Wednesday, 28 April 2010

The Revolution is in Need of Working Class Power

Hamid Taqvaee’s Message on the Occasion of May Day:

This May Day in Iran is the day for expanding and deepening the revolution, which has been challenging one of the most corrupt and atrocious capitalist states of our time. This revolution, due to objective conditions and to the context of its formation is a worker revolution: this is the revolution “of all victims of oppression”. This is a revolution of a society that has been suppressed and pushed beneath the line of poverty; it is a revolution against poverty, discrimination, oppression, and deprivation; it is a revolution for a humane life. The Iranian society had welcomed the ongoing revolution through its workers’ strikes, its May Days slogans such as “a humane life is our right!” and in Student Day chanting of “Socialism or Barbarism.” This is the revolution of a society that has continuously been challenging sexual apartheid regime through its permanent anti-veil movement; this society welcomed the ongoing revolution through its city uprisings while chanting “we don’t want Islamic rule!” The ongoing revolution aims at toppling the entirety of the anti-human Islamic regime and has expressed this goal through its slogans such as “down with Khamanei” and “down with cleric rule!”

Deepening and expansion of this revolution is possible only if the masses are mobilized around the access of working class humane goals and horizon, that is, socialism. This May Day is a day for taking a first huge step toward this goal. May Day is the day of international working class’ plea against inhumane capitalist system; in Iran this plea has being declared on the streets for almost a year against one of the most atrocious capitalist states.

Working class movement can and should raise this flag in front of the revolutionary masses of people; working class can and should use its own organizations and institutions in order to declare the protests and demands of masses against the Islamic regime of capitalists. Under the existing circumstances, where the atrocities and oppressive measures of the regime alongside the obstructions made by pro-regime and right-wing opposition against the “deconstructive” offensives of the people have suspended street rallies and protests, working class’ entry to the scene of revolutionary struggle has become an essential and determining factor for the advancement of the revolution. This May Day not only can be a new beginning for street rallies and protests, but also can be a turning point in deepening and expansion of the revolution beyond the scopes of street demonstrations.

This May Day is the day to protest poverty and wages that are one third of the poverty line; is the day to plea against massacres and executions, especially those of the last year; is the day to demand immediate and unconditional release of political prisoners; is the day to demand unconditional right to assembly, organization, and strike; is the day to demand unconditional political and social freedoms; it is the day that working class declares solidarity with women’s, students’, and youth movements. This May Day is also another opportunity to acquire the support of the international working class and the entirety of freedom loving people of the world for the ongoing revolution in Iran. Working class movement should realize this task; this depends on how aware working class activists and organizations are of their role. Last May Day, two months prior to the revolutionary outburst of street demonstrations, ten working class organizations welcomed the revolution through the call for May Day meeting in Laleh Park in Tehran. This year everybody expects and hopes that the working class enters the scene but this time in order to play its determining role and push the revolution ahead. The revolution needs the showcase of working class power in order to deepen and advance.

Long Live May Day the International Day of Working Class Solidarity!
Long Live Revolution!
Long Live Socialism!

Hamid Taqvaee
Secretary General of the Central Committee of the Worker-communist Party of Iran
April 22, 2010

Friday, 16 April 2010

TV International: May Day in Iran and latest from Jamal Saberi

TV International interviews Bahram Soroush from the WPI's Labour Solidarity Committee on the First of May preparations in Iran and the struggle to hold May Day celebrations under the Islamic regime's ban on independent unions and attack on union activists. In the second part of the interview we talk about the proposed cut to subsidies, the economic pressure on workers and the revolutionary movement of the people. Also the call from WPI to make May Day an international day of solidarity with workers and people in Iran.

TV International continues its coverage of the Free Jamal! campaign to save Jamal Saberi, an Iranian activist from deportation from Japan to Iran. With the latest of Farshad Hosseini's mission in Japan to lobby for Jamal's release from detention.

To world’s workers’ organisations, leaders and activists

May Day 2010
Day of international solidarity with the revolution of the people of Iran

Among the issues dominating May Day 2010 is expected to be solidarity with the people of Iran who have heroically risen up against the Islamic Republic. This magnificent revolution of the people against discrimination and inequality and for freedom has already generated a wave of hope and solidarity throughout the world. And on May Day, naturally, workers will be at the forefront of this unprecedented global solidarity.

No other class than the working class has as great an interest in the destruction of the Islamic Republic – this head of the political Islamic movement and chief source of world reaction. No other class than the working class is as greatly in need of revolution against the regime of sex apartheid, which has turned total inequality of women into a cornerstone of its regime. No other class than the working class has as great an interest in overthrowing this brutal system of imprisonment, torture, execution, repression and absolute lack of rights and in establishing the widest possible freedoms. No other class than the working class has as great an interest in pulling down this system of savage exploitation, which has driven the livelihood of the great majority to under the poverty line, while fattening up a parasitic few under the cloak of Islam.

