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Members of Ontario Parliament join thousands of Iranians in protest

By Mohsen Taghavi, Salam Toronto

It was the first day of summer. A hot Sunday as well as Father's Day, perfect to have quality time with family. But not quite like that for the average Iranian. With millions on Iran's streets running and shouting for freedom, thousands being injured, many innocents being killed, one could hardly feel like enjoying himself even living far away from home.

On Sunday June 21st there was another mass demonstration of Iranians protesting against the fraudulent results of the Presidential election in Iran. More than 5,000 were in attendance demanding for their fellow Iranians' most basic rights: freedom, equality, and democracy.

Left to Right: Rob Oliphant, MP (Don Valley West); Kathleen Wynne, MPP (Don Valley West and Minister of Education); Dr.Reza Moridi, MPP (Richmond Hill); Jack Layton, Leader of the federal NDP; David Zimmer, MPP (Willowdale); Mike Colle, MPP (Lawrence)
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Important, was that Ontario's Parliament was there to show their support for Iranians. Dr. Reza Moridi and a number of other Ontario parliament members gave speeches in support of the Green Movement in Iran, not just by being there, addressing the federal government to take action, and asking for open doors of the Canadian Embassy in Iran to take in the injured, but also by wearing green or black outfits to show their sympathy with the mournful nation. Neda, the 27-year-old Iranian protester who was shot to death a few days ago in Tehran was portrayed and talked about on a number of placards. In their chants, demonstrators vowed to not letting her die in vain.

Iranians are hoping for the higher authorities in Canada's government to take quick actions against the obvious violations of human rights in Iran.

The Event:

Dr. Reza Moridi, MPP from Richmond Hill, was first to address the crowd of more than 5000 people. "At this moment, you are representing the 70 million Iranian people that live in Iran. What they currently want is nothing other than democracy. The history of fighting for democracy in Iran goes back to the Constitutional Revolution more than 100 years ago," Dr. Moridi stated. He went on to mention names of such Iranian heroes as Sattar Khan and Bagher Khan, Colonel Mohammad Taqi-Khan Pessian, Shaikh Mohammad Khiabani, and Mossadeq, and asked for the people's rights to be returned to them while condemning any type of bloodshed. "My friends and colleagues have gathered here from both the provincial and federal parliaments to ask the government of Iran to cease violence and bloodshed immediately," he added.

Some of the other prominent figures present were Rob Oliphant, Liberal MP (Don Vallery West), Kathleen Wynne, Liberal MPP (Don Valley West and Minister of Education), Jack Layton, Leader of the federal NDP, David Zimmer, Liberal MPP (Willowdale) and MiKe Colle, Liberal MPP (Lawrence).

Representing Michael Ignatieff, Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Rob Oliphant started his comments by saying "Salam. Salam Iran. Salam Canada ..." He went on to mention that he had just arrived from Paris to indicate the position of the Liberal Party in condemning the aggressive behavior of the Iranian government. "We mourn every single life lost," he stated. He also asked the Canadian Embassy in Tehran to open its doors to the injured.

Jack Layton, Leader of the NDP, was there to urge the Canadian government to do whatever it can for the Iranian people. He then demanded the current election results in Iran to be annulled and a new one to take place under the supervision of an independent international body with Canada as one of its leading participants.

Kathleen Wayne, Ontario's Minister of Education, who was wearing green to show her solidarity with Iranians, also addressed the crowd. "We will do everything in our power to promote the democratic movement in Iran and we need to give a particular attention to the women of Iran," stated Wynne.

Another speech came from David Zimmer, the MPP from Willowdale. "I am very proud to wear green and stand along you to support the will of the people of Iran."

Babak Payami, a prominent Iranian filmmaker who currently resides in Canada, was also among the speakers. He alleged that "we all need to be united in order to prevent violence and bloodshed in Iran."

Jian Ghomeshi, the well known Iranian-Canadian CBC radio host, too, took the microphone and said that the movement of Iranian people, the movement of Iranian youth is a movement for democracy, social freedom, and freedom of speech. Ghomeshi went on to talk about how as the entire world is watching, the youth of Iran are demanding for their will to be respected. He also reminded everyone that wherever we are, we all have to learn from these youngsters and that it is of utmost importance for all Iranians to be united in this front. "We all have gathered here to do all that there is in our power to support freedom in Iran. At this moment we have moved beyond just the safety of our fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters. It's now about human rights in Iran." Jian finished his speech by chanting in Farsi, "Don't be afraid. Don't be afraid. We are all together."

This massive gathering was concluded with the statement read by Mehrdad Loghmani, one of the organizers of the event.

... Payvand News - 06/23/09 ... --

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