Indiana Daily Student

Iran Midwest Solidarity Group leads demonstration in support of Iranian Revolution 

<p>A demonstrator joins in a chant Nov. 16, 2022, outside of the Monroe County Courthouse. Chants were raised by organizers from the Iran Midwest Solidarity Group between speeches and included mantras, such as &quot;Hey, ho, the Islamic regime has got to go&quot; and &quot;Women, life, freedom.&quot;</p>

A demonstrator joins in a chant Nov. 16, 2022, outside of the Monroe County Courthouse. Chants were raised by organizers from the Iran Midwest Solidarity Group between speeches and included mantras, such as "Hey, ho, the Islamic regime has got to go" and "Women, life, freedom."

The Iran Midwest Solidarity Group conducted a demonstration in solidarity with the Iranian Revolution on Wednesday at the Monroe County Courthouse.  

On Sept. 16, an Iranian woman named Mahsa Amini died after being arrested and beaten by the religious morality police of Iran’s government for not wearing the hijab in accordance with government standards — loosely, showing some hair. Sparked by Amini’s death, an uprising began targeting the regime’s oppression of women and gender segregation. 

The Iran Midwest Solidarity Group is an Indiana based organization formed in support of the ongoing revolution and protests in Iran. The group consists of IU students, faculty, staff and Bloomington community members. 

Shahyar Daneshgar, a professor in the School of Global and International Studies and member of the IMSG, said the Bloomington public should join and help spread the wishes of the citizens of Iran. He said IMSG want to echo the voices of the Iranian people who have been oppressed for the last 43 years under a horrific regime. 

“The people of Iran are demanding a change and striving to establish a free and democratic society in which women, men and citizens are free to express their opinions and live a life that they think they deserve without being told what to wear, what to say or whom to pray to,” Daneshgar said. 

The demonstration included speeches and chants led by members of the IMSG. Signs were provided for participants to hold and show their support. Signs included “women, life, freedom” and “free Iran.” 

The first to speak was IMSG member Aida Lavigne. She said the IMSG stands in solidarity with the Iran Revolution. 

“We are in support of the revolution, and it is not right to call it anything other than that,” Lavigne said. “We are here for change, and we are here to end the human rights violations.” 

In between speeches, the crowd of people chanted “women, life, freedom,” “down with the regime” and “say her name: Mahsa Amini.” Throughout the demonstration, cars driving on Walnut honked their horns in support. 

Graduate student Aria Pessianzadeh said IMSG wanted to attract more than just IU people to the event, so they decided to hold the event by the courthouse.  

During his speech, Pessianzadeh said the message is that it is a revolution, and they want their voices heard. He said ways that allies can help are by spreading the word about issues Iranian people are facing, staying educated and contacting representatives about what is going on in Iran. 

“Nothing should overshadow the fact that the one and only goal of Iranian people is overthrowing this monstrous regime and its leaders,” Pessianzadeh said. 

At the end of the demonstration, Lavigne read a message from an anonymous person because they wanted to keep themselves and their family safe from the regime. The story was used as an example of how serious the situation was and how Iranian women do not have freedom. 

The story included a girl who was afraid because she had plucked her eyebrows the night before, so her friends had to cut parts of her hair and glue it on her eyebrows so she would not get in trouble. At the end of the story, Lavigne said the girl did not get in trouble, but the group of girls had hair and eyebrows checked as well as lipstick and other things confiscated from them. 

Like what you're reading?

Get more award-winning content delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our Daily Rundown.

Signup today!
Like what you're reading? Support independent, award-winning college journalism on this site. Donate here.

Powered by Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2022 Indiana Daily Student