Some points surrounding the uprising of the Women, Life, Freedom Movement
Some points surrounding the uprising of the Women, Life, Freedom Movement, and the Position of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and suburbs Company on this matter
Translated by: Zhaleh Sahand
[The Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and suburbs Company, has issued this statement in the wake of the anniversary of the Women, Life, Freedom movement, on September 22, 2023]
The murder of Zina (Mahsa) Amini in September 2022, initiated the nationwide uprising of the Women, Life, Freedom movement throughout the country, but the widespread dissatisfaction with the existing conditions and the forty decades of violent confrontations with people's demands and especially the suppression of the rights of women, youth, workers, and the oppressed people, especially in the deprived regions of the country, were the backdrop of these protests.
Despite the existence of many differences, including the slogans and the presence of women and the young generation of the country, the uprising in September 2022, still took place in the wake of the uprisings of the deprived, destitute, and oppressed people in recent years, such as in December 2017, October 2019, and June 2021. Nevertheless, this is an undeniable fact that the death of Zina (Mahsa) Amini in the custody of the Irshad Patrol and the subsequent uprising of the Women, Life, Freedom movement has completely changed the political, social, and cultural scene of the country. This uprising not only was against the mandatory hijab and the guidance patrol, but it was for the equality of men and women in all arenas, as well as for freedom, justice, and ending any oppressions, in which is still the main and unfulfilled concern of the majority of the deprived people of the country.
For several months, our young people were protesting in universities, schools, on the streets, and in neighborhoods for the establishment of freedom and equality, by risking their dear lives. In different parts of the country, in Baluchistan, Kurdistan, Gilan, and Mazandaran to Tehran, Azerbaijan, Khuzestan, and Lorestan, hundreds of protesters were killed, thousands were injured, and more than 22,000 were arrested. Among the victims of these protests, the names and faces of more than 70 children and teenagers can be seen.
Workers and especially the children of the working-class families, including students, had a significant presence in these nationwide protests. The youths who were killed in these protests and those who were sentenced to death on the trumped-up charges and forced confessions were the workers and the toilers.
Also, during this period, many workers were arrested and harassed for supporting the nationwide protests, and many of them were fired. During this period, many workers, teachers, and union activists were summoned, arrested, and threatened.
The government and all its governing bodies were and are directly responsible for these repressions and crimes. In recent days, the government had established a heavier security atmosphere in the country and once again showed that if the repressive and intimidatory policies were not ruling, millions of people would be in the streets.
But despite this suffocating and security environment and at the same time the spread of poverty, injustices, and the looting of public properties, what should have been done? First, we the labours and the working-class organizations can play a fundamental role in changing the current situation. We workers know and have learned that there are no strange shortcuts and that relying on ourselves and our independence from all the anti-labour currents inside and outside of the country is vital. At the same time, a very important point that we hope all our colleagues and working-class fellows will consider is that the fate of the labour movement is not separate from the fate of the other justice-seeking movements such as the women's movement and the student movement. While we support the Women, Life, Freedom movement, and believe that the all-round liberation of women is one of the basic criteria for the liberation of the other oppressed social groups, we believe in the current situation, this liberation, singlehandedly and in the streets without the maximum and organized interventions of the working class as a whole is impossible. By the totality of the working class, we mean all of us, the workers, the working-class families, and the toilers, as the absolute majority of the society [that includes the diversity of the regional and national, sexual, gender, linguistic, cultural, religious, age, trade union, sectorial and occupational (industrial, agricultural, service, educational, health, etc.)].
As a small part of the country's working class and one of the first independent labour organizations in the past two decades, we have not spent a day without facing control and repression since our establishment. Nevertheless, we still emphasize the importance of various types of work place and community organizations at the national level. We have said this before and we emphasize again that the working-class gains power through unity, organization, and independence, and without it, it becomes the cannon fodder of the wealthy classes and rulers. The government also knows this well and has used its repressive forces with all its might to prevent the creation of the independent and nationwide labour organizations, in order to assure that workers neither have job, economic, and social security, nor the power to create an organization. A few independent labour organizations in the country, including the Workers' Union of the Vahad Company and teachers' organizations, have faced hundreds of arrests and constant threats to their representatives and activists all these years. At the same time, the governmental organizations such as the Islamic Councils of Labour and the Workers' House are fully engaged in consolidating the existing anti-worker capitalist system in which they are the beneficiaries, with all the facilities provided by the government to control the workers.
Here we emphasize again that those in the universities, schools, and on the streets, were the children of the working-class families, the wage earners, and the toilers who fought against the discriminations, oppressions, for equality of men and women, freedom and better life, and emancipation from poverty, unemployment, and the futurelessness, and paid the very heavy prices. But it is also the duty of the older workers and the labour movement as a whole to support our children and a better future for them, and on the organizational ground more comprehensively deal with the challenges we face.
the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and suburbs Company, both before and after the uprising of the Women, Life, Freedom movement, has repeatedly condemned the government’s repressive policies and measures. On the trumped-up charges or with the repetitive scenarios, the security forces have arrested a large number of activists, labour, and teacher representatives, including the members of our Syndica before and after the International Labour Day of 2022, and have kept them in prison with heavy charges and sentences. Despite many more restrictions during this time, as the other labour and teacher organizations, we have tried to release workers, teachers, and the other political prisoners, and in order to attract domestic and international support from the international labour organizations, we have tried and although considering our ability in this period and the existing security situation, these measures have been limited, but they have still been followed up. Nevertheless, and at the end of this article, we emphasize and remind again that "the solution of the workers and the toilers is unity and organization."
In the hope of establishing justice in Iran and around the world,
The Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Company
September 22, 2023
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