“We want freedom,” protesters in Vancouver said for the second weekend in a row as they gathered to protest the Iran regime.
On Saturday, similar protests took place in other cities across Canada.
Saturday, thousands of people lined up along Georgia Street in downtown Vancouver. They chanted for revolutionary change for the people of Iran and asked the Canadian government to help the Iranians more.
The protesters stood shoulder to shoulder and held hands to make a human chain that went from the Vancouver Art Gallery to Stanley Park.
It was the second big protest in the city of B.C. against the laws in Iran that tell women how to dress and the strict control of the Islamic Republic’s morality police.
Dozens of similar events started at the same time in major cities across Canada on Saturday. This is because civil unrest and violent clashes between protesters and police are still going on in Iran. This is because Mahsa Amini, an Iranian woman who was 22, died while in police custody on September 16.
Maryam Shariatmadari protested against Iran’s hijab laws for the first time four years ago. She says it’s inspiring to see so many people there after she spoke out and didn’t get much support at the time.
In an interview, she said, “We want freedom.” “It’s not freedom when someone comes up to you and says, “Why are you doing that? What are you wearing?'”
Shariatmardari told CBC that she wanted to make sure her message was clear, so she said it again in Farsi for a friend who was acting as an interpreter.
She said, “In Iran, our laws are based on Sharia law.” “What we want is a law that protects people’s rights.”
“A turning point in history,” said a protester.
Rowshan Rahmanian moved from Iran to Canada 12 years ago. He says that the current protests are “unprecedented.”
Rahmanian told CBC, “This is a situation that has never happened before in Iran’s social movement revolution.” He said that women and women’s rights are at the center of the push for change for the first time.
Instead of focusing on politics or getting rid of a dictator, he says, “Women, life, freedom” is a good way to describe the new movement.
He remembered how scary and unsettling it was to live in Iran and see the white and green vans driven by the morality police. He called their presence “dark and intimidating.”
He says that Iranians have always thought that the police were there more to control than to help.
Rahmanian says that the protests have changed to fight for the rights of minorities, stop police brutality, and stop all kinds of discrimination.
He also says that it’s not just about getting rid of the laws that make all women wear a hijab, but also about giving people in Iran the freedom to choose how to live their lives.
He said, “I think this is a special time for Iran, the Iranian people, and the rest of the world.” “It’s a movement led by women in a culture that has always been very patriarchal.” And that’s where history changed.”