May Day 2009 was an exemplary day of struggle and a great victory for the working class in Iran. Despite the Islamic regime of Iran’s undeclared curfew and threats, dozens of worker organisations celebrated May Day in Tehran and other cities. In Tehran, some 2000 people gathered at Laleh Park. Security agents brutally attacked the demonstrators injuring many and arresting more than 170 people including well known worker and women’s rights leaders. In response to regime’s atrocity, the Worker-communist Party of Iran immediately launched an international campaign for the release of detained activists.
To this end, WPI organisations abroad prepared several actions all around the world. On May 23, tens of WPI activists organised a rally in Stockholm, Sweden. Demonstrators carried banners in defence of detained workers and their posters. They distributed hundreds of pamphlets among the passer bys. On May 23 there was another protest rally in Frankfurt, Germany. WPI activists gathered in Frankfurt, made speeches in defence of detained workers and demanded their immediate and unconditional release. They also called upon worker and human rights organisations to join the campaign and put the Islamic Republic under pressure for the release of arrested workers. On May 27 members and activists of WPI Canada Organisation formed a rally in Ottawa in front of the Iranian embassy. Demonstrators protested against the arrest of the workers and human rights activists and the execution of Delara Darabi, who was arrested at 17 and was executed by the Islamic regime in the early hours of May 1, 2009. The protest went on for some three hours.
On June 3, 2009, as the annual conference of the International Labour Organisation was about to begin, three activists of the Worker-communist Party of Iran, accompanied by New Channel TV crew, protested in defence of the workers and the people in Iran. Just a few seconds after the chairperson of the conference welcomed the participants and guests, Farshad Hosseini, Bahram Soroush, and Yadi Kouhi went on stage and defended workers and held up pictures and posters of May Day detainees in Iran for some 2000 participants and guests present at the conference. Details of this landmark event can be read in the separate communiqué of WPI, which is also available in this issue of the Briefing.
It should be added that a number of May Day detainees have been released due to increasing international protests and pressure. However, 13 activists arrested in Laleh Park rally and 8 other workers that participated in May Day celebrations at their work place are still under arrest. Saeed Youzi, Jafar Azimzadeh, and Mohammad Ashrafi are among the detainees and have been subjected to severe torture. The campaign for the release of the May Day detainees will continue until all the detainees are freed.
In response to the call made by four international labour organisations for protests worldwide in defence of the rights of the workers in Iran, the Worker-communist Party of Iran—Organisation Abroad published a communiqué in order to declare its support for this action. Four global union organisations representing more than 170 million workers around the globe have called for an international action day to demand justice for the workers in Iran. Demonstrations will take place outside of the Islamic regime’s embassies around the world. ITUC, EI, ITF, and IUF are the unions that formed the coalition in defence of the rights of the workers in Iran. WPI also called upon all worker organisations all around the world to join the protests in order to strengthen the struggle for the rights of workers in Iran and demand the immediate and unconditional release of May Day detainees, worker leaders and activists and all political prisoners in Iran.
On May 25, 2009 WPI Australia Organisation announced in a communiqué that in response to the efforts of WPI activists the Australian Council of Trade Unions joined the campaign for the release of detained workers and in defence of rights of the workers in Iran. The letter reads “The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), on behalf of our affiliates and two million members, is writing to you once again to protest in the strongest possible terms the series of events which marred the May Day celebrations in your country and to express our continued and serious concerns as to the deterioration in the situation of trade union and other fundamental rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Also on June 2, 2009, the union of doc workers of Australia wrote a protest letter demanding the immediate release of detained workers in Iran. The union also declared that it joins the campaign demanding the expulsion of the Islamic regime from international organisations including the ILO.
The WPI’s thirty second Plenum of the Central Committee took place during May 29 and 31, 2009 in Sweden. Alongside the members and advisory members of the Central Committee several WPI cadres also participated in the Plenum. The main theme of the Plenum was the determining role and position of the party in the upcoming political developments in Iran and the relation between the party, its policies and activities with revolution and the question of political power. In his opening speech, Hamid Taqvaee drew attention to outstanding activities and important achievements of the party between the two plenums. He said that today, one of the determining conditions toward the formation of revolution in Iran is recognition of the party by large sections of society as a competent force that can form the future government and represent the people. Mostafa Saber also spoke on the same topic. In his detailed report and speech, Asqar Karimi touched upon the activities of various party organs and emphasised the central role of the party and New TV Channel in organizing massive actions and events such as March 8 and May 1.
A resolution about “Selecting the Party on a Social Scale as the Future Government” was extensively discussed and was unanimously ratified. Another resolution about the “Relationship between the West and Political Islam after the Fall of Neo-conservatism” was also discussed and ratified unanimously.
There was a seminar presented by Asqar Karimi alongside the Plenum about the Organisation Abroad.
The Plenum elected Hamid Taqvaee as the general secretary of the Central Committee unanimously. The plenum also chose the 21 person Political Bureau.