October 26, 2022 marks forty days since the death of Mahsa Jina Amini by Iran’s morality police. From all around the country, thousands of people marched to her gravesite despite road blockades. Students in universities across the county and well as refinery workers continue their strikes against the current oppressive regime.
This marks forty days of doomscrolls when I wake up, in between work commitments and before bed trying to find and share updates on what is happening in Iran there is a lot. Checking to see if family members in Iran are still posting, still alive. I can’t encapsulate everything has been going down. There continues to be so much violence and still much fearless hope still managing to find its way to the masses through social media outlets. Nationwide censorship in Iran is still so evident. Even reports of officers storming into people’s homes and stealing their phones so they can’t share out any further information is happening.
Using my own filter, here are some updates I have found or that have been shared with me that might not have reached more popular news outlets. And for the sake of my emotional energy, I am not going to revisit and share out individual stories of sexual and physical violence taking place. (If you want numbers like some awful sporting match you can follow @en.hrana’s “Iran Protest 2022 – Daily Update” with the number of people killed, arrested and death toll.)
For the sake of movement making, recent videos have been circulating online of students at Qom University students chanting “You killed our professors and replaced them with mullahs. WOMAN! LIFE! FREEDOM!” when a spokesman from the regime came to give a speech. Qom is one of the more conservative cities in Iran. (via @gisellebasiri and @alipirhadi.oficial posted on October 25, 2002)
Teachers and coaches have also been filmed joining students in the street as part of a nationwide teachers’ strike because they know their students are being targeted and killed.
Strikes by workers were pivotal in the last Iranian Revolution. Though workers can be offered bribes, in these more rural locations the punishment could be death. Worker Strikes have happened at the following locations (via @nicolenajafi posted on October 18, 2022):
- Assaluyeh petrochemical plant
- Bandar Abbas oil refinery
- Abadan oil refinery (the second largest refinery in the Middle East)
- Abadan oil transit truck drivers
- Bushehr petrochemical plant
- Kangan petrochemical plant
- South Pars natural gas plant (the largest in the world)
- Haft Tappeh sugar factory
- Mahshahr pipe plant
- Neyriz Ghadir steel plant
- Hengam petrochemical plant
Accounts of some actively amplifying Iranians representing targeted minority groups in Iran include: @collectiveforblackiranians @ozi_ozar @womenlifefreedomcollective @kurdistanhumanrightsnetwork
There are also demands to remove Iran from the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) as they continue their crimes and human rights violations against women. You can sign the petition at www.womanlifefreedom.today
On a more joyous note are the circulations of women dancing in the streets, with or without their hair covered. The act of deviance is resistance to such laws that have been created under the current regime which include but not limited to (from @persianwithpurpose posted on October 4th):
- Showing their hair
- Singing in public
- Dancing in public
- Riding a bicycle
- Attending a soccer game
- Traveling without their husband’s consent
- Wearing makeup and nail polish at school
Even with the massive protests that happened last weekend in LA, Washington D.C. and Berlin where hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in support of the people’s uprising in Iran they still may not be gaining the same news coverage as they deserve. @quirkypenstudio shared a good reminder as there are Iranians demanding more sanctions and harsher punishments to the regime that these protests are not asking for foreign intervention. She posted,
“Iranians are FULLY capable of being their own saviours. NEVER mistake our protests in our homeland or in diaspora as begging for Western intervention. BUT in the chance these imperialist powers decide they do have a conscience, what they CAN/MUST do is the following: REMOVE sanctions & impose TARGETED sanctions and bans on the Regime leaders.”
Any nationwide sanction will continue to hinder the people’s movement. The last slide is a snapshot of @freiresdaughter’s tweet response to Secretary Antony Blinken’s “Mahsa Amini should be alive today. Instead, the United States and the Iranian people mourn her…” tweet with the response “your country has literally banned medical equipment from entering Iran for 20 years now. aren’t sanctions as a form of subjugation too? how many iranian women died bc they didn’t access healthcare?”
And for the sake of art and international solidarity, red strips of cloth with Mahsa Amini were dropped in the Guggenheim Museum on October 22nd getting a lot of attention. In Los Angeles, a mural was painted of Mahsa Amini by @cloehakakian and @1goodhombre located at 7753 Melrose Ave. @cloehakakian posted:
“ I am absolutely blown away by the strength & support of our community. THANK YOU to everyone who has helped us create this mural & bring awareness to this WOMAN LED revolution. I have never been more proud to be an IRANIAN WOMAN! And most importantly – to the brave girls in Iran, WE SEE YOU & WE ARE WITH YOU. No woman is free until ALL women are free”. (from October 11, 2022)
In Berlin, @dexpierte_colectivo (from Colombia) spray painted a massive, stenciled mural of Zhina (Mahsa) Amini. They posted:
“🌺“Zan, zendegi, azadi”🔥~
“Mujeres, vida, libertad
Frauen, Leben, Freiheit
Acción colectiva en homenaje a Zhina (Mahsa) Amini mujer iraní de origen kurdo, arrestada y torturada por no usar su hiyab correctamente por la Policía de la Moral del Gobierno iraní. Zhina (Mahsa) Amini fué arrestada por parte de la policía del Gobierno de Irán. Después de recibir golpes en diversas partes del cuerpo y en la cabeza, entró en coma y tan solo dos horas después de su detención era ingresada en un hospital. Dos días después murió. Su muerte ha generado desde el 16 de septiembre fuertes protestas contra el sistema teocrático iraní en varias ciudades del país y del mundo.
Hoy desde Berlín, lugar de miles de aves 🦢 🐝 🦩🕊🦜migratorias trascendiendo fronteras les decimos NO a sus crímenes de violencia y guerra contra el cuerpo y la vida de las niñas, mujeres y disidencias sexuales hoy son quienes empuñan sus ✂️ ⚒💇🏻♀️cortes para continuar nombrando lo indescifrable y poder narrar que NO obtendrán un silencio histórico ni tampoco lograrán que esto silencie a nuevas generaciones, son ellas mismas quienes han decidido emprender este nuevo trasegar de dignidad vida y libertad.
Gracias a todas las niñas y mujeres que permitieron crear el espacio y quienes desde su anonimato nos compartieran su dolor, sus caminos migratorios y sus historias de vida. Gracias por cada momento y sentimiento en un solo lenguaje que no entiende de violencias (La pintura), gracias a Edna y a todo el equipo de profesoras en @phantalisa @txepetite , Meli, Andrea, por estos momentos y dolores compartidos, desde la distancia continuamos de pie y con la frente en alto 🫀🙏🏾⚔️”
For more art in solidarity to fuel this new Iranian revolution please check out:
- @minamjafari (free downloadable graphics as well as merch through @kuchehdc)
- @diasporaforiran (posters, illustrations, art and photos)
- @womanlifefreedom.art (has calls to art to build transnational feminist solidarity)
Continuing sharing in support of the people of Iran fighting for their freedom from this oppressive regime. The people will not turn back, as one of my relatives in Iran wrote in a brief message,
“There’s no alternative, that’s our only choice [to be strong, patient and hopeful].”
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