On Friday 14th January, a month-old mass protest and struggle of the working class and people of Tunisia against unemployment and destitution and the corrupt police state resulted in the hasty flight of Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, the President of Tunisia. This was the first achievement of the people of Tunisia in their fight for freedom and equality.
This is the beginning of a revolution whose victory cannot be anything short of the establishment of direct rule of citizens based on direct popular participation in administration of the state, complete overthrow of the current government, and the destruction of the oppressive machinery of the state which has been used against the people of Tunisia for more than half a century.
The swift victory of the people Tunisia in forcing Ben Ali, who has been at the helm of a fearsome machinery of terror, to flee, gave rise to optimism and was welcomed by the people of the world, particularly in Arab countries. In some countries, people demonstrated in support of the people of Tunisia, while a shadow of fear fell on the face of the dictators. In Iran the people eagerly watched the scenes similar to their own struggle against the Islamic regime in the 2009 revolution, and sent messages of support and congratulations following the flight of the Tunisian dictator; they felt stronger in their fight against the Islamic regime of Iran.
The start of the Tunisian revolution is an important development with a momentous impact on the region and in particular on the countries of the so-called ‘Arab World’. This revolution must move forward vigorously and achieve its victory. The ruling elite of Tunisia, in co-ordination with Western powers, particularly France and the United States, is trying to ‘put out of sight’ some of the hated figures of the Tunisian state and save the oppressive state machinery, such as the army and other oppressive organs; by inviting some nationalist, Islamist and reactionary elements of the opposition to form a government of ‘national unity’, they are trying to maintain and justify the current system of oppression and exploitation. The code name for this operation is the ‘Jasmine Revolution’, which is supposedly based on the model of the Velvet Revolution. By passing the power between different groups of the ruling class, the ruling elite aims to defeat the people’s revolution in Tunisia.
The people of Tunisia must advance their revolution; they must put forward such demands as the unconditional release of political prisoners, public trial of Ben Ali and all those responsible for the recent killings, an end to Marshal Law, abolition of all the oppressive organs of the state, publication of the all the documents of the theft and embezzlement by top government officials, direct and popular participation in all decision- making in industries, government organisations, universities and neighbourhoods, unconditional freedom of expression, strike, organisation and political activities, immediate rise in pay levels, etc. No government – ‘national unity’ or otherwise – has any legitimacy unless it recognises the above demands. Any government that fails to recognise these demands would be deemed as the continuation of the old dictatorship and consequently must stand aside.
Moving forward and achieving these demands is only possible by the mass organisation of the working class and people of Tunisia.
We are for the advance and comprehensive victory of the people of Tunisia; their victory will be a victory for the people of world, including the people Iran.
Worker-communist Party of Iran
16 January 2011