DC rally commemorates death of Zhina Amini in Iran

By Arlene Rubinstein
November 20, 2023

WASHINGTON — Over 75 people gathered at the Lincoln Memorial for a vigil Oct. 28 commemorating the death of Zhina Amini, the young Kurdish woman who died one year ago Sept. 16 after her arrest by the hated “morality police” in Tehran. She was detained for violating the Iranian regime’s reactionary dress code for women. 

Organizers of the event, the National Solidarity Group of Iran, announced the death that evening of Armita Geravand, a 16-year-old Iranian, also after being accosted by police on the Tehran subway Oct. 1. Her “crime” was also not heeding the dress code. Candles lined the vigil with names of some of those killed during the protests that swept Iran following Amini’s death.

“The Pasdaran, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, has a long history of brutality against the people of Iran,” Latifeh Namini, a participant in the vigil from Falls Church, Virginia, told this Militant  reporter who joined the action along with other Socialist Workers Party members. “They were used against working people who made a historic revolution there in 1979,” I said, “to brutalize them as the rulers consolidated a counterrevolution.” 

“Yes, that’s what happened, and today the government uses them against the people,” Namini said. “We demand respect for our rights and an end to executions.” 

SWP campaigners held signs saying “Solidarity with workers, women, and oppressed nationalities in Iran” and “No to Jew-hatred — For Israel’s right to exist,” and distributed copies of a campaign statement “Fight to win workers power and socialism to end Jew-hatred” by Rachele Fruit, the party’s candidate for U.S. Senate from Florida. Nineteen dollars was contributed to the SWP Party-Building Fund by participants at the action. 

“Your point of view is welcomed here,” said Namini, who was promoting an upcoming meeting, “The Impact and Interconnection of the Hamas-Israel Conflict with the Uprising in Iran and the Role of the Islamic Republic.”