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IRAN

Iran regime opponents rally in France, Germany

Iranian regime opponents held small-scale demonstrations Saturday in France and Germany to show support for opposition groups who have held rallies inside their country in recent days.

Iran regime opponents rally in France, Germany
An Iranian woman raises her fist amid the smoke of tear gas at the University of Tehran during a protest on Saturday. Photo: ATR/AFP

Some 40 people demonstrated near the Iranian embassy in Paris to call for an end to Tehran's “interference” in Syria and Lebanon, which Afchine Alavi, from the National Council of Iranian Resistance (CNRI), told AFP mirrored demands being made within Iran.

In Berlin, around 100 regime opponents gathered near the Iranian embassy to demand the immediate release of people arrested during three days of protests.

Around 50 people had rallied at the same venue on Friday.

The rallies began in Iran's second city of Mashhad on Thursday as an attack on high living costs but quickly turned against the Islamic regime as a whole.

Alavi told AFP the demonstrations were connecting with “an ever wider base of Iranian society… from the middle class but also vast numbers of people who are the army of unemployed and hungry who have suffered economically from the consequences of corruption”.

Although the demonstrations inside Iran remain on a small scale they are nonetheless the first of note since Tehran quelled a much wider protest movement in 2009.

The government has warned against “illegal gatherings” while there have also been several counter-demonstrations over the past three days.

PROTESTS

Students blockade Paris schools in election protest

Students blockaded five schools in Paris on Tuesday to demonstrate their political concerns ahead of the second round of the Presidential elections on Sunday.

Students blockade Paris schools in election protest

In addition to the five blockaded lycées, the université Paris 8 in Saint-Denis was closed “for security reasons”.

The students – who are too young to make their voices heard at the ballot box – were protesting against the options available to voters in the second round – where incumbent Emmanuel Macron takes on far-right leader Marine Le Pen – and follows earlier student protests at the Sorbonne.

Many were demonstrating in protest at what they saw as inadequate policies on climate change and social issues from both candidates in the final round of voting, as well as the lack of choice for the electorate.

“It is a continuation of what happened at the Sorbonne,” one student told AFP. “We want a third social round, because the two candidates qualified for the second round have no social or ecological programmes. 

“We want to give a new breath to this Fifth Republic a little at the end of the race.

“We are fed up with the fascist state. We are here against Marine Le Pen, against fascism, for the climate and against capitalism,” another student at the lycée Louis-le-Grand in the capital’s fifth arrondissement said.

“We have blocked all the entrances. We will stay there as long as possible.”

About 100 students blockaded the prestigious school. Some students chant slogans against the “Front National” – the former name of second-round candidate Marine Le Pen’s far-right Rassemblement National party.

The blockades ended peacefully at the end of the day.

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