On Oct. 1, a massive crowd of protestors marched in Boston Common to demonstrate their collective solidarity after the death of a 22-year-old Iranian woman. Protestors stood outside the State House, drawing people’s attention to the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who was detained by Iran’s “mortality police” for allegedly wearing a hijab, also known as a headscarf, too loosely, and was later announced dead. 

More than 300-400 people and organizers stood on the steps of the State House, voicing against the atrocities committed, and risking their lives while demonstrating against the Iranian government. “We want to make sure people know we’re risking a lot,” said Mohamad, one of the organizers, to the Boston Herald. “It’s not just us here; they can harass our families back in Iran. The only way to protect people is if word spreads.” [1]

The event was one of the Women’s March organization’s sister events. The organization hosted rallies and protest marches across the country. Boston.com reached out to one of the organizers of the Boston Women’s March, Samantha Jandl, and she commented that the march was mainly focused on bolstering support before the midterm elections in November and elevating pro-choice female politicians running around the nation. [2]

“We believe that women’s rights are human rights, and that none of us are free unless we are all free, and women’s liberation is a huge component of that,” said Jandl to Boston.com. Several speakers were at the protest, and later, the demonstrators marched down to Quincy Market. [2]

Some protesters also participated in an international display of support on Saturday, chopping their hair in solidarity with Amini and the women of Iran. According to information obtained by the Boston Herald from one of the organizers, Iranians living in Massachusetts convened in a Telegram group and organized the event in three days. [1]

Kaveh Afrasiabi, one of the political science professors at UMass Boston, organized a solidarity stand outside the Campus Center of UMass Boston. Afrasiabi talked about the present situation in Iran, including the political and social environment of the country. He, alongside some of the students, was holding signs for the “UMass Day of Solidarity with Iranian Women.” Some students passing the Campus Center walkway towards Wheatley stopped by to hear and talk more about the protest. 

After weeks of national protests, the US Treasury Department issued several sanctions over human rights abuse to top Iranian government leaders. One of the organizers at the protest march in Boston Common said, “The people of Iran and the world can no longer be silent. Their bravery and fight for freedom on the streets have been awarded a complete internet blackout. We are committed to advocating for the Iranian people’s human rights, but we cannot do so successfully without your help.”

Students at universities across the Greater Boston Area rallied for Amini at their campuses. Students at Harvard University stood in solidarity on the steps of Widener Library. The protest was organized by students, and the faculty and staff members spoke. Iranian students at Boston University also expressed their anger.

According to the Associated Press, clashes and unrest in Iran have led to the death of around 35 individuals. The country has also shut down internet services and tightened security on popular social media platforms. All these activities have stirred up Iranians living in different parts of the world, resulting in protests. Local and global leaders reacted to the situation by expressing solidarity. Former Pres. Barack Obama said in a statement, “we stand in solidarity with the courageous Iranian women and girls who have inspired the world through their ongoing protests.”

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