Empire State Lighting Thrills Iranian Activists

Tower green during Ahmadinejad visit—for The Wizard of Oz
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2009 7:38 AM CDT
The Empire State Building is illuminated in green to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 2008. It will be green again, coincidentally, when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visits this week.   (AP Photo/Don King)
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(Newser) – With Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York to speak at the annual opening of the UN general assembly, opponents of the Iranian regime petitioned to have the Empire State Building bathed in protesters' trademark green. The building's managers said no, but the activists got a lucky break, reports the Wall Street Journal. This week is the 70th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz—and while Ahmadinejad is in town, the skyscraper will be lit in the color of the Emerald City.

"The universe is smiling and the stars are aligned!" wrote a blogger called Anonymous Iranian. Demonstrators in the Big Apple, who are also planning to unfurl a huge banner along the Brooklyn Bridge, are taking an expansive view of what parts of the city count as anti-regime symbols. "We consider anything that's green part of our movement," said one graduate student. "Even the Statue of Liberty is green."