“Sometimes people try to destroy you, precisely because they recognize your power – not because they don’t see it, but because they see it and they don’t want it to exist.” – bell hooks
If you’re following the news, it’s impossible not to pay attention to what’s happening in Iran.
Because what it looks like is potentially – and hopefully – a beginning of a revolution.
Women burning hijabs and cutting their hair in public are just some of the sights we’re seeing. Men are on the streets, too, together with women being brutally attacked by Iranian forces.
The protests started after a 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, died in a custody by Iran’s so-called morality police. Although the authorities claim otherwise, she died after she had fallen into a coma after what appeared heavy beatings.
Interestingly, you might find voices on social media saying that Mahsa’s death – or, rather, the circumstances of her death – are fabricated, that she wasn’t actually beaten by the morality police. You might hear that it’s being used by the West to fuel anti-Iran sentiments so that a new government would be installed.
To respond to that, we should consider two things.
One, surely there are countries that would like to see the government in Iran change. And knowing the US history of supporting coups and regime changes, including in Iran itself (it’s so well known that it’s on Wikipedia!), it’s no secret. It’s not being paranoid to be looking for Western agents pushing for regime change in Iran; it’s only being historical.
Two, the first point doesn’t negate the significance of what we’re seeing. We have way too many instances of someone’s death – especially in the hands of state authorities – turning into a hashtag and inspiring a movement.
These are actual grassroots movements that we have to believe in. And now we have to believe in the women of Iran.
In her article, Hoda Katebi, an American-Iranian political activist and organiser, writes:
Today’s protests echo the decades of resistance led by women, both veiled and unveiled, against the hijab’s co-optation as a tool of repression since its imposition in the 1980s. This struggle is interlinked with similar struggles for women’s liberation globally.
Whether fighting for the right to control our reproductive lives in the United States, the right to life without military occupation in Palestine or Kashmir, or the right to free speech in Saudi Arabia, women are left with few options but to rise up.
To better understand what’s happening in Iran, how intersectional these protests have been, and what the Iranian people want from the global community, please watch an interview with Hoda on Democracy Now here:
To demand the US lifts its devastating sanctions that we all know hurt women and children of Iran, please click here.