“One Solution: Revolution”

Iranian Montrealers Marched for the Fifth Consecutive Week Amidst Uprisings Across Iran

An Iranian woman wearing a medical mask holds a sign that says, “One Solution Revolution.” Photo Diane Yeung
Thousands of Montrealers marched from Place Émilie-Gamelin to Place du Canada on Oct. 22 for the fifth consecutive Saturday in a row to bring attention to the recent uprisings in Iran. Photo Diane Yeung
Two friends at the rally in Montreal hold up signs in honour of their home country. One holds a sign that says #FreeIran and the other holds an Iranian flag. Photo Diane Yeung

For the fifth consecutive Saturday, thousands of Montrealers gathered to bring attention to the ongoing demonstrations in Iran after the death of Mahsa Amini.

Iranians gathered at Place Émilie-Gamelin before the crowd marched towards Place du Canada. Volunteers who organized the march wore sweaters that says, “Femme Vie Liberté,” and held up their hands with red-painted palms. Photo Diane Yeung

Forough Fereydouni, an organizer of the volunteer-based group Women Life Freedom in Montreal, says the movement in her home country has united Iranians of all demographics to call for a free Iran.

An Iranian man holds his hand in the air, which is painted red. He wears a wristband with colors of the Iranian flag, and holds a sign that says “Women” in his other hand. Photo Diane Yeung

“Many things have changed in Iran since the brutal murder of Mahsa Amini,” Fereydouni said. “Now, the voice of Iran is just revolution.”

Thousands of Montrealers of all ages marched through downtown, chanting “Zan, Zendegi, Azadi,” which means “Women, Life, Freedom” in Persian. Photo Diane Yeung

Iranian Montrealers of all ages marched from Place Émilie-Gamelin to Place du Canada on Oct. 22, chanting “What’s the solution? Revolution!” throughout downtown. Protest signs echoed loud cries for freedom and the toppling of the current government.

An Iranian woman holds a sign with a lock of braided hair attached to it, chanting “Women, Life, Freedom!” Photo Diane Yeung

“It’s not just about feminism or mandatory hijab anymore, this is about revolution,” Fereydouni said. “People want a regime change in Iran, and we’re going to be here until we achieve our rights and our freedom.”

An organizer of the march holds a sign outside of the car that leads the crowd. It says “Femme, Vie, Liberté” and a lock of braided hair is attached to the sign. Photo Diane Yeung

Images emerging from Iran have shown a change in the movement, with demonstrations spreading from universities to elementary schools. Videos of striking oil workers and teachers have surfaced in recent days, and images of young schoolgirls with middle fingers pointed at photos of Ali Khamenei, who holds a position above the president in the Iranian government, have gone viral on social media.

Three Montrealers chant, “Zan, Zendegi, Azadi,” which means “Women, Life, Freedom” in Persian. They’re holding a sign that says, “Freedom for Iran.” Photo Diane Yeung

Amini was a 22 year-old Kurdish-Iranian from Saqqez who was detained by Iran’s morality police when she was visiting Tehran. Witnesses say she was severely beaten by the police while in custody, and photos of Amini in a coma with a swollen face and blood dripping from her ears went viral on social media. She died on Sept. 16.

A woman holds a sign that says “Woman Life Freedom,” with photos of Mahsa Amini and Nika Shakarami. Both Amini and Shakarami have become symbols of the latest human rights movement in Iran. Photo Diane Yeung

Amini’s family believes she was killed by the morality police, and many of the Iranian public suspect the same. Amnesty International reported 144 people were killed by Iran’s security forces since demonstrations erupted in every province across the country following Amini’s death. The organization says at least 23 of them were children.

In a crowd of demonstrators of all ages, a woman holds a sign that reads, “Women Life Freedom.” Photo Diane Yeung

“I’m very proud of all my Iranian brothers and sisters. They are so brave, and I just want to tell them that we are in the streets to amplify their voices,” Fereydouni said. “We are here for them until we can achieve freedom for all of us.

“I hope I can see them in Iran, hug them in the street, and sing the ‘Baraye’ song all together.”

A young girl sits on her father’s shoulders amidst the crowd of demonstrators. She’s holding a sign that says “Women of Iran.” Photo Diane Yeung