The Islamic Republic was set up precisely in order, first, to suppress a working class which had risen up in the 1979 revolution; and, secondly, to make the Islamic holocaust a blueprint, an instrument and a pretext for attacking the people, civil rights and values and struggles for freedom in the Middle East and the world. Now that the people of Iran have risen up in revolution against the Islamic Republic, they should naturally find their most fervent allies amongst the workers of the world.

The Worker-communist Party of Iran calls on all workers’ organisations, leaders and activists, all organisers and participants of this year’s May Day rallies to turn May Day 2010 into a day of international solidarity with the people of Iran. The revolutionary struggle of the people of Iran against one of the most brutal capitalist regimes in the world should feature prominently in this year’s May Day rallies, banners and speeches. The immediate demands of the people of Iran should be adopted as resolutions of the rallies. These demands, which have been raised in mass demonstrations, strikes and workers’ manifestos in Iran, include:

- Immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners;
- Abolition of the death penalty;
- Prosecution of all those who ordered and those who carried out the recent killings of protesters;
- Unconditional freedom to organise, strike and set up political parties;
- Abolition of compulsory veil and gender apartheid;
- Immediate increase in the minimum wage to one million Tomans ($1,000) per month.

WPI call on all Iranians abroad to join its organisations around the world at the May Day rallies to celebrate May Day and to mobilise the strongest possible international support for the struggle of the people of Iran against the Islamic Republic and for the cause of freedom and equality.

Long live May Day
For workers’ international solidarity
Down with the Islamic Republic of Iran
For a socialist republic

Worker-communist Party of Iran

May Day 2010: solidarity with the workers and revolution of the people of Iran!

To trade unions around the world

This May Day is approaching at a time when a revolution is in progress in Iran and in which the working class has an important role. This revolution is a blow to political Islam and Islamic terrorism, and will transform people’s lives in Iran and the region, while making the world a safer and better place. Thus it deserves the strongest support of the people globally. As the international day of solidarity of the workers of the world, May Day is a most appropriate day on which to express this solidarity even more resolutely. We wish to highlight the following as the most urgent issues facing the workers in Iran, and around which this solidarity could be expressed in the most effective way:

- The right of workers in Iran to freely organise, strike and assemble; the right to form independent trade unions and any form of workers’ organisations as they see fit; the right to free collective bargaining;

- An end to harassment and persecution of workers in Iran; immediate and unconditional release of all imprisoned trade unionists and all political prisoners; those currently in jail include Mansoor Ossanlou and Ebrahim Madadi (from the leadership of Tehran’s bus workers’ union), Ali Nejati (president of Haft Tappeh sugar cane workers’ union), Farzad Kamangar, a teacher and labour activist who is under a sentence of death, and Ali Reza Ghanbari, who was arrested in the 27th December demonstrations and who has also been sentenced to death;

- The Iranian regime to be expelled from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) for its persecution of workers, violation of fundamental workers’ rights and barbaric repression against the people in Iran; these include shooting, jailing and raping peaceful protesters during the recent mass demonstrations; numerous routine executions (giving Iran the highest per capita record of executions); stoning women and men to death for sexual relations outside marriage; executing child offenders; executing gays for homosexual relations; for instituting a system of Sexual Apartheid and flagrant legal discrimination again women; etc. As a first step, demand to be made to the ILO Executive for the immediate suspension of the right of the Islamic Republic of Iran to attend the forthcoming International Labour Conference in June 2010 in Geneva;

- Support to be expressed for the Charter of Minimum Demands of Workers in Iran issued jointly by Iran’s four main independent trade unions on the 31st anniversary of the 1979 revolution, which succinctly outlines the most fundamental and pressing demands of the workers in Iran. A translation of this Charter follows (please see Appendix).

We call on all trade unions around the world to support these demands of the workers in Iran by highlighting them at their May Day rallies, meetings and other events this May Day, and thus help build a powerful international movement of solidarity with the workers and the revolution of the people in Iran.

International Labour Solidarity Committee of the Worker-communist Party of Iran (ILSC-WPI)

14 April 2010


Appendix: Joint declaration by Iran’s four main independent trade unions

Charter of the minimum demands of workers in Iran

On the 31st anniversary of the 1979 revolution

Thirty one years have passed since the February 1979 revolution. At that time millions of Iranian people, full of hope for a better life, took to the streets in order to break the yoke of despotism and repression. A nationwide strike led by workers at the National Oil Company, the vanguard of the Iranian working class, shut down oil pipelines, ultimately tearing the despotic regime asunder. Masses of people chanted, “Our oil workers! Our resolute leaders!” Power fell to the people.

