Monday, May 01, 2006

May Day Rallies Attacked by Islamic Security Forces

Several Labour Day rallies, held by Iranian workers and students have been attacked today in Iran. Iran's bus drivers gathered outside the central bus depot in Hengam street, shouting slogans "Independent Trade Union is Our Obvious Right" as opposed to the regime's slogan, "Nuclear Energy is Our Obvious Right". Iran's students also joined the rally shouting "Workers, Students, United we Stand". Only a few minutes after the rally started however, the Islamic Republic Law Enforcement Forces told the workers and the students to disperse. The crowd instead refused shouting "Today is Worker's Day".

When the riot squad got hold of a student and started beating him up, a worker who was holding his infant child, faced the riot squad and shouted at them, "beat me up instead, for I have failed my wife and children, I have not been paid for three months and my family are starving". His constant cries while holding his baby, attracted more passers by and they grew more sympathetic with the workers and the students in the rally.

The Islamic anti-riot squad quickly dispersed the crowd before it grew any bigger. The crowd retreated shouting "Shame on you, Shame on you". At least 15 people were arrested in the very frist few minutes of the rally, including Kayvan Rafii, a student activist.

A larger rally took place in Taleghani Ave. when the workers again refused to disperse and shouted
"Let Palestine be, think about us for once"
"Unions, Strikes, are our obvious rights"
The workers then proceeded towards the Tehran university shouting "The Workers, The Students, United we Stand".

Four of the organisers of the May Day Rally Committee were also arrested outside the Ministry of Labour, where the crowds refused to be taken to the official rally in Fajr Stadium. The four are: Ashraf PirKhezri, Vafa, Hiresh Naghshbanid and Quiomarth.

13 comments:

Hanif Leylabi said...

Nice to see that people still have the confidence to come on the streets.

Only students and workers can truly liberate Iran.

Azarmehr said...

Another typical SWP argument. If no one dares to come to the streets, then the regime is popular, if some dare to come and oppose the regime, then it means that the regime is not that bad. PATHETIC!!

Iran's students and workers as well as other sections who oppose the regime - the young, the women, the unemployed, the intellectuals, the teachers, the nurses, the religious minorities, the journalists, the writers, the street children,... - all need international support. No change has ever come about without the help of international public opinion.

Anonymous said...

This is me: the one who doesn't know what SWP stands for.

Azermehr tends to pick up whatever is in the news and portray it as if was an anti-government rally.

If for example there were football holigans on the streets, then he would write that they were protesting against the government. If the labour movement wants to air its view, then in Azermehr's eyes that is anti-government.

Because of this, his news is not very reliable. So Henif, don't take it seriously.

Azarmehr said...

Well judeg for yourself. The slogans are clear and the names of those arrested are available. If it wasn't against the government then why arrest anyone? Why is the Bus Drivers' leader, Mansour Osanlou, still in jail and why have those who took part in the strike still not reinstated in their jobs? Why won't the regime allow independent trade unions?

SWP, you have another anonymous supporter who doesn't know what SWP is but likes you because you support the clerics in Iran.

Steve M said...

Thanks Azarmehr, for an interesting post.

Out of interest, what's your view of Reza Pahlavi's idea for the overthrow of the regime?

Incidentally, Norman Geras (one of the authors of the Euston Manifesto) has expressed support on his blog for independent trade unions in Iran and might well link to your post if you send him an email. Not everyone on the left is as pathetic as the SWP.

Azarmehr said...

Thanks for pointing out Reza Pahlavi's interview with Humaneventsonline, I had not actually seen it before.

I agree with most of his statements. I agree with his opposition to any attack on Iran, I agree with his statements that the Iranian people are the most natural allies of Western democracy but the media and the governments in these Western countries have decided to bypass this natural ally so far.

I agree with Reza Pahlavi on civil disobedience being the best option, least bloodshed and most effective way against totalitarian regimes with the best outcome in the aftermath. Although organising it would be a mammoth task.

I agree with the way he sees his role as a catalyst at the moment, rather than representing an institution. And I agree that the people should have the choice of choosing whether they want a constitutional monarchy or not, if the current regime is overthrown. Personally, a constitutional monarchy, similar to the European ones is not an unattractive option to me. Hey, I rather live in the Monarchy of Spain or Norway than the Republic of North Korea or Syria :)

I do believe that if monarchy is going to be an option it must be small in size and absolutely and unequivocably apart from any political decision making, only a symbol of unity and continuity of Iran, a neutral institution that promotes Iran but does not make decisions about Iran, and I believe that is what Reza Pahlavi wants too.

