Iran: Update of people’s protests

June 16, 2009
News Update

Below is some of the news received by the WPI Press Centre and New Channel TV:

This morning nurses and doctors from Rasoul Akram Hospital in west Tehran marched in protest against the treatment of the 28 wounded and 8 dead who had been brought to their hospital. Security forces denied the wounded any contact with their families. Medical personnel used the mobile phones of the wounded and dead to inform their relatives. Later this morning they walked out in protest.

University lecturers in three universities in Shiraz and Sharif Technical University in Tehran have resigned in protest to the regime’s security forces’ violent attacks on students yesterday.

Mashad Ferdousi University in Mashad was attacked by security forces.

There were clashes between protestors and the regime’s security forces in Bahonar Street and Vakilabad in Tehran.

In the city of Babol there are currently clashes between demonstrators and the regime’s security forces and Babol University has been surrounded by the security forces;

In Isfahan, there were demonstrations and clashes in Shamsabadi, Touhid, Sheikh Bahaie, Nik-bakht, Darvazeh Shiraz and Ghasr streets. Furthermore, the clashes continued into the university and the meeting hall was burnt down.

In Shiraz there were clashes in Mola Sadra Street between protestors and security forces; the protestors chased the security forces away and the locality is under people’s control.

The chancellor of Shiraz University resigned in protest following the brutal attack on the university by the security forces.

Last night, demonstrations continued in Tehran, Karaj and many other cities until 2–3.00 am

Tajrish police station was taken over by the protestors for over an hour last night.

Iran: Protests go beyond the regime’s infighting

The Council of Guardians’ spokesperson, Abbasali Kadkhodaie, stated earlier today in response to the complaints made by some candidates that there may have been minor irregularities. These will be checked but he stressed that the election won’t be annulled as the irregularities are less than previous elections. The Council of Guardians has asked the candidates to accept the results.

In other news, according to Mousavi’s election headquarters, he will not take part in today’s demonstration and asks people not to clash with government forces. Mousavi has said that he is negotiating for permission to organise his own protest.

‘Elections’ are not the real issue at hand. Everyone knows that in Iran elections are neither fair nor free. There is no political freedoms and right to organise. Candidates are selected by the Supreme Leader and Guardian Council and are chosen from amongst pillars of the regime. Mousavi now branded a ‘reformist’ was prime minister and head of government for several years during the 80s when thousands were executed and hundreds of thousands arrested.

‘What the statements of the Council of Guardians and Mousavi show is that both sides refuse to back down on the ‘election’ results and this indicates the widening division within the Islamic government’s factions. Their conflict will intensify for now. The people of Iran have shown that they have their own slogans and cause; they want the Islamic regime to go. The intensification of the regime’s infighting has and will further provide the demonstrations and protesters further space to protest and will allow the protests to strengthen and radicalise,’ says Hamid Taqvaee, WPI’s leader.

Slogans at demonstrations clearly show an opposition to the Islamic regime that goes beyond the regime’s infighting and the ‘election’ results this though this is not reflected in the mainstream media’s coverage of the protests. Slogans include: ‘down with dictator;’ ‘Seyed Ali Pinochet, Iran won’t become Chile;’ ‘We don’t want an Islamic republic;’ ‘Coup d’etat government, resign, resign,’ ‘tanks and guns have no more use’…

Via its live 24 hour New Channel TV station, the WPI is calling on people to continue their presence in the streets, with the own slogans of ‘no to the Islamic republic,’ ‘free political prisoners,’ ‘end compulsory veiling,’ ‘end executions’ and ‘arrest and prosecute those responsible for attacking and killing protestors.’ The numbers of protestors killed by the regime’s security forces in the past few days are unknown, however, 5 people were killed day before yesterday and 8 killed yesterday. 8 dead and 28 wounded were brought to Rasoul Akram hospital from yesterday’s protests alone resulting in a protest today by hospital doctors and nurses.

Long live revolution against the Islamic Republic of Iran!

