For a society of “equality and freedom”, we support the Iranians

For a society of “equality and freedom”, we support the Iranians

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"Only the Iranian people are capable of laying the foundations for a new, modern society”: echoing a declaration signed by twenty organisations involved in the popular uprising in Iran, a large group of international academics, trade unionists and activists is expressing its support for this proposed alternative. (Mediapart)

We express our support for the declaration published in Iran on February 15 (see below). This statement comes from 20 grassroots organisations involved in the current uprising: trade unions independent of the government, organisations defending the rights of workers, women’s, pensioners, students and human rights. This declaration is not confined to denouncing the bloody repression and the religious (or non-religious) despotism of the past. It also proposes a draft alternative.

The Statement of Minimum Demands of Independent Iranian Unions and Civil Society Organization

To the Honorable and Open-Minded People of Iran

On the forty fourth anniversary of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the economic, political and social foundation of the country is shaken by a vortex of crises and disintegration. Thus, it is not possible to imagine a clear and achievable perspective for ending this situation within the framework of the current political superstructure. Thus, the oppressed people of Iran, freedom and equality-seeking women and youth have been giving their lives with unprecedented courage to turn the streets nationwide into historic and determinant battlegrounds for ending the current inhumane conditions. Despite the bloody repression by the government, for the past five months, they have not lay still for a moment.

The foundational protests that have upsurged today by women, university and high school students, teachers, workers, justice-seekers, artists, queers, writers and the majority of the oppressed people of Iran, in place after place, from Kurdistan to Sistan and Baluchistan provinces have attracted an unprecedented level of international support. These are protests that raise a banner of opposition to misogyny, gender discrimination, endless economic insecurity, enslavement of the labor force, poverty, misery, class oppression and oppression on the basis of nationality and religion. This is a revolution against any form of religious or secular dictatorship imposed on us, the majority of the Iranian people, during the past century.

These protests seek to uproot. They have risen out of the broader context of large and modern social movements and the uprising of an unbeatable generation that is determined to end a century of backwardness and marginalization of the ideal of creating a modern, prosperous and free society in Iran.

After two major revolutions in contemporary Iranian history [1906 and 1979 F.A.], now large and progressive social movements, the labor movement, the movement of teachers and retirees, the women’s movement seeking equality, university and college students and the movement against the death penalty, all as a mass movement, and from below, are in a historic and determinant position to shape the political, economic and social structure of the country.

Hence, this movement is aimed at permanently ending the formation of any power from above, and marks the beginning of a modern and humane social revolution for the emancipation of the people from all forms of oppression, discrimination, exploitation, tyranny and dictatorship.

We, the undersigned unions and civil society organizations, focused on the unity and solidarity of social movements and demands, and focused on the struggle for ending the current inhumane and destructive conditions, see the realization of the minimum demands listed below as the first commands and results of the foundational protests of the people of Iran.

We see these minimum demands as the sole path to building a new, modern and humane society in this country. We ask all decent people who care about freedom, equality and emancipation, at factories, universities, schools and neighborhood on the global stage, to raise the banner of these minimum demands:

1. The immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners. An end to the criminalization of political, union and civil activities. Public trials for the perpetrators and agents of the repression of popular protests.

2. Unconditional freedom of speech, thought, press, organization, neighborhood and national unions and popular organizations, strikes, marches, social networks and audio and visual media.

3. The immediate repeal of issuance or execution of any form of the death penalty and Tailion Law [retaliation in kind F.A.]. Banning any form of mental or physical torture.

4. The immediate declaration of the complete equality of the rights of women and men in all political, economic, social, cultural and familial arenas. The unconditional repeal of all discriminatory laws against sexual and gender identities and orientations. The recognition of the rainbow “LGBTQ+” community. Decriminalizing all gender identities and orientations. Unconditional adherence to women’s rights to control their own body and future and preventing the enforcement of patriarchal control.

5. Religion is a private matter for individuals and should not be present in political, economic, social and cultural laws and regulations.

6. Enforcing work safety, employment security and the immediate increase of the wages of workers, teachers, office workers and all employed and retired toilers, with the presence, intervention and agreement of the elected representatives of their independent and nationwide organizations.

7. The repeal of laws and any views that discriminate on the basis of nationality or religion. The building of proper support infrastructure for the just and equal distribution of governmental opportunities for the development of culture and the arts in all parts of the country and the creation of necessary and equal facilities for learning and teaching all the languages commonly spoken in our society.

8. Abolishing all organs of repression. Limiting the powers of the government. Direct and permanent intervention of the people in running the affairs of the country through local and nationwide councils. Removal of any governmental and non-governmental office holder by voters at any point should be one of the basic rights of voters.

9. The expropriation of the property of all natural and legal persons and governmental, parastatal and private institutions which have directly robbed or used government rent [government-granted monopolization of economic opportunities F.A.] to pillage the property and social wealth of the people of Iran. The wealth resulting from these expropriations should be immediately spent on modernizing and rebuilding the system of education, retirement funds, the environment and the needs of the regions and sectors of people that have been deprived and have received fewer opportunities during the reigns of the Islamic Republic and the [Pahlavi] monarchy.

10. Ending the destruction of the environment. Implementing foundational policies for reviving environmental infrastructures which have been destroyed during the past one hundred years. Turning parts of nature such as pastures, beaches, forests and mountainsides into the commons. These are parts of nature which have been taken away from the public in the name of privatization.

11. The prohibition of child labor. Providing for the lives and education of children irrespective of the economic and social status of their families. Creating public welfare through unemployment insurance, a strong social security for all individuals of legal age who can work and those unable to work. Education and health care should be free for all.

12. Normalization of international relations at the highest levels with all countries on the basis of justice, mutual respect, the prohibition of access to nuclear weapons, and the promotion of the effort to create world peace. We believe that the above minimum demands are immediately realizable and implementable, given the existence of potential and actual underground wealth, and the existence of a conscious and capable people, a generation of youth and teenagers who are very motivated to have a happy, free and comfortable life.

The above demands set the general parameters of the demands of the undersigned. With the continuation of the struggle and solidarity, we will address them in more detail.

The Iranian signatories

 The Coordination Council for Educator Guilds of Iran The Free Union of Iranian Workers The Union of University Student Organizations of Allied Students The Defenders of Human Rights Center The Syndicate of Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Workers The Council of Protesting Petrochemical Contract Workers The House of Iranian Educators Bidarzani (Feminist Website) The Voice of Iranian Women The Independent Voice of Workers of the Ahvaz National Steel Group The Association of Defenders of Workers’ Rights The Electrical and Steel Workers Guild of Kermanshah The Coordination Committee for Assisting the Creation of Labor Organizations The Union of Retirees The Council of Iranian Retirees The Organization of Progressive University Students The Council of Free-thinking High School Students of Iran The Syndicate of Alborz Province Painters The Committee for Creating Workers’ Organizations in Iran The Council of Retirees of the Social Security Administration

The signatories of the statement of support published on

ATTAC - CEDETIM - CGT - ENSEMBLE - ESSF - FSU - MRAP - NPA - PEPS - SSTI - UNION SYNDICALE SOLIDAIRES - UNSA - COBAS SARDEGNA (Italie) - CSP Conlutas (Brazil) - CUB (Italy) - FREIE ARBEITER UNION (Germany) - LABOURNET GERMANY (Germany) - PALESTINIAN POSTAL SERVICE WORKERS UNION (Palestine) - SYNTRASEH (Bénin) - International Labour Network of solidarity and struggle

