Kingston protestors push for Canadian sanctions against Iranian regime

Mark Gerretsen links arms with demonstrators at City Hall

Image by: Aimee Look
Signs shared stories of those killed by the regime.

Outside City Hall, demonstrators linked arms in solidarity with anti-government Iranian protestors on Oct. 29.

The protest pushed for more Canadian sanctions against the Iranian regime following the death of Mahsa Amini. A large crowd formed a chain around the perimeter of City Hall, chanting phrases like “women like human rights” and “say her name: Mahsa Amini.”

This Kingston protest was a part of a larger worldwidemovement against the Iranian regime. Previously, students rallied outside of Stauffer Library in support of Amini on Sept. 23.

Mark Gerretsen, MP for Kingston and the Islands, was present at the protest. He linked arms in solidarity with the demonstrators.

“We’re seeing a revolution that is being led by women—particularly young women, who have been subjected to oppressive behaviors and ideals for a long time,” Gerretsen said in an interview with The Journal.

Gerretsen said he’s pushed the Canadian government to hold Iran accountable, and shared he was “honoured” to join the demonstrators on social media.

“It’s our time to stand up and show our support and do something about [the Iranian government] to the best of our ability,” he said. “I think Canada has a unique opportunity to play a very important role in bringing other nations—other Western nations—together to come up with solutions.”

Finding a peaceful resolution is Canada’s intent, Gerretsen added.

“Canada’s always played that role of looking for solutions, for upholding peace, and looking for opportunities where a peaceful resolution can be determined.”

Canada implemented restrictions at the start of October to deny the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and prominent leaders of the regime from coming to Canada, as outlined in an Oct. 7 press release.

On Oct. 31—two days after the worldwide protests—Canada announced a series of restrictions against the Islamic regime for continuous systematic human rights violations, according to another press release

Canada also imposed restrictions on the Iranian Law Enforcement Forces, Al-Mustafa International University, and four individuals.

“[Iranians] are demanding that their human rights be respected, and it is our duty to echo and amplify their voices,” Melanie Joly, minister of foreign affairs, said in the release.

“Canada will continue to support the Iranian people as they courageously demand a better future.”

J.N.*, an Iranian protestor at the Kingston protest, said Canada could do more.

They said existing sanctions—such as preventing IRGC members from entering the country—were a step in the right direction, but Canada should impose further sanctions the Iranian government.

They hope to build more awareness for the issue.

“We want to be the voice of our people in Iran, who are under so much oppression,” she said in an interview with The Journal. “We [are] asking [Canada] to sanction the brutal regime of Iran.”

*Name changed for safety reason

Tags

Iran, Kingston, Mark Gerretsen, Protestors, Regime

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