Who is Shiva Bagheri? Anti-masker says covering kids' faces is 'rape' in viral video
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA: Videos of anti-maskers confronting and shouting at parents while they walked their children to school in wealthy Beverly Hills have gone viral on the internet. The clips showed dozens of angry anti-maskers following parents and their kids as they walked to school on National Walk And Bike To School Day.
However, one of the protesters raised quite a number of eyebrows for using strong words to make her point. Shiva Bagheri, founder of Beverly Hills Freedom Rally, was heard saying in one of the videos to a parent, “He's gonna be traumatized if you put that mask on him and you don't let him breathe through it.” She later added, “You should choose what does on your child's face and in your child's body. This is rape. This is rape. They're trying to rape our children with this poison. They're going to rape their lives away,” while holding a placard that read ‘KEEP AMERICA FREE’.
A group of anti-vaccine/anti-vaccine mandate activists protested at Walk to School Day in Beverly Hills today. Protesters followed Mayor Bob Wunderlich from the civic center to Hawthorne Elementary School, engaging in heated exchanges with parents. pic.twitter.com/UjWMz6dtY9— Samuel Braslow (@SamBraslow) October 6, 2021
She also reportedly confronted Beverly Hills mayor Robert Wunderlich and told him, “You don’t care about the kids.” Wunderlich replied: “You were speaking. I asked you to give me a minute, okay?”
Content warning: sexually violent language.— Samuel Braslow (@SamBraslow) October 6, 2021
Shiva Bagheri, founder of the Beverly Hills Freedom Rally, says that “this is rape…they’re trying to rape our children with this poison. They’re going to rape their lives away.” pic.twitter.com/iIX21a06Dn
The parents and school administrators mostly kept away from the protesters, talking near the entrance to the school and enjoying snacks laid out for the day. pic.twitter.com/M756ATf380— Samuel Braslow (@SamBraslow) October 6, 2021
Bagheri’s sexually violent language attracted a lot of criticism online with a user asking, “Does Ms Bagheri have children? Does she live in that school district? Is she employed, and does her employer know she’s harassing people? And more to the point: Does she not believe in the freedom of the parents and kids to make personal choices?” The second one slammed, “Wow, maga THEN jesus ... priorities! what a perfectly horrible person. I wouldn't want her around my kids OR my dog.” “Psychologically violent adults are bringing ‘stranger danger’ to a new level for kids,” the third one added.
Does Ms. Bagheri have children? Does she live in that school district? Is she employed, and does her employer know she’s harassing people? And more to the point: Does she not believe in the freedom of the parents and kids to make personal choices?— Cautiously optimistic Martha Courtney (@macroco) October 7, 2021
wow, maga THEN jesus ... priorities! what a perfectly horrible person. I wouldn't want her around my kids OR my dog— Cautiously optimistic Martha Courtney (@macroco) October 8, 2021
Psychologically violent adults are bringing “stranger danger” to a new level for kids.— cgSloan (@cgreathouse) October 6, 2021
Who is Shiva Bagheri?
Her Twitter profile describes her as a “Mother, & Dance & Fitness Instructor & Trainer. Healthy is as healthy does!” She also owns a website called SHIVA’S DANCE AND FITNESS. It states that she “began her career as a professional dancer, choreographer and actress, at the tender age of 15, when she appeared as a chorus dancer in ‘Orpheus in the Underworld’ at the L.A. Music Center, then shortly afterwards appeared on the popular TV program STAR SEARCH with a group called, ‘The Vibes’ – they ultimately won the competition for teen dance groups. Since then, Shiva has danced and worked with such choreographers as Debbie Allen, Marguerite Derricks, and Zina Bethune, to name a few.”
The site also adds: “Over the past 25+ years, Shiva has taught a wide variety of dance and choreography to well over 10,000 people from the ages of 2 to 82, and from beginners to top professional levels. The styles of dance Shiva teaches & choreographs are Ballet, Pointé, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Tap, Tumbling, Stretch & Firm, Persian, Modern, and Musical Theatre (Acting, Voice, & Dance). Shiva is very passionate about teaching dance and has even recently been involved in the production of a whole series of dance instruction videos, which are all available on this website and on Amazon.com to be advertised and will appear for sale very shortly.”
However, this is not the first time Bagheri has attracted notoreity. In July, she was ordered to serve 20 hours of court-approved community service and also refrained from holding any unauthorized rallies for six months, according to The Beverly Hills Courier. She reached a judicial diversion agreement with the City of Beverly Hills after being pressed with three misdemeanor charges for organizing gatherings without official permission on November 28, 2020, January 6, and January 9, 2021.
The tabloid also reported that Bagheri, who had no prior experience in activism, started the Beverly Hills Freedom Rally in July 2020 to protest against the coronavirus public health guidelines that mandate face coverings and curtailment on some businesses. She was a Democrat supporter earlier as she voted for Barack Obama in 2008, but in 2016, she chose Donald Trump.