Featured Image: Photos of various protests in London in solidarity with Mahsa Amini.
Despite strong governmental repression, a wind of change blows ever stronger in Iran. What began as manifestations on 16 September 2022 concerning the death of a young Kurdish woman, Mahsa Anini at the hands of the “morality police” continues today among all ethnic groups and in most parts of the country. The first cries of “Women -Life- Liberty” continue, but “Down with the Islamic Republic” is increasingly heard.
People are discussiong radical social change.
This is a new generation of protesters, too young to have been in the 2009 Green Movement protests linked to the election of the President or the 2019 protests linked to the high costs of living. The country still faces economic difficulties, but the hopes for gradual reforms to be undertaken by the government have given way to protesting the nature of the government. More and more people are discussing the nature of a post-theocratic government. People are discussiong radical social change. The tight control by the government and its conservative allies is fast slipping away.
Image: Thousands turn out in Melbourne to stand in solidarity with protests that have broken out in Iran following the death of 22-year old Mahsa (also known as Jina or Zhina) Amini at the hands of the country’s brutal dictatorship and its ‘morality’ police. By Matt Hrkac from Geelong / Melbourne, Australia, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.
The protests which began with the leadership of women focused on women’s issues have become increasingly mixed by gender, age, and ethnicity. The issues raised have also become broader. The government is seriously worried but is unable to create a counter-vision to its current theocratic framework. Repression is the government’s line of defense. Some 300 persons have been killed by the government security forces and an estimated 14,000 arrested. The government has tried to blame the U.S.A. and Israel as the sources of the manifestations. While there is an active community of Iranians in the U.S.A. who are generally liberal in their social-political convictions, the current manifestations are not the result of efforts by Iranian exiles or the U.S. government. Few persons in Iran are taken in by the “blame game.”
The manifestations are creating new ties of solidarity among people who did not know eachother before. It is impossible to know at this stage how events will develop. The military and especially the Revolutionary Guards may grow stronger as they are well organized while the protesters do not have a coordinated leadership. It is difficult to know how to support the protests from outside the country, but the situation merits close attention.
René Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.