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What You Need to Know Today: Angelenos Protest for Women’s Rights In Iran, Get Your Flu Shot, LAUSD Hackers Release Sensitive Data

Protesters hold flags, signs and an image of Masha Amini with the words in English and Farsi: Women, life, Freedom
Images of Masha Amini, the 22-year-old who died in the custody of Iranian morality police, were common along the protest route.
(Brian Feinzimer for LAist)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Monday, October 3.  

Today in How To LA: Why the unrest in Iran matters in Los Angeles, the argument for getting your flu shot now, hackers who broke into L.A. Unified system release data after ransom refused

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Protests in Iran have spread to cities around the globe. This weekend thousands of people took to the streets in downtown Los Angeles over the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, and to call for women’s rights in Iran. Downtown was a sea of red, green and white — the colors of the Iranian flag — on Saturday as protestors marched from Pershing Square to City Hall, carrying the flags and homemade signs. The crowd chanted rallying cries like “Free Iran” and “Women, Life, Freedom.” You can check out the photos and video of the march here.

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This followed a candlelight vigil last week in West Hollywood.

Amini died last month while in custody of the Guidance Patrol in Tehran, otherwise known as the morality police. She was arrested three days earlier for wearing her hijab headscarf incorrectly. Authorities say she had a heart attack; witnesses say she was beaten.

The hijab has been mandatory for women since the Iranian Revolution in 1979, but — as explained in a recent NPR interview about the history of Iran’s morality police — the level of enforcement and punishment has varied over the years depending on who was in power. Currently that’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei whom protestors in Iran have called a “dictator.” Many in the streets are even calling for his death.

This turmoil in Iran hits hard in L.A. where more than 80,000 people of Iranian descent live. Southern California has the largest population outside of Iran because many people came here after the revolution, drawn to the climate and the politics.

Tawny Mazarei, board president of the Iranian American Women's Foundation told our newsroom:

"It's been an incredibly emotional and traumatic time for all of us. Just to watch what happened to Mahsa — and also what is happening to so many other women who are standing up for their rights for what happened to Mahsa — and the turmoil that the country is going through. It's been an incredibly emotional experience.”

Many protestors and political observers have noted that these protests inside (and outside) of Iran are also the result of pent up anger and frustration over the oppression and poor treatment of women in that country for decades.

As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below — just keep reading.

The News You Need After You Stop Hitting Snooze

*At LAist we will always bring you the news freely, but occasionally we do include links to other publications that may be behind a paywall. Thank you for understanding! 

  • This flu season in the U.S. may begin sooner and be more severe. We talked to experts about why you should plan on getting your flu shot now and why young children may be especially vulnerable. 
  • Drivers in the Los Angeles area are now paying $6.45 on average for a gallon of regular unleaded — Orange and Ventura counties are nearly as pricey. The average price of a gallon nationwide is just under $3.80. What gives?
  • Saturday was a big night for the Dodgers. Before last night's home game, the teamhonored legendary announcer Jaime Jarrín, who is retiring after 64 seasons. Oh, and the Dodgers passed 110 wins, the first National League team to do so since 1909.
  • Since the early days of Hollywood, Latin American composers have created theme songs and soundtracks for some of the most classic movies and TV shows.
  • Two rock climbers killed in a fall at Tahquitz Rock last week have been identified. We asked veteran climbers to share their experiences and offer advice on staying safe in a sport with well-known risks.
  • A law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom requires homeless services providers to create strategies to support both women and survivors of intimate partner violence who are unhoused.
  • Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a family leave bill Friday that will make it easier and more affordable for lower-income workers to take time off to care for a new child or a sick family member.
  • Legal opposition to President Biden's debt relief plan has become a team effort for many conservatives. How likely are they to succeed?
  • Looking for some excitement this week? Perhaps Monday magic with Zombie Joe’s Underground Theater in North Hollywood or Latina Drag Queen Bingo Game Night at Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks on Thursday. There’s plenty of other options too. Check out LAist’s complete list here
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Bad Bunny, wearing a braid in front of his face, smiles at the camera during his concert at SoFi Stadium. The venue is lit in blue with spots of yellow lights that are next to the big screen.
El Conejo Malo (Bad Bunny) performs at SoFi Stadium on Oct. 1, 2022 — closing out his tour in the United States.
(Brian De Los Santos

Wait! One More Thing…Top Three Tea Sipping Trends

It’s Monday so now’s the time to catch up on what folks were talking about on Twitter over the weekend.

3 — Bad Bunny Is Now L.A.’s Man: Yeah, we know we talk about Bad Bunny a lot. BUT the Puerto Rican rapper is kinda the “It” dude these days and he just played in town over the weekend. In fact, the L.A. City Council declared Oct. 1 “Bad Bunny Day” — the second city to do that after Boston. Oh, and did we mention that his album Un Verano Sin Ti hit 8 billion streams on Spotify in record time AND extended its run as no. 1 on the Billboard 200 list? So I mean, yeah, I think he still deserves our attention.

2 — A Mother’s Op-Ed About Nurturing Her Trans Nonbinary Child: Raising children is hard under any circumstances but, as any parent knows, each day is full of learning opportunities. In an L.A. Times op-ed that got some attention on Twitter Sunday, mother and writer Rebecca Brenner shared her experience of trying to educate herself about what it meant to be transgender when her child started asking questions about their gender identity. She also writes about her efforts to nurture her young child on a path of self discovery and confidence.

1 — Data Released In L.A. Unified School District Hack: As they said they would, a criminal group who hacked into the LAUSD system over Labor Day weekend has released sensitive data after officials with the district refused to pay a ransom. According to cyber security threat analyst Brett Callow, the same group has hit eight other U.S. school districts as well as colleges and universities so far this year.

It is not clear what information was released. Previously, Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said that he didn’t think payroll details were touched but that some student information might have been. In a statement Sunday, Carvalho said the district was “analyzing the full extent of this data release” with help from law enforcement. Read more here about what’s happened so far and for a number to call if you have questions about this data leak.

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