Friday, 25 June 2010

Message from workers in Iran to 2nd ITUC World Congress, Vancouver, Canada

Greetings to all the friends and colleagues taking part in the ITUC Congress

Dear Friends,
We are very sad that no representative from Iran can be there with you to convey the solidarity of Iranian workers with your Congress and to discuss face to face the issues of the workers’ movement in Iran. However, although we are far away, we feel next to you. We wish you and the world workers’ movement a productive and successful week.

In nearly a decade you have been supporting us and have been aware of our pressing problems. And now we wish to let you know that at this moment the workers’ movement in Iran is going through one of its most difficult periods.

The Iranian government, throughout its life, has not only disregarded international conventions on fundamental worker rights, but over the past year, has used the current political situation in Iran to organise an even greater offensive on workers’ most basic rights and the few existing workers’ organisations in Iran.

Our colleagues Mr Saeed Torabian and Mr Reza Shahabi have been arrested in broad daylight by intelligence ministry officers on spurious charges. They were arrested in their workplaces and in their homes in front of their families, who after nearly two weeks remain unaware of their fate. In addition, over the past few weeks Mr Alireza Akhavan and Mr Behnam Ebrahim-zadeh have been arrested. Their whereabouts are also unknown.

Mr Mansoor Ossanlou and Mr Ebrahim Madadi have been in prison for the last three years for building a trade union, and during this time, they have not been granted any leave, have been denied medical care and have been kept in dangerous prisons.

Members of the executive committee of Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane Workers’ Union have been jailed for months and have even been fired from their jobs for union activities. The execution of Farzad Kamangar, arbitrary arrests, harassment and the sentencing of the worker activists to prison terms and lashes have created a most worrying situation for them and for the most basic form of union activity.

Not only our teacher colleagues, but also their families and their loved ones, are suffering from these problems. Many of them are either already in prison or on the way there.

Friends and colleagues,
This year at the ILO conference not only was the Iranian government not reprimanded, but was taken off the ‘special list’. We know that you are using all your resources and are trying to ensure that the workers’ movement in Iran is not sacrificed for the economic and political dealings of the states.

We salute your efforts so far and request and expect that you take even further steps in solidarity with the workers in Iran so as to reverse the conditions that have been imposed on them.

In achieving their human demands, workers have no other means but their class solidarity. While reaffirming the international solidarity of the working class, we shake your hands and send you our warmest greetings for your ongoing congress.

In solidarity,

Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs United Bus Company – Syndicate of Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane Workers – Free Union of Iranian Workers – Committee to Relaunch the Syndicate of Metal and Mechanical Workers – Trade Association of Kermanshah Electrical and Metal Workers


Translated by the International Labour Solidarity Committee of the
Worker-communist Party of Iran

Friday, 18 June 2010

Imprisoned workers, teachers, and all political prisoners should be freed immediately

Worker activists have recently come under intensified pressure from the regime, and several additional worker activists have been arrested and imprisoned. These arrests serve as indicators of the regime's fear of workers entering the scene. They serve both to confront activists' efforts to organize workers and to intimidate the whole society. But the head of the regime should know that today, every factory is a stronghold for strike and struggle, and in each factory, tens of worker activists rise to unite and organize their fellow workers. We assure the heads of the regime that arrests, harassment, and persecution of worker activists will not obstruct the process of unifying and organizing workers.

Saeed Torabian, an official of Vahed Syndicate, was arrested on June 9. On June 12, Reza Shahabi, a member of the board of directors of the Vahed Syndicate, was arrested. Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, a pipe worker at Shourabad pipe manufacturing in Shahr-e Rey, a member of the Coordinating Committee to Form Workers' Organizations, and a children's rights activist, was also arrested on June 12 and subjected to intense beating; it is believed that two of his ribs are broken. In the past few days, security forces have unsuccessfully sought Habib Rezapour, an active member of Vahed Syndicate, at his home. Alireza Akhawan, a co-worker of the Foundation of Defenders of Workers Rights, was arrested on June 3rd. Pezhman Rahimi, an active worker from the Khuzestan region, was arrested on April 17, charged with disturbing the peace, and sentenced by the General Court of Ahvaz to a year's imprisonment and 40 lashes. Rahimi had previously been accused of agitating Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane workers and the Pipe Manufacturing Workers of Ahvaz and sentenced to five years' imprisonment.

