Chicago Activist Shabbir Rizvi Leads Chants of "Death to America" and "Death to Israel"

Organizer teaches activists to chant "Death to Israel" and "Death to America" in Farsi, raising concerns over his ties to Iranian media and Hezbollah-linked outlets, ahead of planned protests at the 2024 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

author-image
Dil Bar Irshad
Updated On
New Update
Chicago Activist Shabbir Rizvi Leads Chants of "Death to America" and "Death to Israel"

Chicago Activist Shabbir Rizvi Leads Chants of "Death to America" and "Death to Israel"

Shabbir Rizvi, an organizer for the Anti-War Committee Chicago, was caught on video teaching a group of 80 activists to chant "Death to Israel" and "Death to America" in Farsi during an event planning protests to disrupt the 2024 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. The incident, which took place in April 2024, has sparked outrage and raised concerns about Rizvi's ties to Iranian state media and the Hezbollah-linked Al Mayadeen network.

In the viral video, Rizvi can be seen leading the group of activists in the controversial chants, which have been associated with Iran's hardline regime and its proxies. The event was reportedly focused on organizing protests against the upcoming Democratic National Convention, set to take place in Chicago later this year.

Rizvi, who has a history of contributing to outlets like Iran's Press TV and Al Mayadeen, has expressed support for Iran and anti-Israel views in his writings and appearances. Experts have linked these media outlets to disinformation campaigns and malign influence operations targeting the United States and Israel. "Rizvi's chants and writings demonstrate an alleged pro-terror bias, with him downplaying terror attacks on Israelis and portraying Iran and its proxies like Hezbollah as part of a 'resistance' against Israel, despite their stated goals of eliminating the country," said one analyst familiar with his work.

Why this matters: The incident highlights the growing concern over foreign influence operations and the spread of extremist ideologies within activist circles in the United States. Rizvi's ties to Iranian state media and Hezbollah-linked outlets raise questions about the motivations behind the planned protests and the potential for violence and disruption during the upcoming Democratic National Convention.

Following the viral spread of the videos, Rizvi appears to have scrubbed his social media presence, but his past statements and affiliations have been documented by various organizations. The rise of anti-Israel sentiments in Chicago has coincided with a spike in anti-Semitic incidents in Illinois, according to local officials. Despite initial rejections from the city, Rizvi and other activists plan to move forward with their protests against Israel during the convention.

Key Takeaways

  • Shabbir Rizvi led activists in chanting "Death to Israel" and "Death to America" in Chicago.
  • Rizvi has ties to Iranian state media and Hezbollah-linked outlets, raising concerns about foreign influence.
  • Planned protests against the 2024 Democratic National Convention in Chicago by Rizvi and activists.
  • Rizvi's actions and affiliations have sparked outrage and concerns about extremist ideologies in the U.S.
  • Rise in anti-Israel sentiments in Chicago coincides with spike in anti-Semitic incidents in Illinois.