If you have been wondering who among us Iranian-Americans supports the MEK and its delisting as a “foreign terror organization,” wonder no more. Meet The Great Lonnell and his 200 friends from his church in Staten Island, who attended a 1,000-1,500 person rally in DC on Friday. “We are here representing on behalf of the Iranian community,” The Great Lonnell told Foreign Policy’s The Cable.
According to ThinkProgress website:
“But many apparent non-Iranians came out as well, most wearing flags, headbands, and even yellow vests with images of the group’s leaders — Maryam and Massoud Rajavi — on the chest. Of this group, few seemed to have many details about the MEK, and instead pledged vague notions of support for human rights and democracy, often even getting the name of the MEK wrong.
Some of the attendees had been bused and flown in at no personal cost, receiving transportation and in some cases lodging and meals.
One attendee who spoke with ThinkProgress, Melvin Santiago, 23, a homeless man living in shelters in Staten Island, New York, said he’d found out about the protest from a friend he’d come with. They made the trip along with about 100 other people in four rented coach buses.
“He saw [a flier] yesterday passing by the church,” said Santiago of his friend. “He usually goes there for the food pantry.”
On a day’s notice, Santiago said he hadn’t had a chance to learn too much about the MEK — he thought the group was called “Ashraff,” which is the name of the camp in Iraq where 3,400 members currently live.”
Here are some of the people who went to the rally yesterday, talking about why and how they joined the delisting rally: