The massive uprising which for ten days, from mid-November, drove the Islamic Republic to its death throes was a big step forward and a game changer in the movement of the people of Iran for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic. The uprising started in protest at the petrol price rises, by people stopping their cars and blocking the roads. However, the security forces responded by firing on the people. The regime wanted to forestall the uprising by brutally crushing the protests it was anticipating and for which it had prepared its special units and anti-riot forces. However, shooting at the people did not intimidate them. The vicious plan which the ruling criminals call ‘shock therapy’ shocked the regime itself. People not only did not go back to their homes, but took the battle to the neighbourhoods, meting out severe punishment on many of the regime’s thugs. The Minister for Home Affairs admits that ‘over 50 military bases and police stations were attacked’ and ‘the number of security forces injured was twice that for the protesters’.
The angry youth’s direct action and offensive, reflecting the hatred of millions of people towards the Islamic Republic, was indeed the direct action of an enraged people to topple the regime. The November uprising is another step in the advance of the people’s movement for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic. The 2009 revolutionary surge ended with an uprising, and the November 2019 surge started with an uprising. The 2017/18 revolutionary rising declared ‘the end of the game’; the November 2019 rising set about to practically end it.
During the November uprising, petrol stations, Friday Prayer Imams’ offices, the seminaries and other Islamic centres, police stations, the bases of the regime’s paramilitary Baseej thugs, Khomeini’s and Khamenei’s posters and the Islamic regime’s flags, and hundreds of banks, were set on fire. However, this mass assault on state institutions and the symbols of repression, plunder and pillage was not a blind rebellion. It was the offensive of a society that for long has risen up against poverty, rising prices, corruption, embezzlement, rip-off, lack of rights, repression and the hateful rule of Islam on the laws and on the social and private lives of the people.
The November uprising took place in the context of widespread strikes and protests which, especially over the past two years, have been raising the heat under the feet of the ruling criminals. The uninterrupted agitation and simmering which led to the November eruption included strikes by Haft Tappeh sugar cane workers, Ahvaz steelworkers, Hepco heavy equipment workers, AzarAb Industries workers, truck drivers, rail workers, Mahshahr Petrochemical workers, and workers in hundreds of other factories and workplaces, as well as the nationwide strikes and rallies by teachers and pensioners, the protests against compulsory hijab and gender apartheid by the Girls of Revolution Street, such as by Vida Movahed and Sahar Khodayari, the protest, even from within prisons, against torture and detention and for the release of political prisoners, the general strike in Iranian Kurdistan, and so on. For its part, the November uprising is paving the way for the advance of the protests in all these fields, putting the whole society in a more militant and offensive position in the fight against the criminal rulers.
The November uprising has completely transformed the political situation and the protest climate in Iran in favour of people’s movement for the overthrow of the regime and to the disadvantage of the regime. The Islamic Republic has now clearly been driven to the status of an occupying state, which, like the Nazi regime in Poland and France, can only maintain its hateful rule by an undeclared martial law and with the help of tanks, armoured vehicles and by its hordes of thugs shooting at the people. The so-called shock therapy of the murderous rulers is no less than Pinochet’s, but Iran today is not Chile under Pinochet. Even the pen pushers and mouthpieces of the regime warn that the earth-shattering uprising that started in November has no intention of coming to a halt.
The people’s movement to overthrow the regime has now added ‘control of neighbourhoods’ to its armoury of mass war, and by attacking the security forces, religious centres and banks, as the symbols of the kleptocratic capitalism in place, has declared an unremitting and uncompromising war on the entire political and economic system. The November uprising also introduced arms, and the legitimacy of using arms against the ruling assassins, into the protest culture and discourse of the society. Also, by the method of hit-and-run and taking control of the neighbourhoods, it demonstrated an effective tactic in confronting the ruling fascists. The time for an armed uprising and for dealing the final blow on the regime has not yet come, but that day is not far away.
With the November uprising, the new movement for the control of neighbourhoods also announced its powerful presence. This movement has taken the first steps towards organising local units and councils of struggle. Local councils of struggle can and must be expanded and promoted into a co-ordinated and integrated network of struggle in all neighbourhoods.
The November uprising not only let the society experience and rehearse armed insurrection, but it also paved the way for more offensive and radical strikes, gatherings and demonstrations. It now rests with the protest activists, figures and organisations in the workers’ movement and in other protest movements to come forward powerfully to challenge the murderous regime from all sides by issuing hard-hitting statements, indictments and calls, by organising nationwide strikes, protests and rallies and by building local councils of struggle. At the forefront of this battle lies the organisation of a powerful nationwide protest against the regime’s crimes, the brutal killing of the protestors and the mass arrests during of the recent uprising.
The Worker-communist Party of Iran calls on the activists of the workers’ movement and other protest movements and on masses of the people to protest against the killing of the November protesters and to fight for the release of all those arrested.
The countdown for the overthrow of the ruling assassins has begun. Today not only in Iran, but also in Lebanon and Iraq, people have come out against the Islamic Republic and the criminal governments and gangs who are supported by the ISIS in power in Iran. The day is not far away when with nationwide strikes and massive demonstrations, with unrelenting battles in every district, street and neighbourhood and with the final insurrection and blow on the bases of the regime’s repressive forces and centres of power, we will overthrow the Islamic Republic and free Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and the entire region from the menace of the ruling assassins in Iran. Victory is ours.
Worker-communist Party of Iran
29 November 2019