth in the stands broke down obstacles that had been placed in the stadium stands and began the chants. The crowds also chanted, “Security Force, shame on you, savage, savage!”  and “Everywhere in Iran is my homeland; long live Azerbaijan!” The chants spread throughout the stadium. Outside of the stadium, young people who were not allowed to enter clashed with security forces.

The MEK network inside Iran was able to obtain video of fans in the stadium chanting during the game. Another video was shared on social media of the regime’s response to the protest.

The regime’s response to the protest was quick and brutal. Repressive forces attacked the protesters and punished them for speaking against the regime. The MEK network reported that one young man was beaten bloody by a man in an army uniform.

The protest did not end after the match. Protesters left the stadium and went to Azadi Square (Freedom Square), where they continued their protest. They were confronted there by anti-riot police and plainclothes police officers, who rushed the crowd with motorcycles. A number of protesters were injured and battered in the attacks.

There were reports of another protest during a soccer match in the Naghsh-e-Jahan Stadium in Isfahan. Youth there began chanting “Death to the dictator!” and other anti-regime slogans during a match in protest of the regime’s meddling in the region.

The protests on Friday are the latest in a series of nationwide protests across Iran that began on July 31st in response to the most recent plunge of the rial. Calls for regime change have been widespread amongst Iranians from all walks of life. The response from the regime has been brutal, with violent acts of suppression taking place in cities across Iran. Acts of defiance by the people of Iran have been persistent though, which has led to the continuance of the uprising despite the crackdown.

Staff Writer



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