On October 15th, the Plymouth University Feminist Society organised a peaceful march and demonstration to raise awareness, gain media and public attention and show support to the Iranian community and amplify the voices of silenced women.
The event was organised following the death of 22-year-old Zhina Mahsa Amini on September 16th. Zhina was killed by the morality police that was established to publish and arrest women and young girls for wearing their hijabs and other clothing “improperly”. Zhina was brutally beaten in the police van, resulting in a coma and her eventual death.
Since then, many Iranian young women decided to protest the Iranian regime that violates freedom and basic human rights, which led to many of them being arrested and the internet being cut off in Iran, so they no longer have means to spread the word about what is happening.
This sparked a lot of protests across the world, including in the UK. The Feminist Society felt it necessary to speak up and take action against “this blatant women’s rights violation” and believe it to be their “duty to amplify the voices of those who are being silenced.”
The Feminist Society started at Jigsaw Park and marched down to the Sundial where they held speeches to raise awareness and show their support to the Iranian community. From there they continued their march to Union Street.
“As a newly formed society, we were really worried about undertaking such a big event that involved so much planning and careful consideration. And even though it was quite challenging and stressful, every second of it was worth it! We were surprised by how many people showed up and were thankful to every single person who came out to support the cause that day. We wanted to provide a platform to ensure that the voices of the Iranian and Kurdish communities were heard, and I believe we have achieved it, as we had many people who submitted their speeches to us and read them aloud at the demonstration. The atmosphere was truly uplifting and inspiring, knowing that we all were there for the same reason – to stand up to injustice and fight for human rights.” – Olena Khailenko, FemSoc Vice Chair
"We knew the protest was important, but it felt really good to actually see how much it meant to the Iranian community. Many people came up to us after, exchanging hugs and expressing their gratitude. People in town who were mere bystanders were also cheering us on. It was a rewarding experience!" - Khushi Nadgauda, FemSoc Chair
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