Faculty and students at UBCO stage Iran protest performance

Iran protest at UBCO

Cindy White

A veil covered in the names of those killed, multi-coloured boats representing the colours of the rainbow, women wearing band-aid covered masks and a man handcuffed to a post.

A moving and artistic protest was held on the UBC Okanagan campus Monday to show support for the people of Iran in their fight against the nation’s totalitarian regime.

White balloons with red hand prints were released to represent the 61 young people who have lost their lives so far in the ongoing protests in Iran.

“This is unfortunate that in the 21st Century we are losing our children. We are here to support their families and be their voice,” explained Sepideh Pakpour, assistant professor with the UBCO School of Engineering.

“People have no choice and no voice in Iran,” said professor Ray Taheri, who helped organize the event. “The government has completely shut down internet access. So we are the voice for those who cannot express their voice in the international community.”

The event included displays telling the stories of some of the youth who have lost their lives, like 10-year-old boy Kian Pirfalak, who was shot in front of his family.

While some women wore masks during the ceremony as a show of solidarity with their sisters in Iran, others in attendance asked not to have their faces shown. They fear reprisals by agents of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which enforces the foreign policy of the leaders of the Islamic Republic.

“It’s a whole bunch of very old men, dictators, that (are) having and building this theocracy for themselves and don’t think about futures at all. Because the future of that country is going to be the future. It’s going to be the kids and the young people and definitely I’m sure this is an end to that,” said a local Iranian activist who asked not to be identified.

Professor Taheri thinks the groundswell of protest in his home country will succeed.

“I personally think that this revolution only has one way to go and is moving forward because people who are leading this revolution, they have nothing to lose and they have a lot to gain.”

Signatures are also being collected on a letter online calling for the removal the Islamic Republic of Iran from the UN Commission on the Status of Women. You can sign that letter here.

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