Iranian protesters in Berlin, Germany on October 22, 2022

Iranian protesters in Berlin, Germany on October 22, 2022

Protests In Iran, Abroad Boost Sense Of Unity, Solidarity

Monday, 10/24/2022

Simultaneous anti-regime protests in Iran and abroad Saturday awakened a sense of unity and solidarity that anti-regime Iranians had not experienced in decades.

Despite the heavy presence of security forces and serious disruption of the internet, Iranians took to the streets on Saturday [Oct. 22], wherever they found the chance, while the diaspora gathered in many major cities abroad to tell the world that the rulers of the Islamic Republic do not represent the people of Iran.

Saturday and Wednesday protests called by underground youth groups (Javanane-Mahalat) in various cities have turned into a regular weekly event keeping security forces constantly on their toes these days.

Judging from video footage trickling out, the protests Saturday were by far the largest and most widespread so far despite the massive mobilization of security forces, constant crackdown on protesters and activists, and evermore tighter internet control.

“The anti-riot police have to use even their dilapidated vehicles and pickup trucks to maintain their heavy presence in so many places,” a member of an underground youth group in one of the southern cities of Iran told Iran International.

“The internet has become useless so communication for organizing protests is next to nil,” he said adding that it has been extremely difficult to access social media platforms through VPNs in the past three weeks. “They have constantly been at it to hack our Twitter accounts, too,” he said.

On the same day, over 80,000 expatriates from every political inclination poured into Berlin, Germany, from all over Europe to show their solidarity with the protesters in Iran. According to the spokesman of the German Police around 50,000 were expected to attend but the size of the crowd rose to around 80,000. Similar but smaller rallies were held across the globe, from New Zealand and Australia to US and Canada, to demand an end to the rule of the Islamic Republic.

The diaspora’s turnout has angered the government in Tehran which is trying to belittle it.

The gathering in Berlin was called by an Iranian-Canadian activist, Hamed Esmaeilion, who lost his daughter and wife in the downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane in January 2020 by the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).

Esmaeilion delivered a speech at the spectacular gathering which was reminiscent of Martin Luther King’s famous “We Have a Dream” speech.

“We all have dreams that will only come true if the Islamic Republic collapses. This dream will come true with the toppling of Ali Khamenei’s empire of fear and crime,” he said while the massive crowd cheered him.

“In our dream wind will blow in women’s hair, in our dream children will not be forced to learn ideologies belonging to the Middle Ages, in our dream no one will attack girls’ schools, nobody will push people’s children down from heights or hit their heads against the curb, no one will shoot at them from behind,” Esmaeilion -- a dentist, author, and spokesman of the families of victims of flight PS752 – said.

Esmaeilion urged western countries to stop negotiating with the Islamic Republic and to expel Iran's ambassadors. “No one is asking you to get involved in a war [with the Islamic Republic], no one is asking you to impose sanctions on the [Iranian] people. We are asking you to impose targeted sanctions against the officials of the Islamic Republic,” he said.

Esmaeilion said Western powers should send “a strong political signal” to the regime to show they “believe in the revolution of brave Iranian youth”.

“Demonstrate respect for the most progressive revolution in the history of the Middle East and do not forget that we, the people of Iran, will neither forget nor forgive collaborators with the villainous Islamic Republic,” he added.

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