February 11, 1979, a day that marks an end to despotism, is a day that calls forth unforgettable memories of men and women, young and old, who had grown tired of repression and injustice; people embraced one another in the streets, cried with joy, and, with tears in their eyes, looked forward to a liberated future.

Now, 31 years have passed since those glorious days full of enchantment. Yet, today the feelings of hope and enchantment have been transformed into nothing but misery, destitution, unemployment, sub-poverty line wages, and cuts in subsidies – i.e., unbearable agony for millions of workers and wage earners.

However, life continues. And, the Iranian people still have a burning desire for change. They have not lost their hope for a human, happy, prosperous and free life.

In the past few years workers of Iran bravely fought for their right to life and dignity with their strikes and protests and by setting up their independent organisations. And today many of them sit in jail for attempting to organise and for wanting a human life.

But these jail cells do not mark the end of the road. We millions are the producers of the wealth that exists, and the wheels of production are in hour hands. And we have as our historical support the experience of the united and magnificent strike of the oil workers during the February 1979 revolution. Relying on this experience and the power of our millions and inspired by the humanistic aspirations of the 1979 revolution, today, after thirty one years, we present our minimum demands and call for the immediate and unconditional realisation of them all:

1. Unconditional recognition of independent workers’ organisations, the right to strike, to organise protests, the freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, and freedom of political organisation;

2. Abolition of the death penalty, and the immediate and unconditional release of jailed workers’ and other social activists;

3. Immediate increase in the minimum wage based on workers’ input through their representatives in workers’ general assemblies;

4. And end to the ‘Rationalization of Subsidies Plan’. All unpaid wages should be paid immediately without any excuses;

5. Job security for workers and all wage earners; an end to all temporary and so-called ‘blank signature’ contracts; removal of all government-run organisations in the work place; drafting of a new labour law through direct participation of workers’ representatives elected by their general assemblies;

6. Halt to all firings and layoffs under any circumstances and excuses. Anyone expelled or any unemployed person who has reached the age of employment must benefit from an unemployment benefit at a level that affords a human life with dignity;

7. Abolition of all the discriminatory laws against women; ensuring full and unconditional equality of women and men in all social, economic, political, cultural, and family fields;

8. Ensuring to all the retired a life of welfare, free of economic anxieties; putting an end to all discriminatory payment practices, and enabling them all to benefit from social and medical services;

9. All children, irrespective of their parents’ economic and social status, and of gender, nationality, race and religion, must be granted free and equal educational, welfare, and health care benefits;

10. May Day must be declared a national holiday and included in the official calendar; all legal restrictions on its celebration must be removed.

*Tehran and Suburbs United Bus Workers Union

*Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane Workers Union

*Free Union of Iranian Workers

*Kermanshah Electrical and Metal Workers Association

10 February 2010

[Edited text of an existing translation published on labour solidarity websites.]

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Occupation of Iranian embassy in The Hague

A group of Iranian and non-Iranian activists have issued a statement on occupying parts of the Islamic Republic of Iran's embassy in The Hague, Netherlands today. They published their statement on the internet.
Today we have occupied part of the Iranian embassy in The Hague, in solidarity with you, the people of Iran, who in the past months have witnessed such a level of brutality and barbarity from your "rulers", that the world can see once and for all how illegitimate they truly are.

The Associated Press meanwhile reports that Dutch police arrested ten people who had climbed onto the roof of the embassy and tore down the flag.

The group's full statement can be read here

Thursday, 1 April 2010

TV International: Iran minimum wage, Iraq elections & Jamal Saberi

In this weeks's programme Patty Debonitas and Fariborz Pooya look at the recent change in the minimum wage which has been set at an astonishing low $303 and falls three times below the official poverty line in Iran. We interview Kazem Nikkhah, editor of the weekly Persian magazine 'Anternasional' and deeply involved in labour issues, on the situation of workers in Iran in the current economic climate and the prospects for people.

Patty Debonitas and Fariborz Pooya interview Issam Shukri, leader of the Left Worker-communist Party of Iraq on the elections held in Iraq at the beginning of March. We discuss whether there is a change for people in Iraq based on how they have voted and in what way the results reflect recent policy changes by the US and allies.

TV International looks at the International Day of Action that was held on 31 March 2010 to save Jamal Saberi, an Iranian activist and opponent of the Islamic regime of Iran from deportation from Japan to Iran. With clips from the speeches in London and photos from worldwide protests.

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