NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — As Iran continues being gripped by two weeks of violent unrest against the government over the death of a young Iranian woman, people from all over Connecticut gathered Sunday afternoon at the New Haven Green in solidarity.
Over a hundred people filled the city green, joining the thousands in Iran protesting the government over the death of Mahsa Amini.
Amini was a 22-year-old woman who died in police custody after being arrested for not wearing her headscarf properly. Police say she died from a heart attack, but her family and protesters believe police killed her. Her death has become the catalyst for a growing feminist movement in Iran.
“It’s the first time we are seeing men that are coming out and asking for justice for women. And the women and men are together,” said Samuel Rose, from Clinton.
The Iranians Committee Leaders hosted the rally. People of all ages, from young children to grandparents, showed up to support the movement.
A powerful moment during the demonstration was when two young girls led a chant in Persian which translated to, “woman, life, freedom.”
“This is truly a turning point and to some degree, it almost is immaterial what happens inside the country because we have clearly reached a point of no return,” said Roya Hakakian, a writer and journalist based out of New Haven. “All of us are given one opportunity in our lifetime to do something really important that would make our make our lives meaningful.”
As much as the message today was about women’s autonomy, it’s also about wider oppression by the Islamic Republic and the desire for democracy.
“There are universal values that all human beings, regardless of where they live, like to live by,” Hakakian said. “And having the choice to decide how they wish to dress is among them. And so many other things. If these values are jeopardized in one corner of the world, in some ways they affect us all.”
The demonstrators also called on Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) to speak out against the oppression of the Islamic Republic of Iran.