Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

The Murder of Mahsa Amini: Protests Against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

with 25 comments

Iranian women shave heads and burn hijabs on TikTok to protest death of Mahsa Amini

“The public anger that erupted over her death has seen an outbreak of political unrest in Iran, with protests reported in Tehran, Qazvin, Arak, Mashhad, and several other cities.

Women who are unable to take part in the protests have turned to TikTok to express their outrage at Amini’s death, with the hashtag #mahsaamini receiving more than 66m views at the time of writing.

A number of videos show Iranian women cutting their hair or the bottom of their hijabs in solidarity with Amini, who was punished under the Islamic republic’s strict dress code that demands women wear headscarves in public.”

Some of the protests can be seen here.


Le Monde: Iran demonstrations once again reveal a regime removed from its people


Triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini, the courageous protests by Iranians demonstrate that they are a people subject to a political position they do not support.

Once again, the Iranian regime has been caught off-guard by demonstrations. Once again, it is responding to them in the only way it seems to know how: brute force. It all started with the death of a young woman, Mahsa Amini, in Tehran on Friday, 16 September, three days after her arrest by the “morality police” – the sinister Gasht-e Ershad. The reason was her veil, which must be worn in Iran, and which they say she was wearing in a way that was inappropriate.

After decades of arbitrariness, the word of the authorities – who denied any “physical contact” between the police and the young woman – did not convince anyone. No autopsy has been performed. Many Iranians, most of them young, responded as they do when frustration peaks: They took to the streets.

Elected in 2021 – in a process controlled from start to finish by this military-religious regime which tolerates as “opposition” only that which it chooses itself – the ultra-conservative President Ebrahim Raissi made his position clear with an announcement in July. As Iran sinks once again into economic stagnation, largely due to international sanctions linked to its nuclear ambitions, Mr. Raissi said it was necessary to take “preventative measures” to stop “the enemies of Iran and Islam” from harming “the values and religious foundations of society.”

This was a brutal step backwards after the relative leniency of his predecessor, Hassan Rohani, during his term in office. In 2018, Mr. Rohani disavowed the police force which is today incriminated, reproaching them for an “aggressiveness” highlighted by a widely shared video in which three of its members violently attacked a woman accused of wearing her headscarf in a manner deemed “indecent”.

After Mr. Raissi’s remarks in July, another video spread on social media. It showed a mother trying in vain to prevent the arrest of her daughter by the morality police. Under pressure, the authorities admitted to an overzealous approach. In the face of the public reaction to Ms. Amini’s death, some dignitaries once again deplored the methods used.

In addition to displaying the courage of ordinary Iranians who defy security forces known for their brutality, the latest demonstrations once again reveal a regime removed from its people, entirely focused on its own survival – and a people without freely elected representatives, who are subject to political positions they do not support.


Written by Andrew Coates

September 21, 2022 at 12:20 pm

25 Responses

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  1. […] JD acknowledges making extensive use of reports by Christina Lu at Foreign Policy and Andrew Coates at Tendance Coatesy. […]

  2. Socialist Worker headline (Issue 433)
    “Say It Loud : Hands off the Hijab”

    I have also heard SWP speakers say the hijab is “liberating” and “empowering” and an “anti racist symbol”.


    September 21, 2022 at 4:43 pm

    • Andrew Coates

      September 21, 2022 at 4:54 pm

  3. I do hope to hear from paid PressTV star Jeremy Corbyn about all this. But perhaps he is too busy urging Ukraine to surrender.


    September 21, 2022 at 5:25 pm

  4. French left, Ensemble! part of the left bloc, NUPES, and aligned to La France insoumise, best known member Clémentine Autain, MP.

    Andrew Coates

    September 21, 2022 at 8:13 pm

  5. Latest Socialist Worker on protests in Iran. Here they are “carrying water” for the Hijab. The SWP are consciously pro Hijab and see it as a politically progressive symbol (The SWP have also described the Taliban in the past as a legimate national liberation movement) . From the article :

    “But, Iranian academic and activist Peyman Jafari told Socialist Worker, the protests are not so much against the headscarf itself as against brutally-enforced compulsory wearing……..”This does not mean that they are anti-religious or against the hijab.”

    Here Socialist Worker is framing the Story to be a defense of the Hijab regardless of national or political context. For the SWP defense of the Hijab in France and UK means defense of it everywhere. Leaders like Duncan Hallas must be spinning in their graves.


    September 22, 2022 at 4:40 pm

    • ”This does not mean that they are anti-religious or against the hijab.”

      How bizarre to stress this. Perhaps they still have fond memories of their ludicrous “Respect” vehicle where their prostrated themselves to religious lunatics like Galloway and corrupt East End businessmen of Bengali descent.


      September 22, 2022 at 6:32 pm

      • Chris Harman’s ISJ article on the Respect debacle was interesting (one of the last notable things he ever wrote). While very much a defense of the SWP, he touches on East London communalist politics in it. Before the crisis hit, any discussion of this was written off by the SWP as ‘racist’ and ‘Islamophobic’ naturally.



        September 22, 2022 at 6:54 pm

        • Anyone who doesn’t know about communalist politics in Kashmiri or Bengali areas hasn’t lived in one.


