Iran: the revolt extends

Iran: the revolt extends

By Socialist Solidarity with Workers in Iran (SSTI)

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After more than two weeks of protests, the street demonstrations are not only continuing, but intensifying. Slogans calling for the fall of the regime are becoming more and more numerous. In addition to the massive participation in the daily protests, more and more these young women are occupying the public space and walking in the streets without wearing their veils, thus openly challenging the foundations of the Islamic Republic. In some cities, the climate is insurrectional and the police are forced to back down in the face of the protesters' determination. Region Kurdistan, facing days of general strikes and total closure of shops, looks like a “dead city”.

But arrests and killing continue. On 1 October, 133 people were killed by the police. The repression was particularly brutal in Zahedan (Sistan-Baluchistan province): the security forces did not hesitate to shoot at the end of the Friday prayer on the angry crowd. At least 41 people were killed.

However, the weariness of the police is obvious. The new tactic of the young demonstrators consists of organizing simultaneous protest actions in several districts of the same city, causing the police forces to disperse, and therefore considerably reducing their effectiveness. The appearance of cocktails Molotov adds to their disarray.

How to continue?

This raises the question of how to move forward, and how to broaden the scope of the protests.

The first response, as always in Iran, came from the university’s student movement: to go on strike and call for its extension to teachers, head masters and high school students. In several cities, especially Tehran, Shiraz and Isfahan, classes were boycotted in order to participate in the demonstrations. The Teachers' Association called for a strike, and this call was heard in major cities.

A second response is emerging from within the labour movement. Unrecognized trade unions, hard hit by the mass arrests of their members, demand their release. They demand workers to stop working.

The Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (Vahed), some of whose leaders have been imprisoned since May day and another since 27 September, demanded their release and threatened to call a strike. The Organizing Council of Oil Industry Workers issued a statement demanding "an end to the repression" and also threatened to call a strike.

Labour is starting to show its teeth. The slogans "Students, Workers, Unity, Unity" are being heard in the universities. This is precisely what the regime fears: the junction between workers, women and youth mobilizations.

All over the world, actions and mobilizations in solidarity with the popular protests in Iran are flourishing. It is crucial that in all countries, that the workers' movement takes its full place in this wave in order to influence the evolution of the situation.

At the time of writing (3 October morning), in Tehran, the police forces are occupying Sharif University and arresting students.

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