Information agents and Pasdars from Kamyaran and the villages of Gashki and Gazerkhani arrested Kaveh Golmhammadi, a worker activist and member of the Coordinating Committee to Form Workers' Organizations, along with his 18 year old brother Kianoush Gholmohammadi, on Thursday June 3rd. Both are students. From 9am to 6pm , they were detained in the police station in Ghazarkhani, where they were subjected to pressure and harassment. The regime's thugs have threatened Kaveh Golmohammadi, demanding that he stop his activities; they have also tried to access information from his mobile phone.

In addition to these cases, six leaders of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane workers, Ali Nejati, Fereidoon Nikofar, Ghorban Alipour, Mohammad Heidari and Reza Rakhshan were fired from their jobs for trying to organize workers. Each has been arrested before and spent time in prison. Mansour Osanloo and Ebrahim Madadi, from Vahed Syndicate's leadership, have been imprisoned for an extended period of time. Osanloo in particular has been continuously harassed, pressured, and conspired against by the regime.

A number of teachers also have been imprisoned, among them, Abdol Reza Ghanbari( who has been sentenced to death) Seyed Hashem Khastar, Rasoul Bodaghi,, Abdollah Momeni, Mahmood Bheshti Langerudi, Ali Akbar Baghani, Mohammad Davari, Ali Reza Hashemi, Hosein Bastani -Nezhad, and Gorban Ahmadi.

This provides only the broad outlines of the Islamic Republic's oppression against workers, teachers, workers leaders, and activists, and against the arisen masses. But each incident first and foremost is an indicator of the fact that there is an ongoing vast mobilization of workers and teachers towards organizing. The Islamic Republic's fear is grounded in their knowledge that once workers and teachers have been mobilized, no degree of suppression, arrests or lay-offs can stop peoples' revolution.

The party calls upon all workers and workers' organizations, all teachers and students, university students of the whole country, organizations advocating women's rights, and revolutionary youth to intensify their struggle, confront these arrests, and demand the immediate and unconditional freedom of all workers, teachers and political prisoners, including the 22nd Khordad (June 12) arrestees.

All case files should be discarded, workers and teachers who have been laid off should be reinstated, and compensation of lost wages should be issued for those who spent time in prison or were laid off. Protests against these arrests by workers' organizations inside Iran, as well as by international organizations, have begun and are now in need of becoming more widespread and developing into larger coordinated actions. The party calls upon all international organizations, institutions, and concerned humanitarian individuals to join this struggle.

The struggle to free worker activists, teacher activists, and all political prisoners is an important pillar to overthrow the Islamic Republic. We should everywhere, in all gatherings, resolutions, and petitions, loudly declare these demands.

Worker-communist Party of Iran
June 14, 2010

Sunday, 13 June 2010

12 June protest in London in front of Iranian embassy

WPI UK were in front of the Iranian embassy in London yesterday marking the first year of the uprising of the people of Iran against the Islamic regime of Iran.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

20 June 1981 - 20 June 2009

The upcoming anniversary of Neda Agha-Soltan's murder on 20 June 2009 in Tehran by the Islamic regime's forces brings to mind 20 June 1981 when the Islamic regime in Iran manifested its power through a coup d'etat.

June 20, 1981: One of the Greatest Crimes of the 20th Century
Interview with Mansoor Hekmat

Radio International: The common perception is that the Islamic Republic is a result of the 1979 revolution. You have stated, however, that like most revolutions, the 1979 Iranian revolution was ultimately defeated by brutal suppression. Explain this.

Mansoor Hekmat: Any independent observer who examines that history will see that the people rose against a dictatorial Monarchy and its secret police, prisons and torture. (Those who have not experienced that period first hand should seriously review that history.) In that society, there was no freedom of expression, press and organisation. Trade union and Socialist activities were non-existent. There was no freedom of political activity. It was a despotic one-man rule, reliant on the police, army and intelligence service. There was staggering economic inequality, with widespread poverty alongside enormous wealth. People rose against these and for equality and freedom from political suppression and economic exploitation. This is known as the 1979 (1357) revolution.

