Protests Held In Downtown Dallas For Freedom In Libya, Iran

By Marianne Martinez, CBS 11 News

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – They’re thousands of miles from Libya, but dozens of people at two demonstrations in Downtown Sunday said they feel they can make a difference.

“We’re Libyans in America,” said 20-year-old Khyrria, who did not want to give her last name.  “I think it shows solidarity, support for the people there.”

Khyrria said her father fled Libya 30 years ago to escape the dictatorship of Muammar el-Qaddafi. She still has some family there, and attended the protest so they can live a better life.

“These people are starving. There’s no jobs, no education,” she said. “We as Libyans, want to show them our support. Even in Dallas, Texas we can do it.”

Inspired by the revolution in Egypt, people in countries all over the Middle East are taking to the streets to protest against dictators.

“We’re hoping and praying the suffering of the people of the Middle East will come to an end and that democracy will break out all over the Middle East,” said Hadi Jawad, another protestor.

Just steps from the Libya demonstration in Dealey Plaza, there was another protest for the people of Iran.

“Thirty years they’ve had no freedom, no democracy. Just fear,” said Mahbube Ghoraishi, whose family is from Iran.

Ghoraishi said the current protests have special meaning for her.  Her uncle was executed while attending a protest in 1979.  She has several family members in Iran and hopes they will be able to experience freedom and democracy.

“If they keep going the people of Iran can do it. They can definitely do it, just like the Egyptians did,” she said.

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  • John Patterson

    Too bad this really isn’t about freedom and democracy. It’s really about Islam rising up and taking over these countries through violent Jihad and Sharia Law. Our press always gets it wrong.

    • Billy

      You’re an idiot. Islam is already in control in these countries. This is about freedom, democracy, and escaping the old world ideas such as letting the government and religion mix as strongly. This is about letting logic prevail over doctrine. This is about empowering the population to think for themselves. This is about inclusion over exclusion. This is about modernization.

    • Bella

      John, I agree with you 100%.

  • Jaded

    Looks like ICE missed a good opportunity here…

  • Mahie

    I have to disagree with y’all; Iran’s government is currently one that is based on religion and the people are or have been saying NO to this. The people of Iran have risked their lives for freedom and democracy, while standing against fundamentalist Islamic ideologies. It’s about basic human rights, freedom and democracy!

    • Travis

      So they have a right to come to America and milk our system with welfare and medicaid and not pay taxes or become US citizens or speak our language? Sure welcome to America but we can’t feed and support our people. Yes I see you guys working but you are also abusing our medical system and our systems meant to help struggling AMERICANS. And yes before anyone says anything I know there are Americans abusing the system too, but there are people that are trying and cant make it but cant get help because our government choses to give and support all illegal people or immigrants that don’t want to become citizens or help America get better.
      If we went to their country and did what they do here, we would be shot, killed, put in prison, or who knows what else. Yes have feelings for your country but do it in your home, don’t force your country on us. You came to America but all I have seen is you trying to make it like your country, trying to make us adapt to you and your religion or beliefs or way of life. Thats not right.
      Welcome to America, WE SPEAK, READ, and WRITE ENGLISH!!!!!!!! We work to help better ourselves and not have to milk the system. If we go to your country we don’t expect you to adapt to our language or customs or problems so don’t try to force yours on us. Do it right. Learn ENGLISH, learn our laws and customs. You came here we didn’t force you.

      • Melissa Wells

        i agree

      • Susan

        Travis, aren’t you just incredibly lucky that your ancestors were able to immigrate to the US? Unless they immigrated from England, there’s a pretty good chance that they didn’t speak, read and write English at first. You see Travis, the fact that you were born here, and are able to take advantage of freedom and rights as a US citizen is a mere accident of birth. The fact that you weren’t born a girl in Afghanistan or into a poor village in Iran is pure chance. Unfortunately, you seem also ignorant of the fact that the majority of Medicare and Social Security is spent on the elderly. but I don’t hear you accusing grandma and grandpa of “milking” the system.

