Iranians and their supporters living abroad will hold protest rallies in more than 150 cities around the world today, October 1, in solidarity with the demands of protesters inside the country. The rallies – under the title “It’s Time”, and also “Freedom Rally” – were organized mainly by Hamid Esmaeilion, a legal activist, whose wife and child were killed when the Islamic Revolutionary Guards shot down a Ukrainian aircraft in January 2020.
Below are some tips for safe and effective protests for Iranians and anyone around the world planning to attend a rally.
Do not come into conflict with other people. If a conflict arises, get as far away from the scene as possible and help maintain order by calling law enforcement.
Report suspicious activity to the police
Inform the police of any suspicious activity that may disrupt the smooth running of assemblies and disturb the tranquility of those attending. In some cases, bad actors may seek to ignite conflict, disrupt the assembly, and attract protesters, even with the intent to rob people or commit other crimes.
Do not damage public property
During protests, it can be easy to be overwhelmed by excitement or intense emotions and engage in actions such as knocking over trash cans, burning street furniture, flags or photos of officials and leaders. Maintaining public order and safety means avoiding any action resulting in destruction or damage, even minor, to public property, or any action perceived as such, and reporting suspicious and dangerous cases to the police.
Avoid slogans that incite ethnic and racial animosities
The Iranian diaspora is diverse and includes different ethnicities, religious groups, races and beliefs. Avoid unnecessary disputes and prevent the incitement of ethnic, racial and religious sentiments by refraining from chanting slogans that offend one’s fellow citizens.
Ethnicity, race and religion have nothing to do with the purpose of these gatherings, which is to protest against the policies of the Islamic Republic and its leaders, including the imposition of compulsory hijab.
Respect the neighbors
Holding free protest rallies organized by different cities around the world has become possible by respecting the civil rights of others, including neighbors who live near the protest location or whose businesses are in the area. Respecting the peace of these people increases the national respect and dignity of Iranians and is an appropriate response to the host cities of these gatherings.
Refrain from attacking the embassy and diplomatic premises of Iran
If your gathering is held near the embassy, consulate or other diplomatic premises of the Islamic Republic of Iran, absolutely refrain from causing damage or attempting to capture or harm its employees. Under international law, the police of host countries are required to prevent protesters from entering or occupying these places. Trying to take such measures harms the reputation and financial situation of Iranians.
Respect local culture and customs
Demonstrations are planned in more than 150 cities and Iranians may be forced to travel to join them. The customs, culture and beliefs of local people may differ from those of protesting Iranians. Upholding these beliefs will maintain order in the gathering and earn the respect of protesters and their hosts.
Share these tips with your friends
Please share the key points raised in this article to help preserve the peace and order of gatherings.