When it became evident that the Shah’s regime was incapable of suppressing this revolutionary movement, the Islamic movement begins to rear its head. This reactionary movement, which belonged to the past and existed in a corner of Iranian society, was against civilisation, social modernisation, women’s right and development. One of this movement’s personalities, Khomeini, who was in exile in Iraq, was taken to Paris and placed under the spotlight. From then on, Western governments and media widely promoted this Islamic movement as the alternative that could and should replace the Shah’s government. Finally, General Robert Huyser, the United States government’s Special Envoy went to Iran, spoke with the army and secured their allegiance to Khomeini. A large segment of the traditional and national opposition of the time, such as the National Front, the Tudeh Party, etc. declared their allegiance to the Islamic movement. As a result, the Islamic current was pushed to the forefront of the anti-Monarchy movement. Contrary to the wishes of the Islamic current, the people rose up (known as the uprising of 22 Bahman, 11 February 1979) and eventually defeat the Shah’s army in a military confrontation. This process resulted in the formation of a government under the leadership and control of the Islamic current.

The two and a half years during 11 February 1979 (22 Bahman 1357) and 20 June 1981 (30 Khordad 1360) was still not strictly speaking, however, an Islamic rule. It was a period of relative open political activity, which the state was incapable of suppressing on a widespread scale, despite the existence of thugs and Islamicism. At that time, Khalkhali [infamous as the hanging judge] was the regime’s executioner but even so, the regime did not have the power to completely suppress and neutralise the increasing people’s movement. Political parties were flourishing; books of Marx and Lenin were sold everywhere; Communist organisations published papers; labour councils were established; various women’s organisations were formed and the wave of protests continued to escalate, until an Islamic, counter-revolutionary coup d’état took place on 20 June 1981 (30 Khordad 1360). They attacked and executed 300 to 500 people a day in Evin prison and all over the country; they closed down newspapers and crushed the opposition. This was what enabled the Islamic Republic to exist today. The point of the Islamic Republic’s establishment was 20 June 1981 (30 Khordad), not 11 February 1979 (22 Bahman). 11 February (22 Bahman) was the people’s revolution. During 8 September 1978 (17 Shahrivar 1357, the day that the Shah’s army massacred demonstrators at Jaleh Square in Tehran) until 20 June 1981, Right wing forces and governments attempted to obstruct the people’s revolution. 20 June 1981 is the eventual juncture that the suppression took place.

The Islamic government’s execution list was basically taken from the list of those who had been imprisoned during the Monarchy. A person who had been sentenced to two-month’s imprisonment by the Shah’s government was executed by the Islamic regime. They attacked and killed the very same people the Shah’s regime wanted to but couldn’t.

Radio International: The Islamic Republic suppressed the revolution that the Shah’s regime failed to do; in fact, it took revenge from the people who had revolted against the Shah. How could it do this? Before 20 June 1981, there were Left-wing newspapers; demonstrations took place and despite arrests and street fighting with thugs, there was freedom. What was it about 20 June (30 Khordad) that established the Islamic government and defeated the revolutionary movement?

Mansoor Hekmat: It was a violent coup d’état that succeeded as a result of widespread executions and murders. It was not like today where they shut down 16 newspapers run by their friends (‘insiders’) and the accused go to court and are still called Mr so and so. They poured onto the streets and arrested anyone who did not look like a Muslim. If someone had salt and pepper in his/her pockets, they accused him/her of planning to throw it in the eyes of the Revolutionary Guards. They arrested anyone who had recited a poem, who was known to be a Socialist or supporter of women’s rights, anyone who was not veiled and anyone who looked Left wing and executed them that same night. Statistics, documents and witnesses proving these atrocities are ample. There will come a day when the people of Iran and the world will observe the trials of those who committed these crimes. On that day, the world will weep for the hundreds of thousands of victims of 20 June (30 Khordad 1360) and after and particularly 1988 (1367).

This was one of the greatest crimes of the 20th Century, comparable to Nazi Germany, the genocide in Indonesia and Rwanda, and much more brutal than what took place in Chile. It is one of the most important catastrophes and human tragedies of the 20th Century. They attacked, suppressed, killed and buried in unmarked graves, innumerable people. They massacred many of the best, the most passionate and progressive people in order to remain in power.

Radio International: The Islamic Republic’s leaders who are now in rival factions, namely the Right and 2nd Khordad [also known as the Reformists] factions were at the time responsible for this suppression. To name a few 2nd Khordad personalities, for example, Behzad Nabavi was the government’s spokesman, Hajarian was one of the architects of the terrifying intelligence service and Khatami himself was in government at that time. How did they emerge unified after the 20 June (30 Khordad) suppression but are now fighting amongst themselves?

