Between a rock and a hard place

Defying state bans on Mayday

Besieged workers in Iran urgently needs our solidarity, reports Chris Strafford

Repression, economic crisis, mass unemployment, withdrawal of subsidies and the imminent threat of US led bombings have led to a great immiseration for the working class within Iran. The growth of poverty within Iran is stark, last month the cost of vegetables rose 92%, rice 29% and cooking oil 30%. In just a year commodities have rise by around 50%, the rial has fallen by around 40% and around 23% of families have nobody in work. The monthly minimum wage for working class families is now 389,754 tomans, roughly £212 which is far below the poverty line and way behind inflations. These pressures along with state repression and the threat of war is a disaster for the working class and its struggle against the theocratic regime. Despite this workers are fighting back last month over 600 workers from the Sanayeh Felezi plants protested against the non payment of wages with a picket of the Presidents office.

In spite of these pressures workers organisations and associations attempted to hold rallies and gatherings across Iran on the 1st May, International Workers’ Day. Official applications were rejected even though the application came from the legal House of Workers. Despite this workers held gatherings in several cities including Tehran where high food prices and low wages dominated placards and discussions. Outside the Shahab Khodro car plant workers demonstrated with placards saying “we are hungry”. In Sanandaj workers gathered and march carrying banners calling for “Bread! Housing! Freedom!” and the release of imprisoned trade unionists. Security forces moved in and attacked the demonstration arresting and beating some participants.

Many political prisoners remain in prison, including leading trade unionists such as Reza Shahabi, Ali Nejati,Shahrokh Zamani, Mohammad Jarrahi, Sassan Vahebivash, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, Rassoul Bodaghi, Mohammad Hosseini, Mehdi Farahi Shandiz, Farzad Ahmadi,Mehrdad Amir-Vaziri, Pedram Nasrollahi and Ali Akhavan.

Communist Students has consistently supported the struggles of the masses against the theocratic regime and imperialist sanctions and war threats. We continue to call for the immediate release of all political prisoners and the end of bans on working class organisations.

Check out Hands Off the People Of Iran, to which CS is affiliated.

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