“Women, life, freedom!” The protesters yelled these three words. Their march was a call to attention for the freedom in the lives of Iranian women.
Following the Iranian Revolution of 1979, the government instilled a mandatory dress code for women. The hijab was decreed mandatory for all women in the workplace, school, and public spaces. Furthermore, women were no longer allowed to enter any government office unveiled.
On September 16th, 43 years later, Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman, died in the custody of Iran’s morality police in Tehran, the capital of Iran, due to wearing her headscarf too loosely.
While the Iranian police reported that she died as a result of a heart attack at the station, many close to Amini and the event have insisted that her death was the result of extreme police brutality. Amini’s family disputes the official account issued by the Iranian government, saying that Amini was beaten by the police on the way to the detention center. Witnesses that were detained close to Amini said she was severely beaten, as well.
Amini’s arrest on September 13, 2022, came as the result of a violation of the dress code, during her visit to Tehran from the western city of Saqqez in Iran’s Kurdistan province. As her death was the result of the law, the Iranian people have found themselves enraged with this injustice. Her death has sparked protests amongst people all around the country, and eventually worldwide.
On Sep. 25, 2022, more than one thousand Bay Area residents marched across the Golden Gate Bridge with Iranian protesters to show solidarity in support of Iranian women. The protestors also honored Mahsa Amini and other Iranian women whose lives were taken too soon by the morality police.
“Say her name!” The protesters chanted as they wished to have Mahsa Amini’s name in remembrance.
Bay Area Iranians, including those who had fled after the Iranian Revolution, all gathered together with non-Iranian allies, united as one at the Golden Gate Protests on Sep. 25th.
Organizers of The Golden Gate Bridge demonstration say they are planning subsequent events. People from all over the world are being urged to join Iranian protesters to bring attention to the longstanding encroachment of women’s freedom in Iran.
Reza Khosravi, an Iranian-American demonstrator, helped organize the September 25th human chain event across the Golden Gate Bridge.
“We are all Masha. They all the sister, the brother, and she had 80 million as her family. And want to show that to the government,” said Khosravi. “That this time, we are not just one person that you can beat and kill during the custody. This time, we are all together and it’s different.”
Today, social media continues to reveal the rising conflict in Iran. In the Kurdistan province where Amini was buried, there is an ongoing “intense conflict” between protesters and security. The protesters are continuing to fight for Amini and other women’s rights while government security forces deem their protests as a “desperate anti-revolutionary effort.”
Other countries have begun to involve themselves to show unity and support for these women. President of the European Union, Ursula von der Leyen, tweeted that the women “demand freedom and equality…The violence must stop. Women must be able to choose. This shocking violence cannot stay unanswered. It’s time to sanction those responsible for this repression.”
Here are some ways you can support protesters: