Hundreds of protestors in Toronto gathered on Mel Lastman Square on Thursday July 9th 2009 between 6pm-10pm to mark the 10th year anniversary of July 9th 1999 student uprising in Iran.
Hundreds of protestors gathered around the main stage on Mel Lastman Square, with hundreds of Lion and Sun Flags, listening to speeches from various artists and activists as well as singing the national anthem and listening to various revolutionary songs.
Tens of leftist activists staged their protest at the entrance of Mel Lastman Square, while tens of protestors with candles staged their protest in the mid section of Mel Lastman square. It must be noted that this was the only section of the demonstration that was relatively silent, while both leftist activists and those with Lion and Sun were very vocal with their slogans of “Down with the Islamic Regime” “Down with Khamenei” “Down with Rafsanjani” “Mousavi is an excuse the entire Regime is marked” and “freedom, Equality” etc...
The most memorable moment of the protest came around 9:00pm when the group of “silent protestors” who were mostly young students came and joined the “Lion and Sun” protestors. They were welcomed with open arms and some of them took to the stage and started shouting slogans such as “Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid, we are all together” and “free political prisoners”. Later on all protestors held hands regardless of their beliefs and ideas and regardless of whether they were holding a Lion and Sun Flag, a green sign or nothing at all, and started singing “Yare Dabestani” (my classmate) which is associated with July 9th 1999 student uprising.
Many of the protestors holding the Lion and Sun flag also lit candles which they were given by young students, and some of the protestors were so overwhelmed by the gesture of these young students, that they were in tears. It was a beautiful, unifying moment for Iranians in Toronto and it certainly made me proud to be an Iranian.
Near the conclusion of the program one of the speakers thanked the Honourable Prime Minister Stephan Harper for supporting the Iranian people in their quest for freedom and democracy in Iran.
Last night’s protest united the Iranian people and I hope to see this unity continue. I will finish with one of the most popular slogans both in Iran and Toronto “Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid, we are all together” and for the Islamic Regime “be very afraid, be very afraid, because we are all together.”
Down with the Islamic Regime in Iran
Long Live Freedom in Iran