More than 100 people took to downtown Kelowna on Saturday afternoon (Nov. 5) to show support for Iran.
“We are here to show our support and solidarity for the revolution happening in Iran,” said Ray Taheri, one of the protest organizers. “It’s a very organic and spontaneous revolution by young women and men who have been under a dictatorship for the last 40 years.”
A changing of the guard started in Iran around two months ago when a 22-year-old woman, who was walking the streets of Iran with her brother, was take into custody by “morality police”. She was beat so bad she was in a coma found hours later and then died, Taheri told Capital News.
“[This] is not only about her job, it’s about discrimination in every possible way: religion, language, background, political orientation, sexual orientation, and so on.” said Taheri. “Young people have been stolen every opportunity and it’s because of the corruption in a level that’s never been seen in modern history. It’s a violation of human rights in multi-levels.”
“Most important is that people see they have no future [because of the government],” said Taheri. “People are opening up to get [shot] and killed because they think they have nothing to lose.”
The people that showed up to protest were carrying signs as well as waving Iranian and Canadian flags while shouting various chants including “only solution, revolution.”
Iran is one of the top countries with natural resources and natural gas and the government wants it all for their shelves and their families, said Taheri. He said it’s the hallmark of a dictator.
“This has been happening for so long and sometimes people get to a point where they said ‘enough is enough,’ said Taheri. “You press something so much, it’s going to explode and we’ve got to that point.”
With everything going on in Iran, Taheri has seen some positive strides in the number of people wanting to see change. These protests are happening in many countries around the world, and in multiple places in those countries. Taheri said there was also protests happening on Saturday in Vancouver and Toronto.
“We want [the Canadian government] to understand that a government like Iran is a threat to their own people and to the world,” said Taheri. “[Dictators] try to scare you but as soon as the fall of fear is cracked, nothing can be stopped and this wall has been cracked. This one has gone from a protest, an up-rise, to a revolution. There is no return for the Iranian people or for the regime, this will go to the end.”
Taheri came to Canada from Iran when he was a teenager.
Next Saturday (Nov. 12), the Iranians and Ukrainians of Canada will be holding a protest together in the way of a drive from the John Hindle landfill to Westbank starting at 2 p.m.
“We have the common enemy,” said Taheri. “The government of Iran is supporting weapons and drones and missiles to the Russian government to attack Ukraine, so this will be a collaborative attack to show we are united.”