FIERCE Solidarity Statement
Raha Iranian Feminist Collective
4th Annual International Women’s Day Event
FIERCE Solidarity Statement
Delivered March 8, 2013
by Tara Tabassi, former FIERCE organizer
Good Evening, my name is Tara Tabassi, and I’m here on behalf of FIERCE. FIERCE is honored to be here today to stand in solidarity with RAHA and feminist resistance to sanctions, state violence, and war-threats in Iran.
FIERCE organizes LGBTQ youth of color in NYC to fight policing and gentrification in the West Village. Some may think that LGBTQ youth of color in New York City have nothing to do with people within the borders of Iran. But I stand here today—like so many in this room, at an intersection between the two, as an Iranian-American, and as a queer in NYC—to say that however different the faces, or lives, and fronts of struggle are between trans and queer youth of color in NYC and the women, men and queers of Iran; however different the oppressions are—the power source we struggle against can be found at the same root.
We are battling the same power source and systems of violence because those calling for war on Iran right now are sitting in the same offices as those building even more prisons and funding more domestic militaries to lock up brown and black youth, or police trans women of color in this city.
As sanctions have been increasingly imposed and as war cries are being threatened against Iran, we know who has been, and will be hurt: the people. Sanctions hurt people, just as war hurts people. People within Iranian borders, my father, my grandma, maybe your mother or sister- they will be the collateral damage. The people will be what is disposed of, not the Iranian state.
FIERCE knows what it feels like to be considered disposable by the US government. FIERCE knows what it feels like not to have access to medical resources, food, or safety. Among so many others, LGBTQ youth of color, through economic oppression and racially profiled criminalization have been some of the domestic collateral damage of US government for some time.
Today we know not to look for answers from our governments, because they are the ones creating the problems. Today our answer is the people. People standing together across the world, seeing and feeling the connection and the intersections between how we are oppressed and who is oppressing us, we— people connecting, standing up together against state violence—we are the only solution.
Our oppressions are intrinsically tied together, as those being profiled as criminals, terrorists, freaks, and most of all, those considered disposable. Therefore, the struggle for empowerment of LGBTQ youth of color in NYC is the struggle for the self-determination of all Iranian people. Because our oppressions are inter-woven, so is our liberation. So FIERCE is here tonight with RAHA to stand, across borders, for the liberation for all people.
Thank you! Happy International Women’s Day!