Worker-communist Party of Iran statement on people’s protests following the election farce

The protests that have engulfed society are the eruption of people’s repressed hatred and anger towards the entire Islamic regime of Iran. These struggles took place in the form of a protest to the election farce and its even more farcical results, but are rapidly surpassing it and turning into a revolutionary offensive of the people against the Islamic Republic. Now even for that section of society which for any reason believed that it could bring about change through elections, it is quickly becoming clear that not only the Khamenei-Ahmadinejad gang, but the entire Islamic regime must be targeted.

The election show, with the campaigns and TV debates of its candidates and with the mindboggling way in which its results were decided and announced, was a shot in the foot for the regime. During this “election” the highest leaders of the regime laid bare the dark record of 30 years of their system’s crime, repression and plunder. Thus, the Islamic regime by its own admission and in front of millions of people issued the verdict of its own illegitimacy and condemnation. The victors in this “election” were not Ahmadinejad or Khamenei or any other state gang, but the people’s revolutionary movement for overthrowing the regime. People are voting with their feet to finish off this vile regime. The people’s repressors have set up a ‘power manoeuvre’, but in fact this is a show of the power of the people which is rocking the streets. Today, the absurdity and futility of reform and gradual change, on the one hand, and the legitimacy of revolution, the necessity of revolution and the desirability of revolution, on the other, is gaining ground and drawing strength in society. People are rehearsing revolution.

Today the revolutionary movement of the people to overthrow the Islamic regime, and the Worker-communist Party as its standard-bearer and representative, have gained a greater validity and a more favourable position in society. The WPI welcomes this situation and calls on the revolutionary people of Iran for street demonstrations around the slogans and policies of the Party, announced everyday on New Channel TV, the ‘Channel of Revolution’. The Party calls on the people to take over the streets with their demands for freedom and equality, with the slogan ‘We don’t want the Islamic regime’. We must stop work everywhere and turn every factory, university, school and neighbourhood into a barricade of revolution against the Islamic Republic. We must remove the hejab and abolish sexual apartheid with the power of the people. We must impose political freedoms on the Islamic regime with the revolutionary power of the people. We must call for the immediate release of all political prisoners and open up the prison gates. We must widen the splits within the ruling Islamic thugs. We must draw the body of the security forces and soldiers to the rank of people’s revolution, paralysing the regime’s armed forces and effectively putting them out of action. We must bring about a situation where people come out to the streets in their millions and send the Islamic Republic, with its executions, stonings, poverty, unemployment and hejab, to the dustbin of history.

The condition for the victory of the revolution against the Islamic Republic is provision of unity and organisation and an intelligent and determined leadership over the revolutionary movement. WPI is the party for this task. We call on all revolutionary people to organise around the Party’s banner. We, the Party and people, will turn the predicament that the Islamic Republic is now caught up in into a revolution against this detestable regime, into a revolution for freedom and equality.

Down with the Islamic Republic!
Long live a socialist republic!

Worker-communist Party of Iran (WPI)
14 June 2009

On today’s presidential ‘election’ in Iran: Prosecute Them!

Interview with Hamid Taqvaee on today’s presidential ‘election’ in Iran

Kazem Nikkhah: You have said that elections in Iran are a farce though things do happen during each election. Why?

Hamid Taqvaee: Calling these events an election is a farce, including in comparison with elections in Turkey and even Pakistan let alone the west. There are no events and changes that take place that have anything to do with people’s votes or what is called an election. And I’m not just talking about this particular election but all of the elections in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Our use of the term farce is not just propaganda to expose the regime; the elections in Iran are a farce because they are not real elections.

Kazem Nikkhah: One person does leave and another comes in their place though…

Hamid Taqvaee: Yes, there is a change within the ruling gang but the public don’t play a role in this…

Kazem Nikkhah: But isn’t this the case in elections in other countries that are not considered to be sham elections?

Hamid Taqvaee: We are also critical of elections in the west for example but ‘elections’ in Iran are a wholly different story. The crux of our criticism of elections in parliamentary democracies in the west is that people get to vote and then have no say until another four years when someone else takes over who is not very different from his or her predecessor! But in the west there are political freedoms, and people come and vote for various political platforms and policies. Of course there are mechanisms in which the ruling parties and classes manufacture public opinion with the assistance of the media. But from a legal and rights perspective, any party can introduce its candidate(s). The situation in Iran, however, is incomparable. You don’t have any political freedoms or the freedom to form political parties. Even the most basic political and civil freedoms don’t exist.

