Protests in Iran are raging anew as authorise crackdown on thousands of mourners of Nika Shakarami. The gatherings to mark the 40th day of the young woman’s death however soon turned violent.
Rallies evidently took place in Khorramabad yesterday, where it was reported that the police opened fire on the crowd.
Raging protests in Iran spreading rapidly
The protests in Iran that started after the death of Misha Amini are not only still raging, but have also extended significantly. As of yesterday, October 26th, they had reached 33 cities in 23 provinces. Thousands had filled the streets for a memorial marking the 40th day of Misha Amnion demise allegedly at the hands of the Iranian Morality Police.
Iran’s national protests are entering week six. In Saqez, hometown of Mahsa Amini, thousands of people ignore government road closures to walk to her gravesite on the 40th day of her death. A growing number of young women refuse to wear compulsory hejab. pic.twitter.com/aMsbKz9MGX
— Karim Sadjadpour (@ksadjadpour) October 26, 2022
Today they took to the pavement and sidewalks as well to commemorate the 40th day of Nika Shakarami, another young Iranian woman who died after disappearing on September 20th. Her crime evidently have been the burning of her headscarf during a protest in Tehran.
“I know your great soul is watching. In your very short life, I saw how you grew and developed. I saw how much you suffered and burnt,” Amini’s mother was reported as saying.
Like at protests in other parts of the country, Iranian security forces also reportedly shot at demonstrators at the cemetery.
Photos have gone viral this morning and afternoon of the protests in and around the country. In cities such as Saqqez, Marivan, Sananadah, Bukan and Ilam, there are scenes of Iranian security forces shooting teargas and weapons.
Yet the violence is now on both sides, it seems, for demonstrators were also pictured setting things ablaze as they pushed back against the armed forces. There were bonfires burning on the roads of Bukan, for examples, where chants of “Death to the dictator” supposedly rang through the city.
The largest gathering was nevertheless in Saqqez, Kurdistan Province, Amini’s hometown and resting place. There, protestors as well purportedly shot and killed an IRGC intelligence officer, bringing the number of their deaths to 33 since the start of the crisis.
Protests are still ongoing all over Iran on the 40th day since the murder of #MahsaAmini, despite brutal suppression by the Islamic Republic.
Tehran, today (Oct. 26): Armed regime forces, outnumbered by barehanded protesters, retreat while still shooting!pic.twitter.com/LtJbVF3hUg
— 1500tasvir_en (@1500tasvir_en) October 26, 2022
Reports of such police brutality is what caused EU to sanction Iran recently. Yet, at this moment in time, it does not seem to have had any great impact.
‘Zhan, Zhian, Azidi’: women, life, freedom
‘Zhan, Zhian, Azidi’ has now become the rallying cry for protesters abroad and in Iran. One reason is to show how many Iranian men seem to support the protests.
The second is perhaps due to the fact that it was with women that it began. They were the ones expressing anger, rage and pain. Thus, the early demonstrations were mostly young and female-led.
1. Now in their sixth week, nationwide protests in Iran continue with intensity. In the city of Mahabad–Iranian Kurdistan– thousands of protesters chant "woman, life freedom" (zhan, zhian, azadi) pic.twitter.com/9Z6gJlsErg
— Karim Sadjadpour (@ksadjadpour) October 27, 2022
Third, they are also the ones the rules about women wearing hijabs and other regulations impeding their freedom and independence also effect.
Lastly, like Amini, the symbolic face of the now world-wide movement has primarily been the young female women protesters who also met an early, untimely death.
Is this the beginning of a revolution? The answer is perhaps. Certainly, there are many who seem to believe that it is or may be, both in the public opinion and the media.
“This year is the year of blood, Seyed Ali will be toppled,” a group of individuals are said to have cried out in Saqqez.
“Khamenei is a murderer and his regime is not legitimate,” others reputedly interrupted Shakarami’s speech to yell.
Artists have taken to showcasing their views against the deaths of Amini and protesters as well. In Tehran, for example, an anonymous artist dyed the Tehran Fountain blood red.
It is the 40th day after the death of #mahsaamini. Here we see large crowds walking to her grave & protests all over Iran.
If you think the Regime can crush this Revolution, think again. #مهسا_امینی pic.twitter.com/olsJ4I9SET
— Ellie Cohanim (@elliecohanim) October 26, 2022
The crisis does not seem to have an end point yet either, since every time someone dies during a protest in Iran, the 40-day timer starts all over again. This, despite the often violent police crackdowns that target them. The next event, evidently, with be held for 40th day of Sarina Esmailizadeh. There is also Najafi Hadis Thus, it will go so on, and so on again.
“For every single protester killed, thousands of protesters will rise,” students at the Pars University for Art and Architecture reportedly chanted.
If that is the case, then the protests in Iran will linger for quite some time. Indeed, what began in September shows no signs at all of abating, making a possible revolution thus a far more plausible thing.