Reza Jalali Pour “PRESENTE”
March 6, 1938 – September 27, 2023, born in Tehran, Iran.
He was a deeply caring father to his two adult children, Hamoon and Schyna Pour, and loving partner to Alise Sochaczewski, who all survived him.
Reza was a child of the south end of Tehran’s neighborhood of Shahabad/Lalezar. A good student, critical thinker, and Footballer. He began playing team football practicing at the well known Bashka (Gym) Shahin. He was a rising soccer star and played for Team Meli, the national team.
As a young man Reza became actively critical of the monarchy and conditions for poor and middle-class people in Iran. As a boy, he protested the CIA intervention action, in Iran called 28 Mordad Coup d’etat and by the US, Operation Ajax, which overthrew Iran’s democratically elected Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadegh.
He became especially critical after his older brother was detained and murdered by police. He and his large and loving family were directly devastated by the brutal Pahlavi monarchy ruling Iran. Reza then began his personal journey in becoming an internationalist and embarked on a learning path. He joined the Todeh (Mass) Youth Party, gaining an underground education on Marxism, organizing and international solidarity. Although none of the underground organizations outwardly named their political leanings, the active surveillance and threats by the state made him and his family’s life difficult. After numerous encounters with SAVAK and other threats, Reza was forced to leave his career as a footballer and flee the country. He moved to Los Angeles in 1967.
Reza stayed active with his friends and later became a member of the Confederation of Iranian Students, based in Germany. He was involved in multiple actions in Southern California and helped organize a solid base for Confederation in Los Angeles and Orange County. He wrote and stayed active in the Journal, 16 Azar for Confederation and organized rallies and protests when the Monarchs would visit California.
Reza was one of the members of 50 Iranian students who staged an intervention at the Iranian Consulate in San Francisco on June 6, 1970, when Ashraf Pahlavi, the twin sister and consultant to the Shah arrived to celebrate the anniversary of the United Nations. He was arrested with a large number of Iranian Student Association members and faced charges, including the confiscation of his passport. Reza went on organizing numerous protests of then Queen Farah Pahlavi at various institutions in California including UCLA 1974 and USC 1977. At this juncture he also became actively involved in his communities throughout Los Angeles, looking at the plight of oppressed people. He started to form solidarities with activists and co-organize with people working for human rights and dignity in his residing town.
He stayed involved with his Iranian comrades working towards a revolution in Iran. November 1979, Reza made the decision to return to Iran when the revolution was taken over by Islamic Fundamentalists. When arriving home, the airport was filled with his family members, and they surrounded him and cheered for his return. He was organizing toward a democratic secular government when he began to be surveilled by the Islamic Republic’s guards and undercover agents. In 1981, he was warned by his comrades that there was an imminent threat to capture him. They purchased a TBT bus ticket for him that evening. As Reza left his sister’s home where he was living in Iran, it was raided within hours.
By way of Turkey, Reza returned to Los Angeles, living in numerous communities before settling in Silverlake on a street lined with political activists.
Reza Jalilipour was very involved in the protests against the Vietnam War and supportive of the Palestinian struggle for freedom and independence!
He later joined Pacifica Radio Station KPFK 90.7 FM IN LA, was elected to the Local Station Board, and Chaired the Outreach Committee for several years with great commitment always promoting the Station signal area.
Thank you Reza, for your wonderful energetic commitment to global peace. You touched many lives; all miss you terribly…