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“It’s mind boggling to me how the Iranian regime wants to control every aspect of these kids’ lives. What harm can music do? They have no outlet and so they get depressed and turn to drugs, and no one stops them from doing drugs because it keeps them quiet. They want the kids to lay there like dead and not cause the government any problems,” she said.
“I don’t know much about politics, but I know the difference between right and wrong. That’s why we are all here, we want human rights for the people of Iran.”
At the end of 2008, Iranian satellite television based in Los Angeles gave Metal Sanaz her own show where she would play music videos and talk about heavy metal music and musicians. The television station and its producers, saw the arrests made in Iran at around the same time as too coincidental. They saw no option but to cancel Sanaz’s show for fear of further backlash.
With only a month to organize the event, Metal Sanaz teamed up together with political dissident Roozbeh Farahanipour, founder of the Marze Por Gohar, Iranians for a Secular Republic, a political party conceived in the aftermath of the Tehran University student uprising of 1999.
Farahanipour, who was imprisoned for his participation in the uprising, is no stranger to the regime’s brutality. Since his release and subsequent move to Los Angeles, he and his political party Marze Por Gohar, have been working to spread awareness about the regime’s human rights and political violations.
“Iran is made up of so many diverse peoples, thoughts and opinions. That is the beauty of our country. This concert is to show that we support Western values, secular values and are against the hardline regime that has occupied our country for the last 30 years. We wanted to send our ‘Hollywood style’ message to them.”
The concert was scheduled to coincide with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s trip to the United Nations; a trip that Farahanipour usually makes every year to New York to protest Ahmadinejad’s arrival.
Farahanipour and Sanaz both say they believed this event would be more effective than any futile protest along the periphery of the United Nations.
Participants would agree that the show climaxed when Sanaz ripped a photograph of the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the Islamic Revolution, on stage, screaming, “Ever since I was a little girl I hated him and what he did to our country!”
Following suit, heavy metal singer Skinmask ripped a picture of Ali Khamenei, Iran’s current clerical leader, after which the crowd fervently cheered and applauded.
“These are probably the darkest ages that Iran has ever had in its history,” Sanaz said. We have to do everything in our power to educate the world about our rich history and thousands of years of civilization and to empower the kids of Iran. We stand by you, and we support you.”
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