In the first instance, only the factions closest to the state and only those given the go ahead by Khamenei, the supreme spiritual leader, can participate. The rest are excluded. Only the closest insiders can run and that is why the final few candidates are always pillars of the regime – and the regime’s most criminal elements at that. That’s why they all have known track records of repression and crimes against the people. Look at this election – from Ahmadinejad, Karoubi, Mousavi to Rezai – all have been instrumental in the repression and executions that have taken place.

Even many in their own ‘second Khordad’ or ‘reformist’ faction are not allowed to participate in the election. If in Turkey or Pakistan a Council of Guardians decided on who could run, the election would be cancelled! In other elections, if a candidate gets less television airtime than another, complaints are made to rectify the situation. Now if you compare the situation in Iran with that of Sweden or Denmark or France, you will see that even in the first instance what happens in Iran is anything but an election!

Kazem Nikkhah: Are you saying that a real election is better than this sham?

Hamid Taqvaee: You can have any criticism against real elections but the issue is that what takes place in the Islamic Republic of Iran is not an election. The general criticisms of parliamentary elections are irrelevant when it comes to Iran. This sort of criticism is a form of concession to the regime. Karoubi, for example, has said that if he becomes president, he will end censorship. Come on! This regime kills journalists, including in the well known serial murder cases. Under Mr Khatami, the head of the so-called reformists, a number of journalists whose crime was to somewhat criticise the regime were killed and their bodies found on roadsides. The evidence is there; the bodies are there. It’s clear what happened but the killers are no where to be found. Sort of like the siphoned off billions that are no where to be found! So for such a regime, talk of removing censorship is a bad joke. To simply say there is censorship in Iran is absurd. What censorship! In the Islamic Republic they murder journalists. They don’t just purge articles; they basically purge journalists!

It’s the same when one talks about the elections. To criticise the elections in Iran as you would elections in France is a concession to the regime. This is not the issue either especially given that the regime is more repressive, dictatorial and inhuman than for such types of criticisms.

In the last so-called election, Karoubi said he went to sleep for a few hours and when he awakened, Ahmadinejad’s votes were up by several million! They themselves confess to the fraud that takes place. And still it is called an election!

Kazem Nikkhah: Let me say it this way, if we compare this election with that of other regimes like the former Shah’s regime, it may be the first time that there is some sort of competition between the candidates and the public is being asked to intervene. Doesn’t any of this have any value?

Hamid Taqvaee: As I have said before this has nothing to do with elections but it is a political event. Elections in Iran mean that someone will be victorious from the infighting within the regime’s factions and its in-crowd and become the president or the head of the Islamic assembly. All these are real fights amongst those governing but it has nothing to do with the fate of the people. In this sense, the election is a mechanism within the ruling gang – and that too in the most limited sense of the word. Even many of the ‘Second Khordad’ or so called reformists from within the ruling gang are not included. And there are splits within the reformists as well as the conservative faction. They are at each other’s throats. In my opinion, the reason for all this is that they are feeling the heat. This is an important point. It’s because the people not only don’t accept the elections but the entirety of the regime.

Kazem Nikkhah: People are taking advantage of the climate to come and show their opposition to the regime so some believe this is a positive occurrence in the elections and therefore, it isn’t a farce.

Hamid Taqvaee: The issue is not that the people take advantage of the sham election to speak their minds. They take advantage of many other things too to do the same – especially because they know it is a farce. Okay some will vote for a variety of reasons, including getting a stamp in their passport or fear or expedience but no one in Iran goes to vote with the same motives as those in France. During the Shah’s time this was the case and today, in other ways, it is also the case. Even if there wasn’t a political crisis in Iran and infighting amongst the ruling factions, people who go and vote know their vote is worthless.

Another reason for my saying it is a farce to call it an election is that the Islamic regime gets its legitimacy from the Koran, Islam, and the Supreme Spiritual Leader and so on, not people’s votes. They have set up unelected institutions like the Supreme Spiritual Leader, the Council of Guardians and so on, that can also veto anything they want. From deciding who can run for the elections to what legislation is passed in the Islamic Assembly. This has happened on countless occasions.

