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Atlanta protesters join others across U.S. angry about Iran

  • Story Highlights
  • People in U.S., across globe march in solidarity with Iranians
  • Says marcher in Atlanta, Georgia: "I'm here for the people over there"
  • People are also expressing their views on online networking sites
From William Brown and Sydney Wilmer
CNN
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ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Dozens of Iranian-Americans, energized by the opposition movement in Iran, protested in solidarity Tuesday in Atlanta.

About 75 of them demonstrated outside CNN Center, chanting and carrying homemade signs. The crowd -- organized via the social-networking Web sites Facebook and Twitter -- largely decried government corruption in Iran.

News of Friday's contested presidential election in Iran has led to widespread protests there.

Eighty-five percent of the country's 46 million eligible voters went to the polls, an unprecedented turnout, Iran's interior ministry said. When the ballots were counted, the government declared incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the winner, with 62.63 percent of the vote. The man many analysts had widely expected to win, Mir Hossein Moussavi, received 33.75 percent.

Moussavi's camp has alleged ballot fraud and has demanded new elections.

One protester in Atlanta said: "This is about revolution. This isn't about a vote. This isn't about the president. This is about people being sick and tired."

The protester, Michael, asked that his last name not be used because he plans to travel to Iran.

Another protester, Sam, also asked that his last name not be used. Sam said his sympathies were with everyday Iranians.

"I'm not here for Moussavi or Ahmadinejad. I'm here for the people over there," he said. "We're here to show our support and show that we care what they're going through. If we don't support them, nobody will."

Michael also referred to what he saw as election irregularities:

"People just don't come out at 85 percent to vote for the incumbent. That's just not what they do," he said. "The numbers they're showing just don't make sense. People are very, very frustrated."

Over the weekend, several hundred people gathered in similar grassroots protests in cities across the world, including Berlin, Germany; London, England; Toronto, Canada; and Washington.

Tens of thousands of others are expressing solidarity with the demonstrators in Iran by urging friends to change their profile pictures green on social-networking Web sites.

"They're over there risking their lives. We have to do our part to make sure the world does not overlook this," said Joya Jaisinth, a homemaker in New York.

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