October 2, 2022
The Rally ManifestoBy Feminists4Jina
This inspiring manifesto was issued by an international grouping of Iranian feminists that organized global rallies in support of Iranian women on October 2, 2022. It is a powerful statement of multi-issue solidarity in defense of the nation-wide uprising sparked by the police murder of Jina/Zhina/Mahsa Amini, a young Kurdish woman, for violating dress codes. There does not seem to be an organized leadership guiding the ever-broadening uprisings in Iran and the statement says this shows “we can fight without a leader.” Radical Women believes that history does not support this claim. The movement will require leadership that can build a strategy capable of overthrowing the dictatorship. We have every confidence that Iranian feminists, LGBTQ+ fighters, oppressed minorities, and workers will provide this leadership.)
In the name of Zhina, the fallen victim to state femicide two weeks ago,
In the name of Homa Darabi and her self-immolation in 1994 to protest the systemic expulsion of women,
In the name of the Enghelab Street Girls and their unapologetic and unrelenting protests against the imposed Hijab,
And in the name of all oppressed women and minorities who have taken the streets back and breathed life into the new resistance these past several years,
Today in solidarity with people in Iran, we say Woman, Life, Freedom.
We are a group of feminists and LGBTQIA+ individuals in diaspora and exile, hand in hand with our international feminist allies, who have come to the streets, all over the world, in solidarity with the people's uprising in Iran, especially the radical movement of women that challenges the oppressive, patriarchal, capitalist and religious fundamentalist regime. We also are on the streets to protest against the law of compulsory Hijab, as well as the structural and targeted repression of marginalized groups from gender, sexuality, ethnic, national, and religious minorities.
We hear the slogan Zhan, Zhiyan, 'Azadi, (Woman, Life, Freedom) worldwide. This slogan unites us on a path to oppose the Islamic republic and other powers and governments that enforce gender discrimination. The feminist aspect of the uprising in Iran shows us that we can fight without a leader, and feminist struggles cannot be dependent on governments and a top-down approach.
Right now, that people's uprising, especially the Kurdish people's uprising, has reached its peak; the Islamic Republic of Iran is bombarding the bases of the Kurdish parties and civilians. The state has been normalizing the violence against ethnic minorities through the mass-scale detention of feminists and activists from these regions. Another example of suppression of marginalized communities happened in Baluchistan, where the police and Sepah brutally killed more than 40 people in that region.
Since the uprising, many individuals from different social groups such as citizens, students, journalists and feminists have been detained. Many have disappeared. The Islamic Republic is not even ashamed of slaughtering and injuring children on the streets but also is using them as child soldiers.
For 43 years, the Islamic Republic's entire existence has been so tightly intertwined with enforced hijab-wearing that its abolition in practice means its ideological and political suicide. Through mandatory Hijab, this regime has dominated, discriminated and excluded not only women but also LGBTQIA+ people.
We are witnessing that multiple repressive policies of the Islamic regime have led to its structural collapse. Policies such as:
Controlling sexuality and curtailment of access to contraception
Hostile environmental and neoliberal policies oppress women and LGBTQIA+ communities, and other marginalized people more than others.
The gendered apartheid resulting from suppression of the women and LGBTQIA+ community members is by no means limited to Iran or the Middle East. The prohibition of abortion in some countries reminds us of how patriarchy, capitalism, racism and the religious ultra-right are closely interconnected. We stand in solidarity with all those fighting against the fascist right-wing states in the west, which devalue and exploit the bodies of women and LGBTQIA+ individuals by promoting anti-immigrant and Islamophobic discourse.
We define ourselves as anti-colonial, anti-capitalist, anti-racist, and anti-homophobic feminists and, to this end, extend our helping hand to the feminists of the world, especially feminists of the region.
We believe that liberation from capitalist exploitation, colonization, patriarchy, homophobia and racism will not be possible without forming united fronts and international solidarity. Today, more than ever, we need to get close to one another to end the patriarchal and capitalist dictatorships.