So how can this be called an election? Now Ahmadinejad might be president or Mousavi or anyone else. But any decisions made on the international scene or domestically at the Assembly needs Khamenei’s approval. If he doesn’t approve, he makes a speech at Friday prayers and all unfavourable decisions are scrapped. In such a situation, even if there was no election fraud, the elections are meaningless.

Kazem Nikkhah: If it is a farce, why even talk about it? What is its political significance?

Hamid Taqvaee: As I’ve said before, its political significance is that the rulers are at each others’ throats because they don’t have the support of the population at large. From the people’s viewpoint, this is an opportunity to come forward and undermine them. The elections are not about electing one person over another; it’s about the Islamic regime’s survival. You see this in their own statements – they’ll say for example if we don’t take care, none of us will survive and we’ll endanger the entire system.

Kazem Nikkhah: Amongst the opposition there are two main positions and the Worker-communist Party of course has a third stance. Those who are nationalist-Islamic and second Khordad or so-called reformist say that people should participate in the election and vote for a ‘reformist’ candidate. They say this will somewhat improve this situation in Iran. Another grouping of opposition says people should stay home and boycott the ‘election.’ The WPI says people should ruin it for them. What do you mean by this?

Hamid Taqvaee: I believe this is already taking place. People are not sitting at home. When Mousavi went to Ahvaz, the pipe-manufacturing workers declared that all the candidates were one and the same. When he went to Zanjan, the students condemned him for his role in the 1988 mass killings. The Sherkat-e Vahed workers also declared that the ‘election’ has nothing to do with the interests of workers and people. People aren’t quiet. In Iran, the issue is not only that people don’t accept the election or this or that candidate. They don’t want the entirety of the regime and they make use of the opportunity to declare that they have already made their choice. That the regime has to go. That they have chosen happiness over mourning and life over execution and killings… They need to come out in the streets to say the regime’s heads should be prosecuted not elected.

Kazem Nikkhah: When Khatami became president the WPI’s stance was that people selected him as a way of intensifying the factional infighting; wasn’t this positive? Wouldn’t this be the case if Karoubi or Mousavi became president?

Hamid Taqvaee: Let me first explain the Khatami era. Our position was that the people hadn’t voted for reform as was being said by some but that in fact their vote was a vote against the supreme spiritual leader. We said it was a vote for the overthrow of the regime. We said by voting against the supreme leader’s candidate, the people aimed to weaken the regime. Not that we agreed. People made these calculations; they weren’t correct. You see the infighting will intensify the more they know people are against all of them. Even now, the second Khordad or so-called reformist faction has built political capital on Mr Khatami’s winning of x number of votes. Even though he holds no weight now, this gives them a notch up and was a mistake. What I mean is that the regime’s factions should be at each others’ throats but this will only fully happen when they all feel the heat.

The supporters of the supreme leader are saying that if a so-called reformist comes to power, he will loosen the reins, and protests will intensify. The so-called reformists are saying if a conservative candidate wins, they will increase repression and the people’s protests will intensify. In a sense, both are revealing a truth; the reality is that whether Ahmadinejad, Karoubi or Mousavi becomes president, there won’t be any fundamental or even any superficial change in the situation.

They call Khatami a reformist! My question is what did Khatami do that could be labelled as reform? They themselves say he didn’t do anything – but of course they say it was because the opposing faction didn’t allow it. The point of the matter is that when he was president, he did not do anything. And not only did the numbers of executions and stonings not diminish but the serial murders took place under his presidency. The attack on the students happened under his presidency…

Kazem Nikkhah: They say the opposing faction was responsible.

Hamid Taqvaee: Okay but you were the president. If you wanted to you could have resigned on 18 Tir of the Persian calendar when the attack on the students took place. Otherwise what’s the point of being president! It is ridiculous to ask people to vote for you as a reformist and then say you cannot make any reforms because others won’t allow it! You could have informed people on day one so they wouldn’t vote for you. What this means is that supreme leader was not on board. And this takes us back to my first point and that is that this regime cannot be elected because there is a supreme spiritual leader that can veto everything. Because this regime gets its legitimacy from Islam and not the people.