Nicole ABRAVANEL, historian EHESS (France), Gilbert ACHCAR, professor SOAS London (England), Basile ACKERMANN, CGT 93, CGT Educ 93 (France), Moshiur Rahman AKASH, general Secretary Ghani Welfare Foundation (Bangladesh), Badrul ALAM, président Bangladesh Krishok Federation (Bangladesh), Keemrul ALAM, Revolutionary Youth Association (Bangladesh), Sylvain ALIAS, international commission of the Union syndicale Solidaires (France), Alain ALPHON-LAYRE, former confederal secretary of the CGT (France), Sophie ALSIBAI, Public Health Inspector, ARS Grand-Est, UNSA (France), Marcelo AMENDOLA, General Secretary of CUB (Italy), Ségolène AMIOT, Member of Parliament LFI-NUPES (France), Shamim ARA, president Bangladesh National Workers Federation (Bangladesh), Béhrouz AREFI, Solidarité socialiste avec les travailleurs en Iran (SSTI), Sylvie AUDIN, commercial employee CGT (France), Joël AVIRAGNET, Member of Parliament (PS) Haute-Garonne (France) Baharane Sultan BAHAR, président Jagobangla Sramic Federation (Bangladesh), Etienne BALIBAR, professor emeritus, University of Paris-Nanterre (France), Ludivine BANTIGNY, historian (France), Alain BARON, international commission of the Union syndicale Solidaires (France), Elodie BECAM, CGT 27 (France) Hosne Ara BEGUM, président Bangladesh Floating Woman Labor Union (Bangladesh), Olivier BESANCENOT, NPA spokesman (France), Mel BIENENFELD, member of “Tempest Collective” (USA), Sophie BINET, general secretary of the CGT (France), Sultan Ahmed BISWAS, Executive Member Progotisheel Krishok Sangram Parishad (Bangladesh), Kazi BOHAN, président Bangladesh Rural Intellectual Front (Bangladesh), Alexandra BOJANIC, co-leader of the FSU’s international sector (France), Mariano BONA, association and trade union activist (France), Jérome BONNARD, national secretary of the Union syndicale Solidaires (France), Claire BORNAIS, national secretary of the FSU (France), Milan BRGLEZ, member of the European Parliament (Slovénia), Rachel BRISHOUAL, national secretary of the UNSA, sectors Europe/International/Housing (France,) Michel CAHEN, CNRS Emeritus Research Director at Sciences Po Bordeaux, historian of colonisation (France), Claude CALAME, historian, director of research EHESS (France & Switzerland), Nadine CASTELLANI LABRANCHE, UD CGT Marseille (France,) CGT-Education, Research, Culture, editor of Educ’action (France), CGT-FAPT, postal and telecommunications activities (France), Magali CHAILLEUX, CGT Nantes Urban Transport (France), Jacky CHATAIGNER, Union syndicale Solidaires international commission (France), Lou CHESNE, ATTAC spokesperson (France), Nara CLADERA, joint federal secretary of SUD Education (Solidaires), International Labour Network of Solidarity and Struggle (France), Herbert CLAROS, international relations secretary of CSP-Consultas (Brazil), Chrystelle COLOMBAN, CGT Retirement home St-Just St-Rambert (Loire), Philippe CORCUFF, professor of political science at Sciences Po Lyon (France), Cristel COSTE, CGT Roanne Hospital (France), Pierre COUTAZ, CGT trade unionist - Confederal adviser for the international sector (France), Christian DANDRES, lawyer, member of the Swiss parliament (Switzerland), Jean-claude DAVAT, UNSA Grand Annecy and member towns (France), Randy DAVID, Professor Emeritus, University of the Philippines (Philippines), Guislaine DAVID, Guislaine DAVID, Co-Secretary General and Spokesperson (France), Cybèle DAVID, National Secretary of the Union syndicale Solidaires, in charge of the international affairs (France), Christophe DENARIE, general secretary UNSA Aix-les-Bains (France), Antoine DETAINE, NPA activist (France), Xavier DORLAND, engineer INP, UNSA (France), Mojca DRČAR MURKO, former Member of the European Parliament (Slovénia), Bernard DREANO, president of CEDETIM (France), Arnaud DUCHATEAU, CGT activist Montigny-en-Gohelle 62 (France), Simon DUTEIL, co-delegate general of Union