If you live in the Toronto area, you probably attended the chahar shanbe soori celebration at Mel Lastman Square. You may have also noticed the potest happening not too far from away. There was a lot of police presence this time around and knew someting was different at this one, police were very more attentive and on guard, not sure if somethign happened last time but something had them on guard.
Anyway, it was pretty obvious that the crowd or at least most were very passionate about this protest(and why not, we all know what these protests are about). So much so that they are forgetting that we needed to maintain a responsible attitude. Someone lit a flag on fire and was immediately arrested, not only that, the police rammed through the crowd to get the person they wanted to their cruiser and in doing that knocked a older man down. They proceeded to arrest the gentleman and all of a sudden everythign changed and I was embarrassed. Everyone started chanting their slogans to the police officers as if they were basij, some people were so far as to suggest that they are being paid by the IRI(idiot).
These actions are ridiculous and shameful and we need to stop acting out of anger. People were so enraged, you couldnt even talk to them, all they were thinking was "marg bar this and marg bar that." The thing to remember is that police need to maintain order and keep from riots from happening. Protesting is very dangerous in the eyes of the police. Everything can change on the drop of a dime so police are on their toes and need to make sure the situation is controlled because simple math shows there were approx 10 of them and close to 100 protesters. So when you see a group enraged men lighting something on fire, something needs to be done.
Then one guy wanted to make a barricade around the police cruiser in hopes to release his friend. Though I admire his bravery, it is not a very smart idea. Luckily he had some calm friends that discouraged him but this is the irrational behaviour i am talking abou. Our protests need to be fuelled with comradery, love and determination, not anger...anger gets us nowhere.
On the other hand, the police were not trying very hard to explain what was going on. Their response to every protesters questioning was "get back!" Shout out to officer M. Sahari who just stood back and ignore his fellow iranians instead explaining the polices point of view. Also apparently, they werent allowing people to take their flags to the stage area in fear of a bigger protest of there, not sure if thats true but kinda lame if so. How can we celebrate our culture without our flag??
In the future, i recommend to all my brothers and sisters to chant and only chant, let people who can lead...well lead, remain calm and have good communication skills with Iranians and non Iranians. There was one guy with a megaphone and did not want to understand why the police were acting in such a way, he just continued shouting and practically turned the protesters on the police. The leaders of these protests are in a very sensitive position, they have control of a crowd and they need to make sure people are not acting out of line. The police have the power to shut down a protest and need to be aware of that before you start calling them names. Bottom line is anger turned a tense situation into a bad one and we need to remember who we are protesting against!
see you guys next protest, Ill bring the shirini and you bring the tea
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