Rallies in support of Iranian protestors were organized in dozens of cities across six continents—from San Francisco to Seoul and Sydney, from Tunis to Tokyo—in late September and early October 2022. Demonstrators chanted “Death to the dictator” and carried signs boasting “Women, Life, Freedom.” Some women also cut their hair to express outrage over the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurd detained for improper hijab, or head covering, on September 13. The turnout reflected the international outcry over Amini’s death and the deadly crackdown on Iranian protestors. The following is a sampling of the rallies organized by continent.
Los Angeles, United States: On October 1, Thousands of protestors gathered in front of city hall to show solidarity with Iranians. Many chanted “Woman, life, freedom,” a popular slogan among protestors in Iran. Some demonstrators waved signs that read “No to Islamic Republic” and “Freedom for Iran.”
“Tonight, City Hall is lit up red, white, and green in solidarity with the women of Iran fighting for their freedom and human rights,” Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti tweeted. “To the brave people of Iran, our city sees you and stands with you.”
Tens of thousands of Iranians fled to the United States after the 1979 revolution. Many settled in southern California. The greater Los Angeles area is reportedly home to 700,000 Iranian Americans, one of the world’s largest Iranian diaspora communities.
Boston, United States: On October 1, more than 500 demonstrators gathered outside the State House to show support for Iranian protesters. Some women cut their hair. “We are all that girl in Iran who got taken away,” Elaheh Ahmaji, an organizer of the protest, said. “It's just brought out so much anger, so much hurt from all of us that we can't stay silent, even though us being here right now is a danger to all of us. We probably can't go back to our home countries, but it's worth it.”
Richmond Hill, Canada: On October 1, in a city just north of Toronto, tens thousands of protesters gathered in front of the central library to demonstrate against Iran’s treatment of women and crackdown on protesters. “It's not just one incident. That's the anger coming from 43 years of suppression,” said Mehrdokht Hadi, an organizer of the rally. “Mahsa is the symbol. But now, it's about everybody.” The demonstration was led by Iranian-Canadians for Justice and Human Rights.
Montreal, Canada: On October 1, thousands of people demonstrated in downtown Montreal to demand freedom for Iranian women. “We are here for them. They are there not only resisting the Iran regime, but also fighting back,” Banafsheh Cheraghi, one of the event organizers said. “I would feel useless if I were not here today supporting them and echoing their voices.” Atena Barforoushi, an Iranian immigrant, said that Amini’s death was “very devastating as someone who has been abused many times in the streets of Iran for not having a proper hijab.”
London, Britain: On October 1, thousands of people took to London’s streets to protest Amini’s death and Iran’s crackdown. Demonstrators waved flags, sang protest songs and chanted “Women, life, freedom” in Trafalgar Square.
“Now, with the killing of Mahsa Amini, enough is enough,” protester Fari Rizai said. “We’re here from all walks of life to say we don’t want an Islamic regime in Iran and we, the Iranian people, want to decide our future.” Another demonstrator, Negin Alam, said that Amini was “one of many people killed in Iran, but now we’re at a point where we’re ready to be loud and say enough is enough.”
Rome, Italy: On October 1, hundreds of demonstrators marched to show their support for Iran’s protesters, carrying pictures of Mahsa Amini and waving posters that read “Women, life, freedom.” Some called for the toppling of Iran’s theocratic government. Several women cut their hair during the protest.
Paris, France: On October 2, thousands of demonstrators gathered, chanting “Join the first feminist revolution” and “Mahsa Amini – your name has made the tyranny of the ayatollahs shake.” Protesters also chanted “Women, life, freedom” and “Death to the dictator.” Some sang the song “For…,” a song inspired by the Amini’s death that has become the anthem of protests. “For once, it is the women who have risen up and are being joined by the men,” an Iranian woman at the demonstration said. “This is really the time to try to change things.”
Bern, Switzerland: On October 1, some 200 people gathered in front of the Iranian Embassy to protest the government crackdown. Two men climbed a fence and pulled down the Iranian flag in front of the building. Swiss police detained them and fired rubber bullets on other demonstrators who tried to enter the embassy grounds.
Kabul, Afghanistan: On September 29, some 30 women protested outside of the Iranian Embassy. They held posters that read “Iran has risen. Now it's our turn!" and "From Kabul to Iran say no to dictatorship!" The women also chanted “Women, life, freedom.” Taliban security forces broke up the demonstration.
Tokyo, Japan: On October 1, some 100 demonstrators, including Iranian expatriates, gathered in Shibuya Scramble Square Central. “Bye bye Islamic Republic,” they chanted. Iran’s government is “trying to suppress protests for the rights of Iranians by force to prove its legitimacy,” an event organizer shouted. Protesters waved photos of Iranian women setting fire to headscarves and cutting their hair.
