Iranian Canadians, supporters hold series of candlelight vigils at Vancouver Art Gallery

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      For past two nights, thousands of Iranian Canadians and their supporters have gathered in downtown Vancouver to draw attention to the plight of the people of Iran.

      In the wake of the disputed June 12 presidential election, the demonstrators plan to hold the silent candlelight vigils for nine more consecutive nights.

      “Our demand is that the security forces stop the harsh treatment of protestors inside Iran,” Maziar Seirafi, an Iranian Canadian who has helped organize the vigils, told the Straight. “We are just trying to give voice to the people of Iran, we are not trying to set agendas for them.”

      Iranians who protested after officials announced results that handed a reelection victory to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have faced violent repression from state security forces. Phone and Internet services have been disrupted in the country.

      According to various reports, seven protesters were killed at a rally on June 15, and an unconfirmed number of students have been killed in a crackdown on university campuses.

      The evening vigils at the Vancouver Art Gallery follow a June 14 demonstration outside the Vancouver Convention Centre.

      Silent Scream for Iran is the organization behind these events. The nonpartisan group is supporting neither the incumbent hard-liner Ahmadinejad or the U.S.-backed reformist candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi, a former prime minister.

      “This is about the Iranian protestors on the streets of Iran,” Seirafi said. “It’s not about the political views of Iranian people in Vancouver.”

      The vigils will take place nightly from 9:30 to 10 p.m. until June 26.



      Pete Quily

      Jun 19, 2009 at 1:04am

      Silent protests are a great idea.

      For those wanting to keep up on the Iran Election protests, Nico Pitney is liveblogging for the Huffington post

      I wonder if anyone will create an Iranian deployment of Ushahidi for tracking & publicizing post election violence?

      It's an open source platform that crowd sources crisis information via SMS, mobile, email or webform. Was developed for Kenyan election violence, coincidentally their election was stolen too and there was post election violence. They documented it by crowdsourcing and geotagging. They used it to monitor 2009 Indian election and it's free. It could be hosted outside of iran.

      Andrew Sullivan is doing it for the Atlantic

      Tehran Bureau has some good coverage
      Pete Quily
      Adult ADD Coach

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