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Human Chain in Toronto and other rallies in Canada in solidarity with the people in Iran

Source: Salam Toronto


Iranian-Canadians have proven that they will not sit still and will continue supporting their brothers and sisters in Iran in their fight for democracy. People in different Canadian cities came out last week again to let the world hear the cry of Iranians for freedom and equality in Iran. From prior to the recent uprisings, June 26th had already been declared as a day of international solidarity with workers in Iran. International unions representing more than 170 million workers globally had supported this day and with the recent incidents, they had added the stoppage of the killings and the release of recent prisoners to their demands.

The following are a few examples of the events that took place across Canada:


Human Chain in Toronto
On Saturday, June 27th, a human chain was formed to protest the oppression of people by the Islamic Republic in Iran. It covered northern Toronto neighborhoods and York Region's Iranian-populated areas along Yonge Street. The majority of the demonstrators were arrayed from Mel Lastman Square to Yonge and Finch. There was a significant presence from Yonge and Finch to Yonge and Steeles as well.

Human Chain protest in Toronto

There was a union picket organized by the Vancouver & District Labour council in support of the jailed labor activists in Iran. Around 150 people were there, including a large contingent from the Iranian community. The speakers included NDP MP Libby Davies, and a number of Iranian activists.

Iranians protesting in Vancouver

A few hundred of student and worker activists gathered in Dorchester Square to commemorate the struggle of workers and people in Iran. This event was organized by the Iranian Student Association of Concordia University.

Iranians protesting in Montreal

Toronto cyclists in support of Iranian people's struggles
One of the more innovative events was a bicycle ride by around 100 people which took place on June 27th. Participants biked it down from Yonge and Steeles intersection to Mel Lastman Square, brandishing their Iranian flags and ringing their bells to attract the bystanders' attention. This successful bike ride could be the nucleus of a series of biking events for change.

Solidarity with Iranian workers in Northern Toronto

It is only natural for Mel Lastman Square to be the centre of recent protests against the oppression taking place in Iran since it could be argued as the heart of Toronto's Iranian community. On the 26th of June, the international day of solidarity with Iranian workers, a large demonstration took place at Mel Lastman Square in support of worker and student activists. People started gathering around 6:00 PM, reaching more than 1000 protesters during the peak of the event. Many different signs were carried around by various individuals; together with green and black balloons and pictures of Neda who was shot dead in the recent protests in Iran.

Among the more popular figures present was Bob Rae, Toronto-Centre MP and the Liberal opposition's foreign affairs critic. He had come there together with Reza Moridi, the Iranian-Canadian MPP from Richmond Hill. Rae and Moridi both addressed the crowd. Moridi's emphasis on the unity of Iranians was welcomed by many.

There were many other speakers such as Olivia Chow, the NDP MP from Trinity-Spadina, Martha Hall Findlay, Willowdale Liberal MP and Reza Baraheni, Iranian poet and author. Miguel Figueroa, the leader of the Communist Party of Canada and Tarek Fatah, founder of the Muslim-Canadian Congress were also present.

On June 26th, a few hundred Iranians chose to be in front of the sole diplomatic representative of the Islamic Republic in Canada and U.S. They, together with Canadian union activists, were mostly bused from Toronto and Montreal and demonstrated in front of the Islamic Republic Embassy in Ottawa's Metcalfe Street to protest the aggressive behavior of the Iranian government. The Canadian government sent a message to the protesters that it is withdrawing its invitation for Iranian diplomats in Ottawa to take part in Canada Day celebrations.

Iranians protesting in Ottawa


To view more photos, click here

... Payvand News - 07/01/09 ... --

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