It has come to my attention that “Committee for Solidarity in Iran” in Toronto is organizing a demonstration in honour of 18 Tir (July 9th 1999 pro-democracy student demonstrations where thousands of students were beaten, arrested, tortured and killed by Regime Agents).

Their Facebook page states that there will be a human chain starting from Mel Lastman Square extending all the way to Elgin Mills Road, from 8pm to 10 pm on Thursday July 9th. There is also a request to bring candles in solidarity with the Iranian people. Not surprisingly this time Committee for Solidarity with Iran has not threatened people who might bring a Lion and Sun Flag, however they have decided to skip the issue entirely by asking people to bring candles only.

To give a bit of background information about 18 Tir demonstrations and its significance for those who might not be familiar with it, in July of 1999 thousands of students took to the streets and protested against the Islamic Regime. This was the biggest demonstration Iran had seen since the revolution and it lasted for five days. The Islamic Regime killed tens of students, arrested tens of student leaders and thousands of demonstrators. Behrouz Javid Tehrani is the last remaining prisoner from the 18 Tir Demonstrations, and he has been in prison for the past 10 years.

Artists, authors and intellectuals disappeared and were found “mysteriously” murdered. It must be noted that all of this took place while Mohammad Khatami, the well known reformer and a close ally of Mir Hossein Mousavi was the President. The smooth-talking president Khatami, whom westerners loved, never tried to stop the violence and never showed sympathy to his supporters. Instead, he openly avowed that his responsibility was to respect the wishes of the supreme leader, Ayotollah Khameni, and to protect the security of the Islamic regime.

Every year on July 9th freedom loving Iranians gather and demonstrate against the Islamic Regime both inside and outside of Iran. This has been going on for the past 10 years, and the demonstrations have never been silent, there has never been lighting of candles, these have all been very vocal anti-Islamic Regime demonstrations. However Mousavi supporters in Canada have never attended a single 18Tir protest, because in reality they sympathize with the Islamic Regime, so for them to try to use the demonstration this year in order to get publicity for Mousavi is extremely disrespectful to the say the least.

I am disturbed to see a group that has been created very recently and clearly sympathizes with Mir Hossein Mousavi trying to highjack the 18 Tir demonstrations. The people that died during those demonstrations or had to spend years of their youth in prison were fighting for democracy in Iran, they were not fighting for reform and to claim anything else is ludicrous.

If we really want to commemorate that day we have to be very vocal about what 18 Tir was all about and what the students wanted. Lighting candles for those who have lost their lives maybe a great idea but not on a day that has been marked as a day for pro-democracy demonstrations all over the world in the past 10 years.

I encourage all freedom loving Iranians to come to this demonstration with their Lion and Sun Flags and with the slogan of down with the Islamic Regime. That is the only proper way to remember and commemorate 18 Tir. Let’s not allow Islamic Regime sympathizers in Toronto to hijack such an important day.

Down with the Islamic Regime
Long Live Freedom in Iran

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