Police estimate more than 50,000 people gathered in Richmond Hill on Saturday in solidarity with protests that have erupted across Iran.
The event was held in support of ongoing unrest in the country due to the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. She died while in custody of Iranian ‘morality police’ for allegedly wearing her hijab too loosely.
The event was held outside the Richmond Hill Central Library and organized by Iranian-Canadians for Justice and Human Rights.
It was held to “bring together Canadians of all ages, races and religions to speak out in defense of the people of Iran, particularly its brave women,” organizers said.
Police told Global News they “suspect upwards of around 50,000” attended the event.
York Regional Police said increased crowds and traffic in the area were reported on Saturday, with additional officers in place “to ensure public safety.”
Ahead of the event, organizers said their aim was to “loudly echo” the voices of protestors in Iran.
“As Iran’s regime shuts off the internet in the country and kills protesters indiscriminately, the people of Iran have repeatedly asked that the international community be their voice and amplify their demands,” they said.
The Richmond Hill Public Library, the site of the protest, called it a “historic moment of global magnitude for the Richmond Hill community.”
The protest was scheduled to begin around 2 p.m. at Yonge Street and 16th Avenue in Richmond Hill, before marching to the central library.
— With files from Global News’ Darrian Matassa-Fung