Near Toronto, tens of thousands of people protest at a freedom rally for Iran.
York police say that more than 50,000 people marched for freedom in Richmond Hill, Ontario, on Saturday afternoon. This was in response to the death of an Iranian woman who was arrested for allegedly wearing her hijab wrong.
One anonymous protester told CP24, “We’re taking to the streets to stand up for our family and friends back home who are living in fear and fighting for their basic human rights.”
Iranian-Canadians for Justice and Human Rights, an organization of rights activists and community leaders, put together the march to show support for Iranians who are protesting against the country’s current government. The protest began at 2:00 pm at Yonge Street and 16th Avenue and ended with a rally in front of the Richmond Hill Central Library.
The “Freedom Rally for Iran” comes after a week of protests around the world over the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who was killed after being detained by the morality police for wearing her required hijab too loosely.
“As Iran’s government shuts down the Internet and kills protesters at random, the people of Iran have asked the rest of the world to speak up for them and support their demands,” a news release says. “This event is meant to give them a loud voice.”
One woman who didn’t want to be named was at the protest. She said that the rally isn’t just for women, but for anyone who is being mistreated in Iran.
“Not only women are affected. Men, women, children, old people, and everyone else are all being tortured. In that land, we’ve lost everything, “”CP24,” she said.
Due to the demonstration, York Regional Police told people to expect more people and traffic delays this afternoon.
Officers said there were more police around to make sure everyone was safe, and they told people to stay away from the area from 1 to 4 p.m.
Roads in the area were closed because of the protest, but they are now open again as of about 5 p.m.