With regards the reformists, I must add that in my opinion in Iran reformism – like elections – is a farce. The so-called reformists say things that are tragic comedy. It makes one laugh and cry at the same time. It’s like saying Hitler’s rule was bad because during his reign, they took two years to asphalt our roads! Of course the roads should also have been asphalted but those who reduce the problem to this are actually trying to cover up the main issues at hand. There are reformists – like Ms Shirin Ebadi – who at one point began a campaign to remove mines left over from the Iran-Iraq war. This is a humanitarian task but if it becomes the only task – whilst every day people are being executed and stoned and she has nothing to say about them or is silent on the serial killings and complains that there is censorship in the county when journalists are being killed, this is either pleading ignorance or assuming that the people are ignorant! It is an insult to people’s intelligence for someone to come and work for ‘reforms’ in this manner. A precondition for any reform is that the supreme spiritual leader is set aside. If they really mean what they say, they should bring a platform that says they want the supreme leader’s resignation, an end to an Islamic regime, Islam’s separation from the state, educational system and people’s lives…

Kazem Nikkhah: Doesn’t this go beyond reform?

Hamid Taqvaee: No, as I said before, a precondition for those who speak of reform under Nazism is to call for the fascists to get out of government and to be prosecuted. Otherwise, what reform? You can’t be under Hilter’s yoke and complain about the lack of asphalted roads. This is no longer called reform. Under a regime where writers are killed, you can no longer merely complain about censorship. Khatami, Kahroubi and Mousavi are defenders of the Islamic system under the banner of reformism; they are not reformists.

The other point is that this is election-related. Three months before the election, suddenly Mohsen Rezai steps up to say he wants to give women insurance or Karoubi says he wants to end child executions. Well I say Mr Karoubi, when you were the head of the Islamic Assembly did you bring any legislation calling for an end to child executions? In your era, hundreds of young 17, 18 year olds were executed and are being executed right now too…

Kazem Nikkhah: Why are they saying these things now?

Hamid Taqvaee: They know that people have sympathy towards these issues – particularly that our Party has initiated a massive campaign against executions. This issue and the existence of New Channel TV station are hot topics and so they say this to collect votes. They say this so that maybe some will vote as a result of certain misgivings and say it is a choice between bad over worse. That they will say Karoubi or Mousavi are better than Ahmadinejad. In this sense, in that society both the election and reformism are a farce and without meaning. We don’t have reformists. They haven’t brought any reforms nor wanted to. That the supreme spiritual leader cracks a smile does not make reform. That you ask for your cousins to also become candidates in the election is not reform. There is nothing viler in the world than stoning. This regime stones people to death and I have yet to see one of these so called reformists call for an end to stoning. The first precondition for reformism is to come forward and say that stoning must be abolished and that anyone who issues a stoning sentence must be prosecuted… or for example Karoubi is now defending the rights of minorities. Where was he when the regime attacked Kurdistan and slaughtered people in Sanandaj? His badge of honour is that he was one of imam Khomeini’s chosen ones – the very imam who issued the order to attack. And now he is remembering minority rights? During Khatami’s era, we labelled them ‘Voltaire Pasdarans’ – that is yesterday’s notorious Pasdars have slightly shortened their beards and become Voltaires and freedom-lovers! This doesn’t count. It’s ridiculous and has nothing to with freedom-loving. In fact, I think, we should grab the reformists by their collars and prosecute them for their high-level roles and participation in the regime’s killings. In the US, Obama came to power with the slogan of change and reform. His political capital and badge of honour was that he had opposed the war in Iraq when he was a senator. Now had he supported Bush, he wouldn’t have been labelled a reformist. They think that people in Iran are ignorant. It’s an insult to people’s intelligence for people like Mousavi, Karoubi or Rezai to come and call themselves reformists! Their hands are soaked with people’s blood from when they were in the Pasdaran and part of the ruling murderous gang. From Abdolkarim Soroush who led the cultural revolution and slaughtered students to Mohsen Rezai who in the Pasdaran attacked women, workers and youth, to Karoubi and Mousavi whose track record includes the massacres in 1981 and 1988. All of them are criminals and murderers.

