The Islamic government, after it came to power in February 1979, was not in full control of the cities and villages of Kurdistan. In July 1979, the government began airlifting Pasdars ("Revolutionary Guards") to Marivan, a town with a population of 20,000. The first groups of Pasdars shot at a crowd, and killed some protestors. On July 21, most of the people left the town and went into the woods in order to protest the government policy of taking over the town by force. The protestors set up a tent town in the woods. People from all Kurdish towns rushed to send food, clothing, and medicine. The Army and the Pasdars stopped one of the trucks, and arrested 16 of the helpers. Hundreds of people from Sanandaj, a major city of Kurdistan, began a protest march on July 27. The march was organized by leftist groups including the Women's Council of Sanandaj. By the time the marchers arrived in Marivan's tent city, they numbered about 15,000. The 16 arrested activists were released, but the government continued to send more troops in order to extend its control over Kurdistan. During the military offensive launched and directed by Khomeini, the Army invaded Marivan on August 21, 1979, and executed 22 residents of the town. Women actively participated in the 75-mile-long march. The photograph shows women at the front rows of the miles-long march.

Protest March - July 27, 1979