Nova Scotians hold human chain in support of Iran
Long lines of people lined the Halifax waterfront on Saturday, including the families of the victims of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, lending their voices to calls for revolution in Iran.
Reza Rahimi, who lost his mother-in-law in the accident, said the pain of her loss remains with their family.
“It was in the middle of the night that she was boarding the flight which was shot down by the IRGC. It’s been over a thousand days. We demand justice for them,” Rahimi said.
For many, the struggle for change has been generational.
“My father was an army officer in Iran. He was in prison for six years for opposing the IRGC. We lost everything in Iran,” said Haleh Amani.
It was the death of Mahsa Amini by Iranian vice police that sparked outrage in Iran, driving protesters to the streets.
The Iranian government used brute force to try to contain the protests. Reports say 272 people have been killed so far and nearly 14,000 people have been arrested.
Despite the repression, calls for revolution are multiplying.
“It is 43 years of repression, of oppression which is spreading in the streets. It is the Iranian people who come together to say, “We don’t want the Islamic Republic of Iran. We want free and fair elections, we want a democratic system. This is Iranian Revolution 2022,” said lawyer Nazanin Afshin-Jam Mackay.
Although this is not the first time that Iran has seen protests within its borders, it is the largest scale of international solidarity.
Eighty cities around the world are mobilizing alongside Iranian demonstrators. The Iranian government said it was the last day of protests. Experts say the protests are coming to a boiling point.
“Organizing this tomorrow, or the day after, that the state is going to take more pain than it has in the past,” said Robert Huish, associate professor in the Department of International Development Studies at the University. Dalhousie University. “So to me, that says these protests have triggered a nerve, they’ve gotten under the skin of those in the ruling elite in Iran.”
For many Iranian-Canadians, although they have left Iran, the pain and fear caused by the regime persists.
Rahimi said he and his wife continue to feel the effects of their loss years later.
“Every time we received a text or a phone call, she immediately thinks that someone may have died. The trauma of three years ago that they shot at the plane and her mother was on board still continues in her life – in our life.