“Afghans united will never be defeated” Chanted a group of demonstrators at a Rise for and with the Women of Afghanistan march in West Hollywood this past Saturday, September 26, 2021. Afghan youth and activists joined West Hollywood city officials on Sunset Boulevard for a day of solidarity with women and other vulnerable groups of Afghanistan whose freedoms were snuffed out by the recent takeover by the Taliban.
The call was a rise for the women of Afghanistan and their rights to education, to travel, to freedom of movement, to jobs, to security. It was also a stand against imperialism, militarism, fundamentalism, and fascism brought on by the Taliban.
The march began at the parking lot next to the Sunset Spectacular on the Sunset Strip, at 8775 Sunset Boulevard and ended at West Hollywood Park for a special program featuring speakers and performers. Council members Lindsey Horvath and John Erickson joined the march and program.
Speakers included Hameeda Uloomi (Founder of Afg-aid), Madina Wardak (MSW/ACSW Outreach & Partnership Coordinator Afghan Women’s Mission), Ariana Delawari (Multimedia artist & activist), Arash Azizzada (Co-Founder Afghans For A Better Tomorrow), Sultana Parvanta, and Rina Amiri (Senior Fellow and Director of Afghanistan and Regional Policy Initiative at New York University’s Center for International Cooperation).
Performances included Ustad Farida Mahwash & Voices of Afghanistan, Samia Karimi (Afghan dance artist & activist, ARTogether), with Dylan McDermott, and additional speakers to be announced.
Following an online day of solidarity on September 1 in which activists, individuals, and groups from over 85 countries participated, RISE FOR AND WITH THE WOMEN OF AFGHANISTAN took to the streets in a day of global solidarity. Activists, women’s and human rights groups, and high profile individuals organized across the globe. Some events took place online due to local Covid restrictions. Worldwide actions led by local Afghan activists and informed by activists on the ground in Afghanistan. Activists are planning events in Mexico, Croatia, Eswatini, Congo, Nepal, India, Bangladesh, South Africa, Italy, UK, Philippines, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Jamaica, Guatemala, Thailand, Nigeria, Portugal, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Zambia, Austria, and the United States.