Iranian diaspora leads rallies in support of #IranProtests2022 all over the world. Here in Tokyo.— Anonymous (@YourAnonCentral) October 1, 2022
"Khamenei, We Will Overthrow You!"#MahsaAmini #Mahsa_Amini #مهسا_امینی #IranRevolution #Iran #IranProtests #IranProtests2022 #opIran #IranianLivesMatter #iranrevulotion2022 pic.twitter.com/jL8rl9Pw5L
Istanbul, Turkey: On October 2, hundreds of protesters gathered to protest against the crackdown carrying roses and Iranian flags. They waved posters that read “Women, life, freedom.”
An Iranian citizen destroys his own passport during protests over the death of Jina Amini in Istanbul, Turkey.pic.twitter.com/b4omHUikxM— Kurdistan 24 English (@K24English) October 2, 2022
Beirut, Lebanon: On October 2, dozens of people demonstrated at the National Museum in support of Iranian protestors. “Corruption is in the turbans,” they chanted at a Muslim cleric who was present. Protesters also chanted “Death to the dictator,” a popular slogan at protests in Iran. “We are in 2022, it’s unacceptable for men to tell women what they can or can’t wear or do,” university lecturer Reine Abbas said. “I stand in solidarity with women whether in Iran or elsewhere.”
من الوقفة التضامنية مع نساء إيران أمام متحف بيروت، نساء بيروت يرفعن الصوت من أجل نساء إيران.— ضوميط القزي دريبي (@Doumit_Azzi) October 2, 2022
A protest in solidarity with the women of Iran in front of the Beirut Museum. Beirut women raise their voice for the women of Iran.#mahsa_amini#مهسا_اميني pic.twitter.com/u2BUcGMKgh
Sydney, Australia: On October 1, some 3,000 people demonstrated in Belmore Park. Chants included “Say her name,” and “Mahsa Amini.” Local activists and Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi spoke to the crowd. “There’s a women’s revolution happening in Iran and we in Sydney are with you all the way!” Faruqi tweeted.
Attendees expressed a range of reasons for demonstrating. “As a survivor of the Islamic Republic [of Iran's] violation of human rights, it is important to keep reminding the world that they ignored us for a long time, and this symbolic death, this significant 'women, life, freedom' movement, should not be forgotten this time,” said Dr. Saba Vasefi, an Iranian Australian academic. Another Iranian Australian woman said that she wants “to make sure that every woman” has a chance to at the kind of freedom she has living in Australia.
Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, New Zealand: On September 24, hundreds of people protested Amini’s death. “We are here to show our solidarity with women and people in Iran fighting for their freedom, to pay tributes to Mahsa Amini the 22-year-old,” Hanna Habibi, the organizer of the Wellington protest, said. Some women at the Auckland demonstration cut their hair. "The courage that women in Iran are showing right now is breathtaking," Green Party lawmaker Golriz Ghahraman said. “They are facing torture and death, they have been killed and tortured for this, and they persist.”
We, Iranians of Wellington, alongside MP @golrizghahraman cut our hair to pay our tribute to #MahsaAmini and condemn the brutality of the regime in Iran.— Hanna Habibi (@habibi_hanna) September 24, 2022
Read more about what's happening in Iran by following the below hashtags. #MahsaAmini#Mahsa_Amini#مهسا_امینی#OpIran pic.twitter.com/lhIntsyDEi
Johannesburg, South Africa: On October 2, in Mandela Square, protesters called for the freedom of Iranians and held signs depicting women with red hands, reading “We’ll fight for women, life, freedom.” Demonstrators demanded that the South African government cancel Iranian President Raisi’s upcoming visit to the country in November and support Iranian women by holding the Iranian ambassador to South Africa accountable.
Tunis, Tunisia: On September 30, demonstrators gathered outside the Iranian culture center to support Iranian women and protests. Protesters waved posters that read “My body is not sin” and “We stand with and support women in Iran.” At least one woman cut her hair during the protest. “Neither the authority nor in the name of religion has the right to control women’s bodies and restrict their freedoms,” said the president of the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women, Naila Zoghlami.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: On September 27, demonstrators gathered outside of the Iranian Embassy to protest Amini’s death. “We stand in solidarity with women, dissidents and the Iranian people in their struggle against the dictatorial, Islamist and capitalist regime,” lawmaker Mercedes Trimarchi, who spoke at the event, tweeted. One woman wrote “Mahsa” and “death to Khamenei” on her body in red paint. Protestors held banners that called Iran a “religious dictatorship.”
Santiago, Chile: On September 23, feminist organizations organized a march in solidarity with Iranian protestors and women. Protestors carried posters with Amini’s photo. More than a dozen people carried a long banner that read “Women, life, freedom” in Spanish. “Today, beloved Mahsa has become a word to shout out the accumulated pain of years and years and, hopefully, bring us one step closer to freedom,” Asieh Hekmat, an Iranian demonstrator said. The march ended in front of the presidential palace.