In addressing these candidates, the issue is not even political. The issue is not that they are politically right or left wing. They all have criminal records and some like Rezai are even wanted by Interpol for their role in terrorist activities abroad. These people have assassinated opponents abroad like Gholam Keshavarz, Sedigh Kamangar, Bakhtiar, Fereidoun Farrokhzad, Ghasemlou, and Sharafkandy in Mykonos and tens of others. They are a bunch of murderers. A political critique or a label of reformism is too much for them. It is not as if the debate is about aspects of their platform. No! The people’s fight with them is that they are murderers. They must be held accountable…

The above is part of an interview, which was broadcast via New Channel TV on May 26, 2009. It was first published in Farsi in a special issue of the Young Communists’ Organisation. It was translated into English by Maryam Namazie for WPI Briefing 210.

9 reasons why the ‘presidential election’ in Iran is a sham!

1. A government from the Middle Ages which still executes individuals for ‘enmity against god’ or ‘morality crimes’, ‘acts incompatible with chastity’, stones people to death for having sex and has executed over 100,000 people in two decades cannot at the same time profess ‘democracy in Iran is transparent and for everyone, compared with Western democracy that has overt and covert limitations,’ This has been said by Khamenei, whose title is the Supreme Spiritual Leader no less!

2. Any political party opposed to the government is banned and their members either killed, in exile or clandestinely active with great risk to themselves. Article 26 of the constitution states: ‘The formation of parties, societies, political or professional associations …is permitted provided they do not violate the principles of independence, freedom, national unity, the criteria of Islam, or the basis of the Islamic republic.’ This goes to show how superficial labels of reformist, moderate, conservative and so on are in Iranian politics. All those running support and will maintain repression and theocracy.

3. In Iran, there is no freedom of association and organisation that is necessary for a fair election. Article 27 of the constitution states that ‘public gatherings and marches may be freely held, provided … that they are not detrimental to the fundamental principles of Islam.’ This is pretty difficult when you consider the anti-Islamic backlash and strong anti-government sentiments amongst the majority of people.

4. In Iran, there is no freedom of the press and expression. Article 24 of the constitution clearly stipulates: ‘publications and the press have freedom of expression except when it is detrimental to the fundamental principles of Islam or the rights of the public.’ The regime keeps closing down press affiliated with itself so you can imagine what it does to independent and free-thinking press and expression.

5. A lot has been said about the fact that only a few of the many candidates were approved to run in today’s presidential election by the Guardian Council whose members are directly or indirectly selected by Khamenei. This doesn’t mean that many of those disqualified are any better. Some of them are stalwarts of the government.

6. The list of those who was selected, though, reads like a most wanted list! All are former or present government officials responsible for and linked to serious human rights violations during their various governmental positions. Here’s a short bio of them:

* Mehdi Karroubi, Member of the State Expediency Council, former Majlis Speaker from 1989 to 1992 and 2000 to 2004. Secretary General and founding member of Militant Clerics Society one of the most reactionary organisations in Iran. He also headed the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee and the Martyrs Foundation, two state institutions which control much of the country’s assets.

* Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He has been a top commander of the notorious Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps in particular responsible for murder of thousands of opponents during the dark days of mass killings in the early 80s. A recently revealed document has shown his involvement in planning an attempt on the life of author Salman Rushdie. He is a member of the central council of the Society of the Devotees of the Islamic Revolution.

* Mohsen Rezai, Secretary of State Expediency Council; one of the founders and former Commander of Iran’s notorious Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps from 1981 to 1997. He is personally responsible for murdering many socialist and opponents of the Islamic Republic. He is wanted by Interpol for planning and undertaking acts of terrorism abroad.

* Hossein Mousavi, has been prime minister and head of government for several years. He organised and carried out massacres and suppression of protests of the population in the 80s, in which hundreds of thousands were arrested and thousands executed. In his time in office a row of inhumane and barbaric laws against women, the opposition and critics of the regime were introduced and used.