Mansoor Hekmat: Factions were present in the Islamic Republic then, but they were not the same factions we see today. For example, the Mojahedin-e- Enghelab-e- Eslami, the Islamic Republic Party and Khat-e- Imam’s (Imam’s Line) grouping were at the forefront of the government. The Freedom Movement, which is now part of the 2nd Khordad, was one of the victims of the Khat-e- Imam grouping, which also in part now belong to the 2nd Khordad. At the time, the government was in the hands of the Khat-e- Imam grouping – I mean the cabinet. This phenomenon of 2nd Khordad, which was created later, comprises many who were leaders of the suppression at the time. Many of those who are now students of Voltaire, have become democrats and call themselves journalists, were Revolutionary Guards, interrogators, torturers and were responsible for people’s executions. Consequently, 30 Khordad (20 June) is a common experience for both factions. 2nd Khordad are as responsible for the 30 Khordad (20 June) suppression as Lajvardi, Gilani, Khomeini and Khamenei. This was their government. Khomeini, whose name should be recorded in history as a reactionary executioner and criminal against humanity, headed this effort, following by the lot of them.

I think that it is extremely important for the people of Iran to review that history and these people over the past twenty plus years and be aware, in particular, of the nature of the differences between them today.

At the time of 30 Khordad 1360 (20 June 1981), they had no differences on the issue of maintaining the Islamic regime by mass killing and murder. That is what they did. Now, also, they are trying to do the same under different circumstances. They want to maintain the Islamic state vis-à-vis the people.

Radio International: Could it, therefore, be said that the 2nd Khordad regrets its 30 Khordad (20 June) policy and thinks that it should have acted differently?

Mansoor Hekmat: Not at all. The 2nd Khordad personalities will proudly tell you that they are the very same 30th Khordad (20th June) personalities. They do not regret 30 Khordad (20 June). Of course, later on, during their trials they will do so – but not now. Right now, they will not do anything to undermine their ‘insider’ status. 30 Khordad (20 June) is the ultimate criterion that separates the ‘insiders’ from everyone else. ‘Insiders’ are those who defended the ‘system’ vis-à-vis its opponents. 30 Khordad (20 June) is a most defining moment; it is the Islamic Republic’s birth date. Any of them who opposes 30 Khordad (20 June) will be stepping out of the circle of ‘insiders.’

Sooner or later – and much sooner than they think – free public trials to investigate their crimes against humanity will begin. They are not the sorts of people who can take their money and go to Los Angeles. Many of them will face people’s courts. One of the areas to be dealt with will be 30 Khordad (20 June), what any of them know about that period and their role during it, as well as public exposure to help reduce society’s suffering from that period.

Radio International: The Worker-communist Party of Iran has launched a campaign on 30 Khordad 1360 (20 June) to expose its realities and in commemoration of those whose lives were lost. What are the WPI’s aims in this campaign?

Mansoor Hekmat: 60-70% of the population does not remember 30 Khordad 1360 (20 June 1981), but it is an important moment in the formation of the Islamic Republic. We want to remind today’s generation in Iran and the world that the Islamic Republic, which is in power today, is the result of a massive crime against humanity. This must firstly be remembered, recorded, stated, exposed and not forgotten.

Secondly, these people are still on the scene. The same people who organised the murders and killings of 30 Khordad 1360 (20 June 1981) onwards are still the politicians of this country. They are still members of parliament, they are in the cabinet, and they are leaders and heads of the judiciary, army and Revolutionary Guards. The struggle against them continues. Their criminal charges are still unsettled, including the charges surrounding the crimes of 30 Khordad (20 June). This is one of the arenas of struggle against the Islamic government, its foundations, its personalities from Khomeini, Beheshti to Khatami, Khamenei, Rafsanjani, Gilani and all those who played a role in this process. It is part of our battle against the Islamic Republic.

Translated: by Maryam Namazie and Fariborz Pooya;
First Published: in Persian by Radio “International” in June 2000.

WPI protest at the ILO conference: ‘Iran’s regime out of ILO!’

Delegates applaud the action

7 June 2010

Members of the Worker-communist Party of Iran staged a powerful protest at the opening session of the International Labour Conference last Wednesday in Geneva, calling for the expulsion of the Islamic Republic of Iran from the ILO.

The protest specifically drew attention to the recent brutal execution of dissident teacher and human rights activist Farzad Kamangar and four other political prisoners.

