Skip to content

Other Voices: The world is watching as people in Iran rise to revolution

The phrase 'women, life and freedom' can be heard echoing the streets of Iran, as protesters react to the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, writes guest columnist Kamran Malekpour
Protesters gather in downtown Vancouver on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022.

“Women, life and freedom” has become on the tip of every Iranian’s tongue for the past three weeks. The phrase can be heard echoing the streets of Iran as protesters pave a road towards freedom.

It all began with the arrest of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who according to the morality police was not wearing the proper hijab. In Iran, it is not uncommon for women to be detained, even given prison time; however, it isn’t every day that a victim’s body is returned to their family by the morality police.

Word of her loss spread like wildfire through the nation, and a spark of frenzy began to spread among Persians. The people were enraged at the cruelty, injustice and lack of freedom bestowed on women and compatriots. The Persian government denies all allegations made against them and insisted on their innocence.

Today, #mahsaamini is the most republished tweet in history, a name that has become an international symbol of liberty and justice for women.

The Islamic Republic started killing protesters, arresting journalists while painting the streets of every city with the blood of activists.

In order to keep the news from leaving the country, they have disconnected the internet and communication channels to the outside world.

On Saturday, Oct. 1, a mass gathering was organized by the PS752 Families Association in 150 cities around the globe. The Ukrainian flight PS752 was shot down over Tehran by Iranian anti-aircraft missiles in January 2020, killing all 176 people on board, one third of whom were Iranian-Canadian citizens.

In Vancouver, people showed their support by appearing in a “human chain” and protesting for fellow citizens for hours. The thousands of people that gathered were men and women who had migrated from Iran in the last 40 years following the Islamic revolution.

The previous weekend, another demonstration of support was made causing West Georgia Street to be completely closed off to traffic. Fifteen thousand people marched from the Vancouver Art Gallery towards CBC headquarters and all other media companies, demanding their support.

The rise of the people of Iran has not only impacted political standings, but the whole world. Celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres and Kim Kardashian have spoken up about the recent events circulating the media. Although minor, these moments of collective sympathy have not gone unnoticed to Iranians.

For the first time this isn’t only a matter for politicians to be involved in; even all telecommunications companies (Rogers, Fido, Telus…) are helping their customers. Calls and texts to Iran will be free until Oct. 17, as Iranians lack their basic right of Wi-Fi. Iranians are hopeful there could be a big political change in the country one of these days.

There have been many movements by Iranians in the last couple of decades, but the #mahsaamini movement is no longer a cry for help but a revolution.

Kamran Malekpour is a freelance journalist who has worked with influential newspapers in Iran. He currently resides in West Vancouver.

What are your thoughts? Send us a letter via email by clicking here or post a comment below.