Skip to main content

Thousands march in Canada in solidarity with Iran protests

Women demonstrating in Montreal, Canada cut their hair during a protest for Mahsa Amini who died in custody of Iran's morality police
— Ottawa (AFP)

Several thousand people marched in Montreal and other Canadian cities Saturday in solidarity with protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini in the custody of Iran's notorious morality police.

A wave of street violence has rocked Iran since Amini, 22, died days after her arrest for allegedly failing to observe the Islamic republic's strict dress code for women.

Protests were held across the country for a 15th consecutive night on Friday despite a bloody crackdown that rights groups said has left more than 75 people dead.

Tens of thousands have also come out for solidarity rallies in several Canadian cities, including Vancouver, Toronto and the capital Ottawa.

A protest also took place Saturday in the US capital Washington where hundreds of members of the Kurdish community, some bearing placards calling for regime change in Tehran, gathered outside the White House gates.

In Canada, public broadcaster CBC showed images from Toronto on Saturday of motorists honking their support for demonstrators lining a five-kilometer (three-mile) stretch of road, wearing "Justice for Mahsa Amini" t-shirts and waving Iranian flags on the end of hockey sticks.

Members of the Kurdish community gather outside the White House in Washington to protest the Iranian regime following the death of Mahsa Amini in the custody of the Islamic republic's notorious morality police

In Montreal, several women cut their hair as a crowd of more than 10,000 waved placards that read "Justice" and "No to Islamic Republic," while chanting "Say her name. Say her name."

"It was for the Iranian women who are fighting for their freedom, for their lives in Iran," a 30-year-old expatriate who only gave her name as Sin told AFP after chopping off her long dark locks.

She described cutting off her hair that flowed almost to the middle of her back as "nothing compared to" what women in Iran have endured.

"This is the least we can do to support my country, my women, my people in Iran who are under repression," she said.

March co-organizer Nima Machouf, 57, added it was important to "be a voice for people in Iran and carry their message" to the world.

Several demonstrators called for regime change in Tehran, and for Canada to increase sanctions.

Ottawa has already applied sanctions over Iran's nuclear program and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a new round Monday against dozens of Iranian officials.

Reza, 42, came with his family, including his little girl and echoed the sentiment. "If we remain silent, what will we say to other generations?" he commented.

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.

Free

The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.

Free

What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing
Expert

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to pro.support@al-monitor.com and we'll onboard your team.

What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial