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Women, Life, Freedom


The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 2019 Union supports the Iranian people’s struggles for women’s rights in Iran.


The current wave of demonstrations began after Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, was brutally murdered on September 16, 2022, while in the custody of Iran’s “morality” police (Gasht-e-Ershad, or Guidance Patrol) because she disobeyed Iran’s compulsory hijab (dress code).


Mahsa’s name has become a rallying cry in many cities in Iran. The Iranian people are on the streets protesting for their basic human rights, which have been withheld from them for over four decades.


The government has conducted a complete internet blackout and disrupted the services of Instagram and WhatsApp, two of the most popular social media services in the country, to stop people from organizing protests and limiting the information flowing in and out of Iran. The internet shutdown is the largest since November 2019 when the authorities massacred 1,500 protesters and took hundreds of people into custody.


Women have been burning their scarves and cutting their hair in the streets in defiance of the compulsory hijab laws. More than 180 people have been reportedly killed by Iranian security forces as of September 29, 2022. Women in Turkey, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and many other countries have demonstrated in solidarity with the Iranian protests by cutting their hair, to raise their voices and praise the Iranian women’s heroic uprising. Iranians all over the world have demonstrated to show their support for the men and women of Iran and to call on the Iranian government to end its violent crackdown against peaceful protesters.


Women should not endure harassment, violence, and arbitrary arrest because of choosing what to wear. Women’s choice for their covering is a basic human right.


AFSCME Local 2019 strongly condemns the repressive measures used against the Iranian people.  We also condemn the Islamic “Republic” of Iran for its systematic persecution and killing of women and peaceful protesters.  We stand in solidarity with the women and men in Iran demonstrating for their basic human rights.


Joey D. Smith, President, AFSCME Local 2019,

on behalf of the AFSCME Local 2019 Executive Board

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