Raising pictures of Farzad Kamangar, which carried the words: ‘Murdered, Iran out of ILO!’, as well as posters of jailed workers Osanloo and Madadi, six WPI protesters climbed onto the main stage at the sounding of the opening bell. The action, which lasted for around two minutes, was greeted by applauds from the delegates. (See footage here) Later, a banner reading ‘A regime which executes trade unionists and political prisoners should not be in the ILO. Iran out of ILO!’ was unfurled by a WPI member from the press gallery. (See footage here)

This was the fourth action of its kind at the ILO’s annual conferences by the Worker-communist Party of Iran in the past few years. This year the ILO had gone to great lengths, with extra security measures, to keep protesters out of the UN compound. It is ironic, and a scandal for the ILO, that meanwhile a regime which murders trade unionists and political prisoners is let in as an official guest with full credentials.

Trade unions from across the world, and specifically the global union Education International, had been campaigning for years for the release of Farzad Kamangar, and vehemently condemned his execution in early May. It was no surprise, therefore, that the delegates should break into loud applause the moment Farzad’s pictures went up on the stage. It is remarkable, and indeed unprecedented, that the participants and protesters at a conference find themselves on the same side, while the organisers are isolated and shamed, along with the group that is the object of the protest.

Later, a rally was held at the nearby Place des Nations in protest at the attendance of the regime of Iran at the conference.

The campaign for the expulsion of the Islamic Republic of Iran from the ILO continues. Already a number of locals of the French CGT union have taken up the call in the form of a petition that is circulating among the union branches. The disgust and anger felt by the world’s trade unions towards the regime of Iran for its callous murder of Farzad Kamangar and the horrific abuse of human rights should translate into a clear call for the expulsion of this regime from the ILO.

The International Labour Conference in Geneva is in session until 18 June. We urge trade unions from across the world and specifically their delegates participating at the conference to protest against the attendance of the Islamic Republic of Iran and to boycott that regime’s delegation. Above all, we urge them to take up the call and join the campaign for the expulsion of the regime of Iran from the ILO. A UN body purporting to promote global labour rights and welfare is no place for a regime which murders trade unionists and represses a people.

International Labour Solidarity Committee of the Worker-communist Party of Iran

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Successful protest against the Islamic regime of Iran at the ILO

The International Labour Solidarity Committee of the Worker-communist Party of Iran held a protest against the presence of the Islamic regime of Iran at the International Labour Organisation in Geneva on June 2.

The below are some of the coverage of the protest:

Pictures of the Day The Wall Street Journal

India Times

Day Life

US Today

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

The Crimes of the Fascist Regime of Israel against People of Gaza should be Condemned!

The attack of Israeli commandos on the ships that were carrying peace activists and aid to the people of Gaza evoked anger and hatred in humanitarian and progressive people of the world. The attack took place in international waters without any notice; according to some sources at least ten people and according to other sources some twenty people lost their lives and several got wounded due to this attack. This is an obvious and atrocious crime that is not only in contrast with the most basic humanitarian and civilized standards, but also overtly violates international laws and regulations; every political party, movement, state, and international organization that claims to be defending basic human rights should openly and strongly condemn this attack. People of the world and left-wing and progressive political organizations should pressure governments and international institutions in all countries to build up pressure on and condemning the Israeli government that has committed such atrocious crimes against the Palestinian people several times. The world should not tolerate such a crime.

Terrorist activities of political Islamic forces in the region and around the world do not justify crimes of the Israeli regime. The Israeli regime has used Hamas’ coming into power as an alibi in order to economically sanction the people of the Gaza Strip since June 2007. The siege, on the one hand, has devastated the lives of more than one and a half million innocent people, while, on the other hand, has provided Islamic terrorist forces such as Hamas with the ground for growing and strengthening their influence. We have always declared that Islamic terrorism and the state terrorism of Israel are two sides of the same coin; the tragedy of Gaza is just another example of the bloody confrontation between these two reactionary poles. The people of Palestine, as always, have been paying the price for this confrontation.

The solution for Palestinian people is cutting the hands of the fascist Israeli regime and the reactionary forces of political Islam off their lives and forming an independent and secular Palestinian state. Standing against fascist and antihuman policies of the Israeli government and protesting the silence and policies of Western states in support of crimes of this regime is the first step toward a humane resolution of the problem of people of Palestine who have been deprived of their basic rights.

The Worker-communist Party of Iran strongly condemns the Israeli regime and its criminal policies against the Palestinian people and calls upon all progressive and humanitarian forces, organizations and parties around the world to protest the fascist regime of Israel unanimously and unequivocally.

Worker-communist Party of Iran
June 1, 2010