          September 22, 2022 at 7:30 pm

          • Yes. The Respect era is a dead subject in the SWP now. Barely if ever mentioned. The organization which is so eager to trumpet its successes (Cue another article on Lewisham 1977 !) never, ever mentions its failures even in the context of ‘lessons learned’. The whole period from a year after the big anti war march in 2003 to Corbyn’s victory as Labour leader in 2015 is a lost decade in SWP history.


            September 22, 2022 at 7:47 pm

            • I do not think the SWP can recover from the Comrade Delta debacle.


              September 22, 2022 at 8:42 pm

              • If you look at the diminished number of their branches you get a good idea of have they have shrunk,

                Take the case of them around here, which is a place that is usually a fairly good indicator of left political life in the country.

                The SWP have not had a branch in Ipswich since around that time (2013) – they had one for some decades, 10 to 20 people (probably only about six to ten proper members). They have one member these days.

                Now, in the last couple of years, Socialist Appeal have a branch here that sells their paper on the Cornhill – first time they have existed here in Ipswich incidentally.

                Take London. There is now one SWP branch for Enfield and Haringey (seems to be called Haringey in some places).

                Haringey & Enfield SWP on Instagram

                As everybody knows, this is a massive massive area. The old IS used to have a branch in Tottenham alone…and Haringey was, till not that long ago, one of their biggest, if the not the biggest, branch.

                Andrew Coates

                September 22, 2022 at 10:02 pm

                • Interesting Andrew. They used to have a number of branches in West London (the massive conurbation of Ealing had several in the early 1990s). Now I think they just have one now covering the whole of that part of London. However, in terms of Appeals they seem to be quickly able to bring in large amounts of money. I think there are a lot of older well healed members or ex-members on comfortable final salary retirements who chip in lots ‘for old times sake’. That’s probably all they do politically.


                  September 22, 2022 at 10:15 pm

                  • There always used to be lots of their ludicrous paper sellers all over London – 2 or 3 in front of many tube stations (even more outside tube stations near universities and colleges). Not many now.

                    I do rather miss them with their faux-Cockney accents and the odd way they held the newspaper cradled as though the front page was such a massive draw and had to be displayed prominently. The content of that paper was risible (much worse than most lefty papers — basically the Sun for Trots) especially the way it referred to right-wing or centre-right governments in any country as “Tories” as though the readers were too stupid to comprehend anything slightly more complicated than a Ladybird book.


                    September 23, 2022 at 12:34 am

                  • The comedian Mark Thomas, who is often funny, had an act at this year’s Burston Rally. Although he is no longer close to the SWP he still has that unique accent.

                    Checking on his upbringing…”Mark Thomas was born in South London. His mother was a midwife and his father a self-employed builder (and ex-lay preacher).[4] Thomas was educated at Macaulay Church of England Primary School, Victoria Rise, Clapham until 1974, where his party trick was to recite the first verses of the four gospels from memory. He then won a scholarship to attend the independent Christ’s Hospital School ( Christ’s Hospital is a public school (English independent boarding school for pupils aged 11–18) with a royal charter located to the south of Horsham in West Sussex.) where he attained O-levels and A-levels in English, history, and politics and economics.”


                    Myself, and ‘Sue R’ both have genuine North London accents (neither of us went to public school and have parents from a working class origin), “well spoken”. Or as the Cockney mums used to say to my mother, “doesn’t he speak well!”

                    Andrew Coates

                    September 23, 2022 at 6:55 am

                  • Andrew Coates

                    September 23, 2022 at 8:40 pm

                • I expect that their ability to lure in lots of student freshmen as they did for decades and decades has decreased even more given young peoples’ increased unwillingness to put up with Comrade Delta type behaviour (and its coverup). I am pleased to see it, they have long been a poisonous lot.


                  September 23, 2022 at 12:30 am

              • They probably view surviving it as a victory in itself. The breakaway groups haven’t really flourished either (they have essentially identical politics). The central problem is that their political model is broken and anachronistic. Their obsession with Lenin, The Bolsheviks and 1917 makes them something akin to a political ‘sealed knot society’. Their current leadership too has zero charisma and passion. Look on YouTube at an old speech by SWP’er Paul Foot about the Peasants Revolt. Absolutely Electric ! Nothing like that today. It’s all so dull.


                September 22, 2022 at 10:08 pm

                • “Myself, and ‘Sue R’ both have genuine North London accents (neither of us went to public school and have parents from a working class origin), “well spoken”. Or as the Cockney mums used to say to my mother, “doesn’t he speak well!””

                  When I was in the SWP 35 years ago we had a very talented and dynamic Branch Organizer. I thought this person was real Central Committee member material. I asked a senior comrade in the Branch why they were being passed over by the CC. His reply was, “Hmm, probably didn’t go to the right Public School”.
                  Looking back, I don’t think he was joking.


                  September 23, 2022 at 4:37 pm

                • I always found it totally bizarre that someone who had the abilities of Paul Foot contented himself to a political home in the SWP.


                  September 23, 2022 at 5:26 pm

                  • There’s not many of them left today but SWP have always been careful to give their “Star”, high profile members a certain amount of ideological latitude compared to “normal” members. They were/are not under the same discipline.
                    Regarding Foot, he always had a certain British Establishment “Old (Public) School” anti Semitism so he would have seen a kindred spirit in Tony Cliff who had a pathological hatred of Israel due to his personal history. The Tam Dayell/Paul Foot episode is particularly illuminating regarding this.


                    September 23, 2022 at 5:40 pm

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