Demonstrators are currently engaged in a sit-in protest at the nation’s capital in solidarity with anti-regime protests entering their eighth week in Iran.
For over a week, the group ‘Woman-Life-Freedom’ (woman-life-freedom.net) has been in front of the Capitol building in Washington D.C. hoping to bring attention to the freedom movement in Iran and have Congress take policy action to curb the regime.
The anti-regime protests in Iran, which are now culminating into a full-blown revolution, according to many, was first ignited over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini at the hands of the Islamic morality police for showing some of her hair under her Islamic headdress.
The group’s members refer to themselves as “independent activists,” who live in the DC area and are now using their physical presence, along with their messages, to get the administration’s attention.
According to reports, one of the family members from PS752, the Ukrainian International Airlines flight which was scheduled from Tehran to Kyiv and shot down shortly after takeoff by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard in January 2020, joined them Saturday from Canada.
The group’s website lists the names and photographs of young Iranian women and men who have been arrested, tortured, and killed at the hands of the Islamic Republic, calling for the world to pay attention to human rights abuses occurring in Iran.
“Our goal is to echo the voices of the Iranian people by requesting that Congress take urgent action to halt the Biden administration from making any deals with the Islamic Regime in Iran, as they are not the true representatives of the people. Therefore, if President Biden’s administration is perceived as supporting the Islamic Regime in any way through any form of dealmaking, then it will be cooperating with a brutal mafia in killing and suppressing Iranians,” political activist and Middle East expert Hossein Torkashvand, one of the group’s organizers, told The Foreign Desk.
“We have seen an indescribable show of support both from the people in the area but also abroad and specifically people inside Iran. Our daily programs include performance art by various artists, open discussions, poetry, live traditional music, and holding vigils for the lives lost at the hands of this regime. Our events have brought in people to our sit-in from all occupations and have created a beautiful, respectful, and safe space for discussions, art, and creativity,” Torkashvand said.
To respond to the often-asked question of what ordinary Americans can do to get Congress’ attention on the issue, the website has a database of contact information of U.S. Senators and a draft of an email body text to make sending supporting emails to Representatives. The group also asks individuals to contact their representatives and ask them to visit them in front of the U.S. Capitol at Ulysses S. Grant Memorial.
According to the group, they have not yet been approached by or met with Congressional representatives, but they said they are reaching out to representatives, senators, and their respective staffers.
At the bottom of their letter titled “What Do We Want?” the group has sponsored a letter to the House of Representatives, asking members to support Iranians, not the Islamic Republic.
“We would like the administration to take former President Obama’s statement of regret over the insufficient policies and decisions made during his presidency to heart and finally hear the voice of the people of Iran. This means taking decisive actions and inviting the advice of analysts and advisors who echo the brutality of the regime and avoid normalizing them,” Torkashvand said.