Two words, one name, are now known to us all: Mahsa Amini. We see it, we know it and we feel it, and since her name became our secret word, nothing has been the same, and we do not want it to be. Today, we are two weeks into the Iranian people’s uprisings and protests against the Islamic regime. Protests which began with Mahsa Amini’s – or as her family and friends and now everyone call her Jina’s, killing by the morality police on the 16th of September 2022. This time, the protests are different – they are different in both nature and scope from the 2009, 2017 and 2019 protests.
Following Jina’s killing and the Iranian people’s uprising, a group of Iranian feminists and LGBTQIA+ activists have gathered together under the name of Feminists4Jina in cooperation with other feminists and LGBTQIA+ activists around the world. They have gathered together to organize a global feminist day of action on Sunday 2nd October 2022, a day for protests, demonstrations and other gatherings. These feminists and LGBTQIA+ activists have been collaborating for years (in the framework of One Million Signatures campaign, campaign against sexual violence and compulsory Hijab) and have fought the Islamic Republic’s systematic oppression and violence in different ways, defending women’s, ethnic minorities, queer* and trans* groups and all the oppressed people’s rights against absolutist and autocratic systems. Now, they organize demonstrations in defence of the Iranian people’s demands, as well as all women and oppressed worldwide. Nevertheless, it should be accentuated that although this is a call by feminists and LGBTQIA+ activists, according to Slavoj Zizek’s letter sent to Radio Zamaneh in support of the Iranian people:
“This Iranian movement, mobilizes millions of ordinary women, and it is directly linked to the struggle of all, men included – there is no anti-masculine tendency in it, as is often the case with the Western feminism. Women and men are together in it, the enemy is religious fundamentalism supported by state terror. Men who participate in Zan, Zendegi, Azadi know well that the struggle for women’s rights is also the struggle for their own freedom: the oppression of women is not a special case, it is the moment in which the oppression that permeates the entire society is most visible”.
Jina (Mahsa)’s name has become a secret word for demanding the most fundamental human rights, the right to be an individual, to be ones-self and to be able to choose who and how you want to be in a free and equal society, but it is also more than that: it is the beginning of reclaiming the Islamic regime’s decades of oppression. Jina (Mahsa)’s name that has been tagged and shared as a hashtag more than 130 million times across social media. The slogan “woman, life, freedom”, is on the one hand an expression of everything against which the Islamic regime identifies itself with and founded upon and on the other, expresses the Iranian people’s demands, which are no longer associated with a specific social class, ethnicity, or gender and yet encompasses all these things. Woman, Life, Freedom, is in effect a historical milestone where all class, ethnic, gender, social, political and economic struggles and claims of Iranians converge, and so much more.
In a conversation with Radio Zamaneh, one of the coordinators of Feminists4Jina, underlines the fact that they are independent of all political parties and groups and have no financial support whatsoever from any political group; she further explains what distinguishes the Sunday Feminist Day of Action from other demonstrations, “This is a unique opportunity for feminist and LGBTQIA+ activists to gather and focus on women’s, gender minorities’ and other oppressed people’s rights. This movement is deeply feminist in nature and distinguishes itself from other movements by insisting on and emphasizing women’s and queer’s rights. Of course, we should not forget that Feminists4Jina participates in other demonstrations in support of women’s and Iranian people’s rights and demands, as long as the latter is in accordance to our principles mentioned above. However, the 2nd of October is our unique opportunity and the chance we have awaited for years, so that we can make the unified voice of women and LGBTQIA+ heard all around the world. The coordinators of the demonstrations and gathering in the cities of the world are all feminist and queer activists and the coordinating group is a group of women and queers”. The call of the movement, though, is an address and an invitation to go beyond gender distinctions and differences and this moving beyond will only be possible through feminist action.
Sunday 2nd of October is the big day of Feminist Action, in support of the Iranian people’s movement by calling to action all feminist and queers all around the world. The movement’s point of departure is the Iranian people’s uprising, but its purpose is to go beyond that and create a trans-national trans-cultural movement all around the world for freedom and rights which are so fundamental that they transcend any geographic, ethnic, class or national identity and address people all around the world; the leaders of it are however, women! Until now dozens of cities all around the world have joined the Feminist Day of Action: Istanbul, Stockholm, Berlin, Beirut, Paris, Malmo, Gutenberg, London, Bristol, Florence, Cologne, Stuttgart, New York, Toronto, Vancouver, Chicago, Seattle, Irvine, Rotterdam, North Carolina, Vienna, Frankfurt. The coordinators invite all people around the world fighting for freedom to join the movement in every possible way, by recording videos, by photos, or any other medium they have access to.
The Iranian people’s uprising is feminist in nature and this, as I have already mentioned above, aims at and attacks the core of patriarchal ideologies and their political apparatus. If we consider the fact that in the past few days, another motto, “man, homeland, prosperity” has been promoted by some groups, then maybe the significance of “woman, life, freedom” for women’s and LGBTQIA+’s rights becomes clearer. Woman, Life, Freedom is not only about women as one pole of a sexual binary, it is much more and it is different: it is about all the oppressed in the history. “man, homeland, prosperity” might seem like a complementary motto to woman, life, freedom, but it is absolutely the opposite: it takes us back to the impass of sexual and gender binaries (male/female dichotomy), associating prosperity and homeland to the male and freedom and life to the female. In opposition to this, woman life freedom, is an invitation to take women’s historical oppression as a point of departure towards transcending all these binaries. Moreover, the demand for life, and freedom is politically much more fundamental and universal. Feminists4Jina invite all freedom supporters around the world to join them in support of all women, queer*, trans*, and all the oppressed. Feminists4Jina call on all feminists of the world, regardless of their gender, color, nationality, belief and religion to join them on the Feminist Day of Action, 2nd of October to come to the streets of the world and join the campaign: “the Feminist Action Day in support of the uprisings in Iran is a call to all of us to step into the path towards freedom and join the trans-national fight for freedom”.
 You can follow them in their social media via this link:
 trans* and non-binary* refers to trans women, trans men, non-binary people and anyone who identifies outside gender binarities.
 There are more cities joining the movement hour by hour, for an update of the list of the cities, as well as in detail information about the events in each city please refer to Feminists4Jina interactive map:
I will bloom from my body’s wounds from the feminist song: جوانه می زنم به روی زخم بر تنم