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San Francisco Joins the International Day of Solidarity in Support of the People of Iran

  • Despite Widespread Government Repression, Largest Protests In Iran Since Summer
  • In Support and Response, Global Day of Celebration of the Civil Rights Movement in Iran to Take Place on December 12
  • Calls On Iran to Respect Freedom of Assembly, Expression, and Press; Free all Prisoners of Conscience

SAN FRANCISCO - As Iran witnesses its largest protests since last June's contested elections, artists and activists outside Iran have organized a celebration of the civil rights movement.  On Saturday, December 12th, people from around the Bay Area will be joined by thirty cities worldwide to support the students and activists on the street of Iran by taking part in Arts United 4 Iran.

Organized by United4Iran to take place on both the six-month anniversary of the disputed elections and the 61st anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Arts United 4 Iran will join together artists, activists, and concerned citizens to attend performances and displays of visual and performing arts. The events are organized both to celebrate the civil rights movement and highlight the ongoing protests in Iran. Events will take place in Amsterdam, Orlando, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berlin, Tokyo, New York, London, and Washington D.C., among other cities.

Arts United 4 Iran was organized in support of civil rights movement inside Iran, which continues to spread across the country despite government-sponsored repression, including the arrest and imprisonment of hundreds of civil society activists. As Iranian students vow to continue protests, Iranian authorities are stoking the flames of civil strife by pitting pro-government Basiji militiamen against them. The students' demands for reform may be the spark that ignites a far broader conflict.

The event will also take place on the United4Iran website,, which will display videos and sound recordings of performing and visual artists engaged in poetry readings, displays of photos, paintings, and graphics all made or dedicated in honor of Arts United 4 Iran.

"The civil rights movement in Iran is very much alive," says Firuzeh Mahmoudi, "and we as global citizens and Iranians in the Diaspora need to support and highlight these courageous men and women who risk their lives. On December 12th, San Francisco stands in solidarity and let the people of Iran know that the world is watching and that we honor their civil rights movement."

Two events will be held in San Francisco. NorCal4Iran has organized a night of live music, poetry, dance, and visual arts that will be held at Everett Middle School Auditorium from 7:00pm to 11:00pm and will feature a variety of music by Emad and Friends, Rojan, and Son Siete, a dance performance by Shahrzad Dance Company, and a theatrical performance by Mansour Taeed. Local sponsors include the regional Amnesty International chapter and the Iranian Society for Human Rights.

More information is at

The Association of Iranian-American Writers will hold a reading in which various authors and poets share their work. The event, at the San Francisco Public Library, runs from 2:00pm-4:00pm on Saturday. More information is at

The UN General Assembly's resolution on the situation of human rights in Iran, passed November 20, 2009, prompted members of the international community, including United4Iran, to call upon the Iranian government to:

  • Respect Freedom of Assembly, Expression, and Press
  • Free all Prisoners of Conscience
  • End Rape and Torture in Prisons
  • Hold Accountable Those Responsible for Committing Human Rights Crimes

Sponsors for ArtsUnited4Iran sponsors and supporters include Reporters without BordersHuman Rights Watch, the Nobel Women's Initiative, the International Campaign for Human Rights in IranARTICLE 19Front LinePEN AmericaPEN KenyaVoz Propria, and many others.

Many acclaimed artists, writers and journalists have expressed their support for Arts United 4 Iran by posting videos to the people of Iran and their work on the United4Iran website. These artists include: filmmaker Narges Kalhor, the daughter of Mehdi Kalhor, cultural advisor to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; the Makhmalbaf family, prominent film-makers; Roxana Saberi, an Iranian-American journalist arrested in Iran in January 2009 and imprisoned in Evin prison until May 2009; Bahman Ghobadi, an Iranian film director of Kurdish descent; the preeminent Iranian poet Ismail Khoei; Iranian singers Mohsen Namjoo and Arash Sobhani; Tehran-born singer, composer, and dancer, Sussan Deyhim. U2 used Deyhim's vocal piece based on the Rumi poem, Beshno Az Ney, in the opening of their performance of "Sunday Bloody Sunday" in Barcelona, which U2 then dedicated to the people of Iran.

United4Iran is a global network in support of civil and human rights in Iran and coordinated rallies in 110 cities on July 25th. Many of the network's activities of take place in the Bay Area.

For more details on December 12th global events, visit and click on San Francisco's map point.

... Payvand News - 12/11/09 ... --

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