syndicale Solidaires (France), Steve EARLY, US journalist, author and labor organizer, Member of NewsGuild/CWA, Sabine ENDERS, Attac activist (France), Didier EPSZTAJN, “Entre les lignes, entre les mots” website (France) Laurent ESCURE, General Secretary of UNSA (France), Béhrouz FARAHANY, Solidarité socialiste avec les travailleurs en Iran - SSTI (France), Samuel FARBER, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, City University of New York (USA), Patrick FARBIAZ, Pour une Ecologie Populaire et Sociale - PEPS (France), Jacques FATH, independent researcher, specialist in international relations, Nejat FEROUSE, CGT confederal adviser, Pierre FIALA, academic, Roland FICHET, Union syndicale Solidaires Haute-Savoie activist, Julien FONTÉ, general secretary of SNUTER-FSU, FSU national secretariat, Jacqueline FRANCISCO, General Secretary of the SNPESPJJ-FSU, FSU national secretariat (France) Samuel R. FRIEDMAN, Socialist, public health researcher, poet (USA), Régis FRUTIER, CGT La Vie Ouvrière (France), Frank GAUDICHAUD, historian, Toulouse Jean Jaurès University (France), Sigrid GERARDIN, co-secretary general of the SNUEP-FSU, FSU national secretariat (France), Abdul GHANI, president Building Construction Workers Union (Bangladesh), Paolo GILARDI, public services union SSP (Switzerland), Nayla GLAISE, Eurocadres (Belgium), Suzanne GORDON, US journalist, author, co-founder,Veterans Healthcare Policy Institute and member NewsGuild/CWAj Murielle GUILBERT, co-delegate general of Union syndicale Solidaires (France), Nawel HADJADJ, CGT labour union delegate ADP Gsi (France)), Philippe HOGRAINDLEUR, CGT FAPT (télécommunications and postal services), Belfort (France) Yves HOLLINGER, retired postal worker, trade unionist SUD PTT (France), Motahar HOSSAIN, president Gano Chhaya Sanskritic Kendro (Bangladesh), Aaron JAFFE, Associate Professor of Philosophy at The Juilliard School, and an editor of Spectre Journal (USA), Bruno JAFFRÉ Bruno, editor website (France), Claire JOBIN, sociologist (Switzerland), Stéphane JULIEN, labour unionist, review La Révolution prolétarienne (France) Shamsunnahar KHAN DOLI, President of Bangladesh Kishani Sabha (Bangladesh), Zayed Iqbal KHAN, General Secretary, Bangladesh Krishok Federation (Bangladesh), Babak KIA, Solidarité socialist avec les travailleurs en Iran - SSTI (France) Amir KIANPOUR, doctoral student in philosophy, member of the editorial board of Radio Zamaneh, Omoli KISKU, President of Bangladesh Adivasi Samity (Bangladesh), Aurore KOECHLIN, sociologist, feminist and anti-capitalist activist (France), Zbigniew Marcin KOWALEWSKI, researcher and publisher (Poland), Daniel KUPFERSTEIN, film director (France) Dan LA BOTZ, co-editor of New Politics (USA), Patrick LABRUE, regional secretary of UNSA ferroviaire APC Poitou-Charentes (France), Dharmasiri LANKAPELI, Peoples Socialist Forum (Sri Lanka), Patrick LAURENCEAU, NPA (France), Séverine LAURENT, secretary UNSA Deux Sèvres (France), Renée LE MIGNOT, Honorary President of MRAP (France), Kevin LE TETOUR, joint federal secretary of Sud-Education (France, Frederic LEBARON, sociologist at ENS Paris-Saclay, president of the Savoir / Agir association (France), Frederic LEPLAT, Anticapitalist Resistance (England and Wales), Patrick LESCURE, CGT 30 (France), Christelle LEVY, General Secretary CGT Mines-Energie CGT (France), Sonja LOKAR, international freelance specialist in gender issues (Slovenia), Michael LOWY, Emeritus Director of Research at the CNRS (France) Christian MAHIEUX, SUD-Rail trade unionist (Union syndicale Solidaires), International Trade Union Network for Solidarity and Struggle (France), Chowra MAKAREMI, anthropologist, research fellow, CNRS-EHESS-Iris (France), Arnaud MALAISÉ, National secretariat of the FSU (France), Jan MALEWSKI, editor of the review Inprecor (France), Patrick MARGATE, communist activist for solidarity between peoples (France), Paul MARTIAL, editor of Afriques en lutte (France), Caroline MECARY, lawyer (France), Moir MENSION, NPA (France), Roland MERIEUX, member of the Ensemble national leadership team (France), Henri MERMET, Ensemble international commission (Ensemble), Nathalie METCHE, CGT Toulouse City Council, Public Services (France), Suhrawardy MIAH, président Bangladesh Bakolight Labor Union (Bangladesh), Arnaud MOCQUELET, CGT RATP (France), Gilles MONDON, National secretary UNSA (France), Robi MORDER, lawyer and political scientist (France), Elisabeth ORNAGO, CGT 92 (France), Jaime, PASTOR, political scientist, Viento Sur magazine (Spain), Lucien PERPETTE, retired labour trade unionist (Belgium, Slovénia), Elsa PETIT HASSAN, NPA (France), Alice PICARD, ATTAC spokesperson (France), Claudine PICQUART, CGT pensioner (France), Boris PLAZZI, CGT confederal secretary in charge of wages (France), ` Charles POST, sociologist, City University of New York, member of the Spectrum editorial boardsociologue, City University of New York, membre du comité éditorial de Spectre (USA), Christine POUPIN, spokesperson (France), Philippe POUTOU, NPA spokesperson (France), Stefania, PREZIOSO BATOU, member of the National Assembly, Ensemble à gauche (Suisse), Matteo PRONZINI, Member of the Ticino Grand Council (Switzerland), Christèle RISSEL, SDEN (Educ’action) 56 Lorient (France), Philippe ROBERT, AIA (aeronautics) Clermont Ferrand, FNST (Transport Federation) (France), Gilbert RONAN, CGT Nantes - Urban Transport FNST (France), Marie-Noëlle ROUSSE, UNSA national secretary (France), Pierre ROUSSET, internationalist, co-responsible for the ESSF website (France), Henri SAINT JEAN, community activist (France), Abdus SALAM, Bangladesh Floating Labor Union (Bangladesh), Sara SALEMI, Solidarité socialiste avec les travailleurs en Iran -SSTI (France), Pauline SALINGUE, NPA spokesperson (France), Catherine SAMARY, researcher in political economy, member of Attac’s scientific council (France), Saleha Islam SANTONA, president of Motherland Garment Workers Federation (Bangladesh), Bernard SARLANDIE, CGT-Ferc Le Haillan 33 (France), François SAUTEREY, co-president of MRAP (France), Jakob SCHÄFER, labour trade unionist (Germany), Houshang SEPEHR, Solidarité socialiste avec les travailleurs en Iran - SSTI (France), Nedjib SIDI MOUSSA, author and teatcher (France), Cécile SILHOUETTE, Ensemble activist (France), Milena ŠMIT, diplomat (Slovénia), Ashley SMITH, member of the Tempest Collective (USA), CGT Atlantic, SCPRO La Roche-sur-Yon, Vendée (France), Claude SZATAN, Cedetim (France), Tania TANCELIN, CGT 84 (France), Stéphane TASSEL, SNESUP-FSU (France), Imad, TEMIZA, Secretary of the Palestinian Postal Service Workers Union (Palestine), Benoît TESTE General secretary of the FSU (France), Kudroti Khoda TOTAN, president Bangladesh Sramic Federation (Bangladesh), Catherine TRAN-PHUNG-CAU, Bureau Union Confédérale des Retraités CGT (France), Enzo TRAVERSO, historian, Charles-André UDRY, editor of the website (Switzerland), URIF-UNSA, Ile-de-France regional union (France), Roseline VACHETTA, former Member of the European Parliament (France), Pierre VANDEVOORDE, activist in solidarity with prisoners in Syria (France), Christian VARIN, labour trade unionist, international solidarity activist (France) Béatrice VAUTHERIN, academic (France), Sophie VÉNÉTITAY, General Secretary of SNES-FSU, FSU national secretariat (France), Antoine VIGOT, co-leader of the FSU’s international sector (France), Nicolas WALLET, co-secretary general of the FSU-SNUIPP, FSU national secretariat (France), Youlie YAKAMOTO, ATTAC spokesperson (France) Karen YAMANAKA, Japan Revolutionary Communist League (Japan), Lovely YASMIN, président Bangladesh Ready-made Garments Federation (Bangladesh).

 Opinion piece published on French original version (31/05/2023)  

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