Crushing Flowers Cannot Delay Spring!
Let us first remember that the Islamic Republic of Iran was born through violence and repression:
• The suppression of sexual and gendered minorities, particularly that of women’s struggles against the compulsory hijab on the 8th of March 1979, whose historical truth is recently verified via the protests known as ‘Girls of Enghelāb (revolution) Street’ and through the Jina uprising.
• Khomeini’s declaration of Jihad on non-Persian national minorities and the bloody repression of self-determination movements.
• The repression of religious minorities and secular opponents.
• The violent repression of the working classes, leading to the dissolution of workers’ and neighborhoods’ self-governing councils.
Under the shadow of 8 years Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, the regime laid its foundations by eliminating its opponents. The Islamic counter revolution ultimately established its power with the execution of thousands of prisoners and revolutionaries in the bloody summer of 1988, thereby taking over the 1979 progressive revolution. Since then, the reproduction of this regime has been relying on physical repression and the development of ideological apparatuses.
Today, the regime’s violent repression of protesters and opponents is not aimed to establish its counter-revolutionary power but rather to sustain itself in the final struggle before death. The ‘Woman, Life, Freedom’ movement has shown that the regime is already dead in the minds of its people. Intimidation, violence, and threat can no longer save the regime. Nasrin Qaderi, the Kurdish student who was shot dead in Tehran, put it clearly in her last message on the Internet: “Do not threaten us with death! We’ve lived through it!”. The ‘Jin, Jiyan, Azadi’ movement has placed the fight against the enemies of life at the heart of its own existence, as shown by the slogan: ‘Martyrs will never die’.
The ‘Women, Life, Freedom’ movement is sparked by the state feminicide of Jina (Mahsa) Amini on 16 September 2022. During the past four months, the oppressed people in Iran have stood up against all threats and intimidation. From streets to their homes, from factories to universities and schools, they resist everywhere the forces of repression with unparalleled courage. The regime militarised hospitals and deployed ambulances as tools of repression, but courageous nurses and doctors, together with the youth from local communities, take care of the wounded and created underground and autonomous networks of medical care.
Prisoners are subjected to various forms of brutality, such as baseless verdicts in the show trials (in the absence of independent lawyers) and physical and psychological torture for forced confessions. Women and queer prisoners are particularly facing rape and sexual harassment. Yet, the prisoners do not kneel before the regime and resist even in prison by going on hunger strikes, coordinated action, issuing statements, producing artworks, and many other creative forms of political action.
Let us recall that oppression is not evenly distributed amongst oppressed bodies. Mohsen Shekari, executed on 8 December 2022, was a coffee-shop worker. He was branded as ‘an enemy of God’ and accused of setting a trash bin on fire, while his actual ‘crime’ was the legitimate self-defense against the violence of the armed forces. The murders of Afghan children like Setareh Tajik and Kian Pirfalak from the city of Izeh, the bloody repression of national minorities in Baluchistan and the militarisation of Kurdistan, and the harrowing accounts of rape and sexual violence all point to the extreme and uneven dimensions of repression.
The Republic of Massacre, as the protesters nowadays call the Islamic Republic, takes advantage of the fragile situation of anonymous and marginalised people to intensify its terror campaign and even takes hostage the martyrs and prisoners’ families. Yet, the executions and the campaign of terror will not and cannot put an end to this movement.
Since the beginning of the uprising, more than 18,000 activists and protesters have been arrested, thousands have been injured, more than 500 people have been shot dead or killed under torture, and more than 100 people are at risk of execution on charges like ‘waging war against God’ and ‘spreading corruption on earth’. The reports received from the condition of prisons are appalling.
And yet, the ‘Woman life freedom’ uprising is still alive and needs stronger solidarity. Our plea for justice and the livelihood of this uprising will survive the repression only when the active international support of those who fight for freedom creates the power of solidarity. The silence of oppressed peoples around the world in the face of direct and indirect support from global and regional powers increases the regime’s sense of impunity and facilitates the ongoing repression. At the same time, we must join our forces to condemn any foreign intervention (including military and economic) that would damage the independence and autonomy of this uprising.
On Saturday, January 21, 2023, we will take to the streets to condemn the executions and the tyrannical repression, expressing our solidarity with the resistance of prisoners and their families, with those sentenced to death, and with the movement of mothers who demand justice for their children.
Local time and location of the protest:
Stand by the oppressed and in solidarity with their resistance!