When the rulers get into a deadlock and have no solutions to the crises they themselves have created, and when people, who have had enough of injustice, are no longer prepared to put up with oppression, then the time for vast, transformative social protests has come.
It is thus that now people, who are at the end of their tether from oppression, high prices, poverty and unemployment, have since four days ago throughout the country taken over the streets and in a united and solid rank are shouting their demands for an end to the existing hellish conditions.
The demands which have today paved the way for the marches and gatherings of the working people of Iran across the country, with a focus on the protest against high prices, poverty and unemployment, have for years been raised by workers, teachers, nurses and all the working people. These calls have gone unheeded by the rulers, who have carried on with their plunder of the social wealth.
What we are witnessing on the streets of various cities today is the eruption of the accumulated anger of the working people of Iran at the plunder and embezzlement, running into billions, by the highest governmental figures, and by individuals and financial institutions tied to the sphere of power, on the one hand, and the poverty and plight of millions of people, the unemployment of millions of workers and young people, the beating up of street vendors and the massacre of border porters (koulbaran), the imposition of wages several times below the poverty line on workers, and the system of flogging, jailing and execution against any demand for rights and freedom, on the other.
Those who until yesterday answered all workers’ and people’s protests for rights by branding them as threats to national security, and by prosecution and imprisonment, and who today in response to the raging anger of millions of people in Iran, label their rightful protests sedition, should know that the time for great, human changes in this country has arrived, and that no repressive force will be able to withstand the rights-seeking and freedom-seeking by we workers and people of Iran.
What is clear, and what we are declaring along with the working masses of Iran, is that the demands of we the people for an end to poverty and plight must be met; all repression and imprisonment must be ended; all political prisoners must be freed, and the plunderers of the social wealth and the commanders and perpetrators of repression, whatever their rank and standing, must be held to account and be prosecuted; the properties swindled from the people by the financial institutions must be returned; workers’ and public and private sector employees’ minimum wage must be raised five fold; the astronomical salaries of those in high government office must be ended; setting up independent workers’ and civil organisations and unconditional freedom of expression, freedom of the press and freedom of activity for parties must be established and guaranteed; and whatever the millions of masses of the people of Iran are demanding must be rapidly realised.
It goes without saying that any disregard for the demands of the workers and working people of Iran by demagogy or by the suppression of the protests or by free-riding on the wave of people’s protests by government factions or the opposition ousted from power, in the past or the present, will be futile. This time it is we the workers and people of Iran who by unity and solidarity and by the continuation of the protests will decide our destiny.
Signatories in alphabetical order (Farsi alphabet):
– Free Union of Workers of Iran
– Trade Association of Electricity and Metal Workers of Kermanshah
– Union of Painters of Alborz Province
– Centre for Defence of Workers’ Rights
– Follow-Up Committee for the Formation of Workers’ Organisations
1 January 2018
Translation: WPI (wpiran.org)