Statement in Support of the Iranian People’s Protests

By Faculty and Students at the University of Minnesota

As faculty and graduate students at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, we stand in solidarity with the Iranian people who are outraged by the mysterious death of Mahsa (Jina) Amini, a 22-year old Kurdish woman, who was killed while in the custody of the Iranian state’s Guidance Patrol. We express our unwavering support for the fearless women, workers, and students in all Iranian cities, from Tehran’s Sharif University to high schools across the country. Their slogan, “Zan, Zendegi, Azadi” (“Woman, Life, Freedom”) centers the lives of women of all classes, religious backgrounds, and ethnicities, while demanding the liberation of all Iranians. Along with the Iranian protesters, we call for Zendegi–a life that is free of police and military violence, prisons, and death-making, be it at the hands of the Iranian state, or the U.S. empire. We call for Azadi–true freedom from state repression and economic austerity; wars, militarism, and imperialism; sanctions and sanctions profiteering; misogyny and nationalist zeal; discrimination against ethnic minorities and Afghan refugees; religious and secular fundamentalism; labor exploitation and cis heteropatriarchy.

As scholars based in Minneapolis, a city where George Floyd, Philando Castile, Duante Wright, Jamar Clark, and many other Black people were brutally killed by the police, we believe that the Iranian people’s courageous demand for justice, end to police violence, and women’s bodily autonomy are not separate from the struggles for Black lives, racial justice, reproductive justice, gender justice, Indigenous sovereignty, disability justice, immigration justice, and socioeconomic justice in the U.S. We call for transnational solidarity among people whose struggles for justice are connected through past and present legacies of colonialism, settler colonialism, slavery, imperialism, racism, nationalism, global capitalism, religious and secular fundamentalisms, and militarism.

We are saddened and enraged by opportunistic appropriations of the Iranian people’s movement that seek to derail the protests for Islamophobic purposes, capitalist profit-making, sanctions profiteering, and imperialist agendas. We firmly believe that it is the Iranian people’s self-determination– not sanctions, hate, or wars–that will lead the way to a better future for people in Iran and in the region.

We join the voices of the Iranian protesters and say unequivocally:

Jin, Jiyan, Azadi!
Zan, Zendegi, Azadi!

*If you are associated with the University of Minnesota and would like to support this petition, sign here.

Signed by:

Sima Shakhsari, Co-Chair, Department of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies
Richa Nagar, Co-Chair, Department of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies
Alexander Jabbari, Assistant Professor, Department of Asian and Middle East Studies
Lisa Albrecht, Emeritus Professor, School of Social Work
Zozan Pehlivan, Assistant Professor, History Department
Sonali Pahwa, Associate Professor, Theatre Arts & Dance
Nina Asher, Professor, Curriculum and Instruction
Suvadip Sinha, AMES
William O. Beeman, Professor Emeritus, Department of Anthropology
Ajay Skaria, Professor, Department of History, Institute for Global Studies
Rose Brewer, Professor, African American & African Studies
J.B. Mayo, Jr., Associate Professor, Department of Curriculum & Instruction
Jessica Lopez Lyman, Assistant Professor, Chicano and Latino Studies
Arash Davari, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science
Jigna Desai, Professor, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies
Miranda Joseph, Professor, Department of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies
Rachmi Diyah Larasati/Associate Professor/GWSS
Sonja Kuftinec, Professor, Theatre Arts & Dance
Kari Smalkoski, Assistant Professor, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies
Tracey Deutsch, Associate Professor, History
Rick McCormick, Professor Emeritus, GNSDZobeida Bonilla, Associate Professor, Epidemiology & Community Health, MCH Program
Cawo Abdi, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology
Ana Paula Ferreira, Professor, Spanish and Portuguese
Jason McGrath, Professor, Asian & Middle Eastern Studies
Elaine May, Professor, American Studies
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Joseph Farag, Assistant Professor, Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
Matt Rahaim, Music
Aren Aizura, Associate Professor, Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies
Emily Winderman, Assistant Professor, Communication Studies
Jeylan Mortimer, Professor Emeritus, Department of Sociology
MJ Maynes, Professor, History
Nithya Rajan, Postdoctoral Associate, Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies
V.V. Ganeshananthan, Associate Professor, English
Michael Gallope, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature
Alexandra Chocontá-Piraquive, Grad Student, GWSS Department
Abdulrahman Bindamnan, PhD Student, CEHD
Christine Baeumler, Professor, Department of Art
Tahmina Sobat, Phd Student, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies
Nada Mohamed, PhD Student, University of Minnesota
Rachel Bergman, Graduate Student, Sociology
Jenny Schmid, Professor, Department of Art
Carly Duran-Marrero, Graduate Student, Higher Education – Organizational Leadership & Policy Development
Teréz Iacovino, Assistant Curator of the Katherine E. Nash Gallery, Art
Leith Javadi Ghuloum, Graduate Student, GWSS
Melissa Drew, Graduate Student, Department of German, Nordic, Slavic, and Dutch
Vaishnavi, graduate student, Department of theater arts and dance
Isaac Esposto, Graduate student, GWSS
Travis Workman, Associate Professor, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
Lucas Godillon, Graduate assistant, French Department
Richard Lee, Professor, Psychology
Amanda Woodward, Contract Assistant Professor, Psychology
Nyla Numan, Graduate Student, English
Rania, anthropology department
Kathryn Nuernberger, Chair, Department of English
Fatemeh N Esfahani
Miguel, Graduate Student, Family Social Science
GeonLyung Kim, PhD Student, English
Ali Yıldırım, PhD Student, Gender Women and Sexuality Studies
Emina Buzinkic, PhD Candidate, Curriculum & Instruction, CEHD
Antonija Petricusic, Fulbright Visiting Scholar, Human Rights Center at the University of Minnesota Law School
Elizabeth Wrigley-Field, Assistant Professor, Sociology
Kriti Budhiraja, PhD candidate, Sociology, University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Laura Garbes, Postdoctoral Fellow, Sociology
Diba Dehmeshki, PhD student, EE
Vicente M Diaz, Assoc Prof. American Indian Studies
Pilar Itati Olvera, Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development
Elise Toedt, PhD, Department of Writing Studies, University of Minnesota
Mathew Zefeldt, Associate Professor, Department of Art
Karen Mary Davalos, Professor, Chicano and Latino Studies
Elliott Powell, Associate Professor, American Studies
Snigdha Kumar, PhD candidate, Sociology
JoJo Bell (History)
Jamie Utt-Schumacher, Accountability Analyst, Office of Teacher Education