7. Some say that if all those who want are allowed to run, this could be considered a real election. It can’t – because only those ‘distinguished men possessing trustworthiness and piety; and a convinced belief in the fundamental principles of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the official religion of the country’ can be elected according to Article 115 of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s constitution. This effectively excludes the vast majority of the population.

8. Of course that means women are automatically and categorically excluded from running in the election. Again, Article 20 of the constitution states: ‘…both men and women, equally enjoy the protection of the law and enjoy all human, political, economic, social, and cultural rights’ but only in conformity with Islamic criteria.’ But again, if women were allowed to run, they would only implement the same misogyny inherent in the system.

9. The person who will be ‘elected’ today will have to swear that he ‘will guard the official religion of the country, the order of the Islamic Republic and the Constitution of the country’ and dedicate himself to the ‘the honour of the country, the propagation of religion and morality.’ The person selected in this farce is going to uphold the very barbarity that the people in Iran are gearing to overthrow.

WPI protests attendance of the Iranian regime at ILO conference

On Wednesday June 3rd, WPI activists carried out a protest action at the opening session of the 98th International Labour Conference in Geneva to urge for the expulsion of the Islamic regime of Iran from the ILO, while highlighting the situation of jailed workers in Iran. The conference venue was the UN’s Palais des Nations, where around 4,000 delegates had gathered in plenum at a packed Conference Hall.

Seconds after the sounding of the opening bell, at around 10.20am, three WPI members took to the stage while holding pictures of a number of jailed workers in Iran. Pointing in the direction of the Iranian delegation, they called for the boycott of the Islamic regime at the conference and for its expulsion from the ILO. They said a regime which arrests, jails and flogs workers should not be in the ILO; a regime which executes children and stones women to death belongs not in an organisation bearing the name of ‘labour’ but in international courts to answer for its crimes against humanity.

The action, which lasted for around three to four minutes, was intercepted with the audience’s repeated applauds. The warm reception it received is an indication of the increasing international isolation of the Iranian regime, in particular among the world’s trade unions. A WPI statement, calling for the boycott of the Islamic Republic, was widely distributed to the delegates after the morning session inside the UN compound (see below).

Concurrently with the action inside the hall, a rally was held at the Place des Nations nearby, in front of the Nations Gate, which lasted till around 3pm.

Film 1 (Inside) Film 2 (Rally) [Commentaries are in Farsi] Short clip (Inside) Photos

* * *

WPI statement distributed at the ILO conference:

A regime which arrests, jails and flogs workers should not be in the ILO!

Boycott the Islamic Republic of Iran at the ILO conference!

A delegation from the Islamic regime of Iran is attending the ILO’s annual conference. These people are not representatives of Iranian workers. They only represent the Islamic regime of Iran, which is a persistent and systematic abuser of workers’ rights. This regime jails and flogs workers for organising in a union, for attending May Day rallies and for protesting over pay and working conditions. This regime is a horrific abuser of human rights. It executes children and stones women to death, and has the highest per capita record of executions in the world. Such a regime does not belong in the ILO, but in international courts to face charges for its crimes against humanity. Such a regime should be expelled from the ILO and from all international bodies.

We request all the workers’ groups and all delegates appalled at the abuse of labour and human rights in Iran to walk out of any sessions at which the representatives of this regime may want to take the podium and speak. Their mere presence should prompt your immediate walkout.

Just like the South African regime during the years of racial Apartheid, so the Islamic regime of gender Apartheid and gross labour and human rights abuse should be boycotted at all international bodies, and first and foremost at an organisation which bears the name of labour.

§ Protest against the attendance of the Islamic regime of Iran at the ILO conference!

§ Boycott the Islamic Republic of Iran’s delegation!

§ Call for the release of all jailed workers in Iran!

§ Join the rally today at Place des Nations (‘Nations Gate’) 12:00-2:00pm!

A regime which arrests, jails and flogs workers should not be in the ILO!

