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Berkeley International Women's Day March in Solidarity with Struggle of Iranian Women
by Felix (felix60 [at] hotmail.com)
Wednesday Mar 8th, 2006 10:06 PM
On the occassion of March 8 International Women's Day, a rally and March was held in Berkeley in solidarity with a 4-day march in Europe organized by the Campaign for the Abolition of All Misogynist, Gender-Based Legislation & Islamic Punitive Laws in Iran. The call for the European march begins: "If you are against death by stoning! If you are against forced veiling! If you are against the prosecution and imprisonment of women! If you are against lashing a woman’s body! If you are against any form of patriarchy! If you are against the medieval laws of Iran’s Islamic Republic of Iran imposing inequality on women! – Join the great walk against anti-women laws in Iran’s Islamic Republic on 8 March 2006!"
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On the occassion of March 8 International Women's Day, a rally and March was held in Berkeley in solidarity with a 4-day march in Europe organized by the Campaign for the Abolition of All Misogynist, Gender-Based Legislation & Islamic Punitive Laws in Iran.

The call for the European march begins: "If you are against death by stoning! If you are against forced veiling! If you are against the prosecution and imprisonment of women! If you are against lashing a woman’s body! If you are against any form of patriarchy! If you are against the medieval laws of Iran’s Islamic Republic of Iran imposing inequality on women! – Join the great walk against anti-women laws in Iran’s Islamic Republic on 8 March 2006!"

The Iranian regime criminalizes women on the grounds of such simple normal habits of life as going out in public with uncovered hair and or wearing un-Islamic clothing (anything except a head-to-toe cover), or strolling in public with men who are not their husbands or blood relations. The Islamic Republic’s laws make death by hanging or stoning the punishment for unfaithful wives and "un-virtuous" women; they allow a father to marry off daughters as young as nine years old; and give men a free hand to kill their wives, sisters, mothers and daughters for violating their "honour". Women have to obtain their husband’s officially signed permission to travel. Their worth is considered half of that of men in matters such as bearing witness in court. They can be divorced unilaterally or denied divorce depending on the man’s wishes. Abortion is a crime. Islamic judges can interpret all other matters not spelled in these civil laws by relying on Sharia (Islamic law) and their own interpretations and referring to books written by any ayatollah (high ranking priest in the Islamic hierarchy).

For the last 27 years these Islamic laws have deprived women of their most basic rights as human beings and intensified the marginalization of women, creating a gender segregation that has made society a hell for all and forcing many women into suicide, prostitution and drug addiction. Women are setting fire to themselves in increasing numbers. These laws represent and impose a state of semi-slave social relations on women. They have strengthened the already brutal patriarchal and male-supremacist relations in the country. A vast apparatus of morality police has been set up to keep an eye on women and punish them if they violate these medieval moral codes of conduct. This is the dark ages in the 21st century.

The campaign and European march also has opposed plans for a U.S. invasion of Iran, explaining in one of its leaflets: "The American government… has declared that it seeks to liberate the women of the Middle East from the yoke of Islamic fundamentalism. This is a ridiculous claim that makes a mockery of real liberation and is an insult to the women of the Middle East. The march of events in Afghanistan and Iraq should have helped those who were taken in by these self-styled liberators of Middle Eastern women to realize how badly they were fooled. If anyone still believes that George Bush and his ilk are liberators of women, please talk to American women fighting to prevent him from taking away their right to abortion as well as against the efforts of the Christian fascists to dominate every aspect of the lives of women in the U.S. What George Bush is taking away from the women in the USA he will not deliver to women in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan or any other country."

The Berkeley rally and march drew about 70 people and brought out the similarities between the anti-woman laws of Iran AND Bush’s anti-woman crusade! Other slogans raised were:
Support the Right to Abortion and Birth Control!
No to US Imperialism/ No US Attacks on Iran!
Unleash the Fury of Women as a Mighty Force for Revolution!
§March Slogans in Farsi
by Felix (felix60 [at] hotmail.com) Wednesday Mar 8th, 2006 10:06 PM
slogansfarsi-small.jpg
§Chanting Against Theocracy
by Felix (felix60 [at] hotmail.com) Wednesday Mar 8th, 2006 10:06 PM
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§Justice for All Women
by Felix (felix60 [at] hotmail.com) Wednesday Mar 8th, 2006 10:06 PM
justiceforall-small.jpg
§Unleash the Fury of Women
by Felix (felix60 [at] hotmail.com) Wednesday Mar 8th, 2006 10:06 PM
berkeleymarch_2small.jpg
§Shouting for Justice
by Felix (felix60 [at] hotmail.com) Wednesday Mar 8th, 2006 10:06 PM
shoutingforjustice-small.jpg
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