Warwick demonstration for Iran women

| 08 Oct 2022 | 07:38

Hello community,

Background: Not sure if you have heard what’s happening in Iran right now. We are in the 3rd week of protests led by young women against the Islamic regime after they killed a 22 year old woman for not wearing a proper hijab. Since then, the government of Iran has not only banned social media but they have also cut off internet.

In the photo, that’s me on the right. At 5 years old I had to wear a hijab in order to be photographed with my siblings for my passport.

I was conceived during the 1979 revolution and born into the Iran-Iraq war. The first 8 years of my life were spent living in fear of dying as I saw families get bombed. I have clear memories of those funerals. There were kids who died who were my age and younger.

I’m grateful to my mother who took us out like a lioness. We went to Canada as refugees and that’s where I grew up. I recently thanked her from the bottom of my heart for her bravery and determination during that time. She told me the story of what triggered the move. My brother had come home from school at the age of 10 black and blue from being beaten by his principal. He had worn jeans to school that my aunt had brought back from a recent trip trip to Turkey. This event sent a wave of anger through her that she could not live with and she was determined to take us out. I’m forever grateful.

The young people of Iran don’t have much to live for these days. It could have been me. I now enjoy a beautiful life living in this community with my husband and two children. This whole thing pulls at my heart strings in a way I can not ignore.

Why: This is yet another part of the global fight for women’s rights. Thousands of people have taken to the streets in major cities around the world chanting #mahsaamini and #WomenLifeFreedom. What if we were their voice? Women’s rights are human rights.

The only thing these women have asked is for us to be their voice. This is not about a nuclear deal or the economy.

What: I’m organizing a peaceful demonstration in Warwick next Sunday, October 16th at 12pm at Railroad Green. What this looks like is women and girls sitting with a single flower in each of their hands with hopeful playlists playing in the background. It would be a bonus to have men standing in the background showing support. We don’t need to scream. We can lead with our hearts.

I’ve gotten permission from Mayor Michael Newhard’s office and the support of the police department. Flowers are being donated by Social Island Farm in Goshen.

All I need is you! Calling all my sisters, mothers and daughters to come out to show unity and support for a cause that’s bigger than us. Men are welcome as well. We could use all the support.

If we can help amplify the voices of these young women fighting for freedom in a broken third world country without social media and internet, what would that mean for the region? Furthermore, what does that make available for the rest of us in the west?

Suggestions for signs #mahsaamini #freeiran #WomenLifeFreedom

“I stand with Iranian women”

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I’m looking forward to meeting all of you who show up.

Sara Rutkevitz