International Labour Solidarity Committee of the Worker-communist Party of Iran (WPI)

June 3rd, 2009

For more info: [email protected]

One Law for All fundraiser dinner, June 27, 2009

Hello

We hope you will join our fundraiser dinner on Saturday, June 27, 2009 at 7:00pm at one of London’s finest gastro-pubs to enjoy an excellent three-course dinner and support the One Law for All Campaign against Sharia Law in Britain.

The campaign and its spokesperson Maryam Namazie have just been profiled in the June 2009 issue of Easy Living magazine.

The dinner’s keynote speaker will be AC Grayling, the renowned philosopher, author, writer, reviewer, and broadcaster.

To purchase a ticket(s) at £60.00 per person, you can either post a cheque made payable to One Law for All to BM Box 2387, London WC1N 3XX or pay via Paypal. Please note that it is possible to reserve a table for a group. Once payment has been received, we will send you your ticket(s), along with details of the venue and a menu to choose from. To offer greater choice to our guests and to enable the chefs to cater with speed and efficiency we will be asking you to make your dinner choices in advance.

If you have any questions about the dinner, please feel free to contact me. Given that space is limited, we would appreciate receiving payment as soon as possible and no later than June 20.

We look forward to seeing you at the event and hope this fundraiser and others like it will help us to raise much needed funds to get rid of Sharia and religious courts and tribunals once and for all.

Thank you for your continued support.

Best wishes,
Goranka Gudelj
Outreach Coordinator

PS If you can’t come to the event but want to support the fundraiser, you can send in a donation of £60 to cover the cost of a volunteer to attend. You can also help organise similar fundraisers in other cities.

A regime which arrests, jails and flogs workers should not be in the ILO!

Boycott the Islamic Republic of Iran at the ILO conference!

A delegation from the Islamic regime of Iran is attending the ILO’s annual conference. These people are not representatives of Iranian workers. They only represent the Islamic regime of Iran, which is a persistent and systematic abuser of workers’ rights. This regime jails and flogs workers for organising in a union, for attending May Day rallies and for protesting over pay and working conditions. This regime is a horrific abuser of human rights. It executes children and stones women to death, and has the highest per capita record of executions in the world. Such a regime does not belong in the ILO, but in international courts to face charges for its crimes against humanity. Such a regime should be expelled from the ILO and from all international bodies.

We request all the workers’ groups and all delegates appalled at the abuse of labour and human rights in Iran to walk out of any sessions at which the representatives of this regime may want to take the podium and speak. Their mere presence should prompt your immediate walkout.

Just like the South African regime during the years of racial Apartheid, so the Islamic regime of gender Apartheid and gross labour and human rights abuse should be boycotted at all international bodies, and first and foremost at an organisation which bears the name of labour.

§ Protest against the attendance of the Islamic regime of Iran at the ILO conference!

§ Boycott the Islamic Republic of Iran’s delegation!

§ Call for the release of all jailed workers in Iran!

§ Join the rally today at Place des Nations (‘Nations Gate’) 12:00-2:00pm!

A regime which arrests, jails and flogs workers should not be in the ILO!

WPI – International Labour Solidarity Committee

June 3rd, 2009 Info: [email protected]

Join June 3 Rally in defence of May Day detainees in Geneva in front of the ILO

In Solidarity with Workers in Iran and to Demand the Release of May Day Detainees on Wednesday June 3
Join the Rally in front of the ILO Conference Centre

The annual assembly of the ILO will take place between June 3 and 19, 2009, in Geneva. Like previous years, a delegation representing the Islamic Republic regime in Iran and representatives of regime-made organisations will participate in this assembly. Those who are responsible for repressing workers should not be allowed to join the ILO. The Islamic regime in Iran should be expelled from the ILO for oppressing workers and depriving them from all their rights.

To support the struggle of workers and to demand the release of the workers who were arrested on May 1, and the release of all imprisoned workers in Iran join this rally!

We call on all freedom loving people and worker organisations to take part in the rally.
Time: Wednesday, June 3, 2009, 12.00 hours
Place: Geneva, in front of the ILO Conference Centre

May Day Detainees should be Released Immediately and Unconditionally!
Free Imprisoned Workers, Free Political Prisoners!
Islamic Republic Out of the ILO!

Worker-communist Party of Iran-Organisation Abroad