Outrage in the streets of Iran spilled into Halifax yesterday, as more than 100 protesters rallied outside the Public Gardens.
Swathed in the colours of the Iranian flag, the protestors waved signs reading “Down with the Dictators of Iran” and “Election Now/Fraud No!” They also repeated “Where is my vote?”
It was a local event, but part of an international outburst of anger over Iranian elections widely believed to be fraudulent.
“I’m supporting my friends back in Tehran and Iran. They’re getting beaten by batons, they are getting killed,” said Azadh Lucky, a dentist who moved to Bedford four months ago.
“There are a lot of people who are unhappy with the results. Even the people who voted for Ahmadinejad, now they are regretting it.”
Many at yesterday’s protest called for a new election, expressing disbelief that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could possibly have received the overwhelming support that was reported.
“The current situation right now is not good for anybody. It’s not good for the ruling regime because they have put a question mark on themselves,” said Ali, a 28-year-old who didn’t want to give his last name.
“They need to get back the people’s trust. Even the ones who believed in them, a lot of them have lost their trust.”
Another man named Hamed also didn’t want to give his full name. He said he was going to Iran soon to see family and was worried he could be flagged and the government would know he was protesting the election.
There were varying opinions on whether the demonstrations inside and outside of Iran would be enough to spark a new election. But those approached by Metro Halifax said it was important to fight for democracy.
“We want to support our people. And we want to say to all media that this is the truth, and we didn’t vote for the guy who is now the winner,” said protestor Sama Shirazi.