        America prides itself on patriotic rhetoric like “Freedom isn’t free . . ” and is quick to remind the rest of the world that we fought for our rights, our freedom from tyranny, our independence from oppression. Talk is cheap Travis. It’s easy to wax poetic about hard-won patriotism, when you’ll never have to put that to the test. In other parts of the world, people are taking the opportunity to join together, and risk their lives to demand the same freedoms that yoy take for granted. Most of the people that I know who were able to come to the United States are hardworking, good people who are here to make a good life for themselves and their familiies. They encourage their kids to work hard and go to college. They run small businesses and work 14 hours a day. And they don’t “force” us to learn their language, customs and religion – they just expect to be able to have the same rights to speak their language, celebrate their customs and practice their religion that you do.

      • Bubba

        @Travis – You’re obviously angry and misinformed.

        I have worked and know all sorts of people. The children of immigrants tend to be hard workers and generally well behaved. The children of American born parents tend to smoke pot a lot, get in trouble with the law, and generally make life worse for the people that know them. Don’t believe me? Go to the nearest colleges that offer graduate programs – see who’s getting the PhD’s in Science and Engineering. They are not Bubba’s kids.

    • Keith Stone

      What are “Honor Killings”? Is assimilating into beliefs and culture of the home country that one lives in bad? Why is England, France, Netherlands and Spain having problems with their multi-cultured (Isamic) population? Is the US immune to this or just looking the other way? For now? How are Muslim immigrants different from the immigrants of our past? Mmm. just asking.

  • Travis

    Ok I know what is going on in their country but don’t bring that here. There are ways to support their country without costing us in taxes or other ways such as having to provide public safety for them to protest or even forcing us to be part of it. And yes when the news covers these protest it is forcing us to be part of it because we want to know what is going on in our country. There is way more than enough news in this country than to have to cover a protest for another country.

    • Susan

      Travis, you need to educate yourself.

      The US has a LOT to do with what’s going on in other countries… you see, the US is quite willing to ignore all sorts of oppression and human rights violations in other countries, as long the leaders are willing to give us favorable trade concessions, and let us do business with them.. The US has supported oppressive regimes and dictators like Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein. We’ve sent them money. We’ve armed them. We’ve ignored their atrocities, and turned a blind eye to the people they oppressed, killed and tortured as long as they served US interests. As Americans, we keep buying our super-cheap goods from Walmart, and drinking our $5 lattes from Starbucks – we don’t care if our goods were manufactured by children, or that the workers lived in appalling conditions, worked 15 hours a day on starvation wages.

      So simple answer – America’s actions have a HUGE effect on the rest of the world. We may not have created the problem, but we make it possible for the problem to continue. So, news of revolution half a world away should concern you – even if your only concern is that the cost of clothing, food and fuel may be affected.

      I could be wrong, but you certainly sound like one of those silly Tea-partiers that think the solution for America is to shout mindless, hatefilled rhetoric. It’s sad that a message that full of lies and misinformation is so easily believed by the ignorant.

      • Don Nicholson

        The US should stop trying to take care of the rest of the world and concentrate on taking care of america for a change , which we’ve seem to neglect. We do not secure our borders and have terrorist along with illegial mexicans and people from south america coming into the US. They are breaking the law and it should stop. Our borders need to be secured by whatever means. Deadly force if necessary. These people in the middle east are not our friends’ They hate americans for the most part and you would realize that unless you are just plain stupid. . Cut the money off and they hate you,keep it flowing and they tolerate you. I’ve been there , and you haven’t is why I can that.I’m 74 years old and my family has been in texas since 1849.thirteen years after the Alamo.The mexicans are costing taxpayer billions just here in Texas. It needs to stop.

  • peter

    I think its funny when people demonstrate /protest in front of the federal building downtown when they’re closed holliday weekend to boot.