I was however disappointed about his response to the Q on Ahmadi-Nejad's "election". Even the Islamic regime's own figures like the ex-speaker of parliament, Ayatollah Karrubi have questioned the legitimacy of the last "election" better. Karrubi I remember said, "I went to have a nap after being in the second position, suddenly when I woke up there were one million more votes for Ahmadi-Nejad. How did this many vote suddenly appear from the sky?"
And at the end of the day, its not as if the Iranian people can vote for whoever they want, all candidates are pre-selected by the unelected Guardian Council. Even some of those who have served IRI very well in the past were not allowed to run.

Steve M said...

Thanks for that.

There are also relevant items on Harry's Place and Adloyada. Judy (Adloyada) linked to your site yesterday (which put me on to you).

I would have emailed this but I don't have your address.

Chester said...

Good report!

I've read your blog before, but saw this link at Regime Change Iran.

Thanks!

btw - Reza Pahlavi's latest interview (as mentioned by Steve) is the most revealing so far. (I saw it linked at Winston's thespiritofman blog.)
I wish Pahlavi best of luck and much sucess in this endeavor.
I hope Washington is giving him the help he needs.

Azarmehr said...

Its the help from the people across the world that we need and we ask for, not governments. I have no confidence in Western politicians, nor their media. Time and time again they have colluded with the mullahs and left the Iranian people at the mercy of the mullahs.

What we want is the hlep of the students, the trade unions, the artists, the intellectuals, writers, academics, women's movements, celebrities, human rights activists.. with the help of the people of the world we can bring peace and prosperity to Iran and the middle east.

Aryamehr said...

More power to Iranian workers!
With your permission i've linked to your report Azarmehr.

Hanif Leylabi said...

My point was that it was good to see that the tyrannical Iranian regime hasn't managed to crush the Iranian people's spirit.

The Iranian regime is deeply unpopular in Iran and they continue to express this.

Do not twist my words to suit your pathetic agenda.

Nice to see you think the Iranian people are natural allies of 'western democracy.' The same democracy which has plunged Afghanistan and Iraq into chaos, the same democracy which support the terrorist state of Israel, and the same democracy which is attacking civil liberties at home.

You are not on the side of the Iranian people, you are on the side of the rich.

Azarmehr said...

Yeah yeah, I am on the side of the rich, you are so proletarian, the working classes love you, whatever you want to say, at least I publish your comments which is more than SWP does when I leave a comment on their site.

But I ask you again what campaign against the "tyrannical regime of the clerics" in Iran, you or your party (SWP) have carried out in the last 27 years??

You couldn't even sign the petition below in support of Clare Short and the children of Iran who suffer from state child abuse laws:
http://www.petitiononline.com/farivar/

Is Clare Short on the side of the rich and a war monger too??

You have the cheek to say to me "Do not twist my words to suit your pathetic agenda." bit rich coming from someone like you who in the poverty of his adolescent arguments always tries to accuse the other side of things they don't subscribe to, but I guess typical of your party mentality.

Please enllighten me, what is "pathetic" about soliciting international public opinion in support of Iran's workers, women, the youth ...?

What is "pathetic" about writing and telling the world about Iranian women being beaten up and chased off during the peaceful rally on Women's Day?
What is "pathetic" about writing on the unoffcial labour rallies and the demands of the Iranian workers? What is "pathetic" about disseminating pictures of these events? If the BBC doesn't want to do it someone has to do it!

You are sickening and pathetic yourself beyond belief.

One day you will grow up and graduate, go in to the real world and perhaps appreciate the Western democracy you take for granted.

Why are you not brave enough to mention the underlying cause of misery in Afghanistan and Iraq, is the backwardness people suffer as a result of the stranglehold of some conmen who think they represent God on Earth.

If they wanted to execute a Muslim convert into Christianity in Afghanistan, was that the fault of the Western democracies?

Do you not find it in yourself to condemn a mob of 400 who have nothing better to do than to come out on the streets and demand the murder of an innocent person, who had decided to change his religion?

Is that the proletarian Marxism you have learned from the few books you have read in the comfort of your surroundings? YOU ARE BEYOND PATHETIC, but you will grow up too. If you are still a member of the SWP in 10 years time, I will eat my words.

chester said...

"Its the help from the people across the world that we need and we ask for, not governments"

I understand. But some money and materials and necessities would be a big help, and gov't can help with that.

I want to see the Iranian people be successful at bringing down this wretched regime. And I think Reza Pahlavi is on the right track to achieving that. He's trying to unite the opposition groups.
Solidarity is the key. It's what's been lacking over the yrs. He's going to need money and materials and I hope Washington is supporting him in his endeavors.