    • Susan

      I think it’s funny that you don’t realize that they aren’t protesting the US government – they are protesting the oppressive regimes of FOREIGN governments and showing their support for thoese brave people in Iran and Libya who are banding together to demand democracy and a role in their own governemnts.

      Lemme dumb it down for you – You know kinda like protests held a couple hundred years ago in the good ole US of A for stuff like “No Taxation Without Representation”. Oh, NM, maybe they’ll make an ABC movie about it . . . .

  • J

    Hi Travis,

    It seems as if you have a lot of pent up aggression about our healthcare crisis. I agree that there are a lot of flaws with it but unfortunately. even though I’m only a teenager attending university, I have more maturity to realize the flaws of the system need to be addressed by politicians and the government. If you have such concerns, you should probably participate in democracy and get into contact with your local congressman.

    As for your funny remarks concerning the “illegal” immigrants and lack of citizenship in people from the Middle East. I’m sorry to break it to you, but most illegal immigrants come from bordering countries to the United States, or at least on this side of the Atlantic. People from Iran cannot exactly hop on the tire of an American Airlines flight, can they? Most immigrants who cross the Atlantic have had to go through years of paperwork to get their citizenship and visa’s. And on top of that, I hate to break it to you again, but their primary and secondary education system trumps ours enormously–most of them know English before they get to high school. As for stealing jobs and being healthcare stealing couch potatoes, most of them come here to progress their education and go to school. My mother immigrated from Iran when she was a teenager, enrolled in community college, and is now a radiation physicist. So next time you or a loved one have cancer, you should probably not get treatment, as immigrants are worthless and who needs cancer treatment anyway?

    As for spending “public” money for protecting a protest to raise awareness for people across the world who are literally being stoned to death, decapitated, and burned with acid, I have news for you buddy. The people at these protests, as I have said, are citizens, with jobs, and are very PROUD and BLESSED to be able to live in this country. They help support it as much as any other democratic tax payer, and their money helps fund these things as well.

    And as for your “argument” concerning public spending on foreign-driven events, I have a GREAT idea! Let’s just totally demolish our foreign relations board and secretary of defense. I mean think of all the money we could save by not directing it toward immigrants and foreigners! No more trips to UAE or China or Russia! Better yet, when someone calls 911, the operator should ask “And what is your ethnicity?” and then if the person is an immigrant, they can defer the police from going! No more spending money on things non-American! Problem solved!

    You are an angry person. So get off your tax-paying behind and do something proactive…not blame the people who are already being proactive about their own goals. This country is the best thing that ever happened to my family, and we are very proud to help support it, but that doesn’t mean we can’t raise awareness for our family members that are being killed in the Middle East. CRAZY thought, I know.

  • silverdragon

    What a waste of time – protesting here won’t change anything over there.

    • Hythem

      may be for you wasting time but for me is showing Libyan that I’m with them and I feel what they feeling.

  • Sue Wiseman

    I don’t think the people that are “protesting” over here are thinking that they are changing things over there BUT they are showing the people that are risking their lives that they are behind them 100%. This is a dumb example but it’s the best one I can come up with – it’s like when you go to a football game and root for your team. You’re not helping them run for the touchdown or knock down the opposing team but they know you’re behind them and it makes them feel good knowing they are not alone and that people care!


    Sometimes we choose not to understand what is around us, because of fear, ignorance, or what ever the reason maybe. The best thing we can do is drop to our knees and PRAY for those who harm us, for those who dont understand, and for those who choose to judge us… I am MEXICAN AMERICAN but I see and feel how wrong many get are treated because of different beliefs. Prayer and FAITH to our JESUS CHRIST is the only way…

  • Bugger

    Why don’t they go protest in Washington or NYC in front of the Libya Embassy or the United Nations Building. Why parade in Dallas Texas, WE DON”T CARE. If you love Libya so much then move back there.

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