Earlier this year Independent Left members voted to support the launch of the Shahrokh Zamani Action Campaign. Shahrokh Zamani was a worker who was imprisoned by the Iranian regime for the ‘crime’ of attempting to organise a trade union. He died in prison last year.
As the Iranian regime forges closer ties with British and other ‘Western’ governments in order to enrich the capitalist classes, supporters of the Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network decided to renew efforts to build a solidarity campaign with workers still struggling for basic rights and freedoms. We will remember Shahrokh and many like him by building this movement.
We are republishing yesterday’s notice from the website here and calling on all to support this initiative to show solidarity with our brothers and sisters fighting for trade union freedom and democracy in Iran. An imjury to one is an injury to all!
Since the nuclear deal was signed in July 2015 the fortunes of Iran’s capitalists and the regime’s functionaries have taken off. But all that the workers have seen is the growing gap between them and the rich. Workers are finding the influx of luxury cars and goods hard to bear when their children are going hungry! Inevitably workers’ protests and strikes have grown steadily in recent months.
To keep the legitimate demands and protests of workers (as well as women, national and religious minorities, the youth, the disabled, LGBTQ people, writers, artists and the vast majority of the population) under control state repression has been stepped up. E.g., protests against layoffs at Agh Darreh ended with 17 gold miners being flogged (https://shahrokhzamani.com/2016/06/04/agh-darreh17/)!
The Iranian regime consider those who organise labour organisations, illegal May Day celebrations and similar activities as having “endangered national security”. These activists are thrown into medieval dungeons, where torture and other types of abuse are routinely used to cow them. And those who are defiant even in jail, like Shahrokh Zamani, a painter who tried to organise an independent trade union, can end up dead. (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/19/shahrokh-zamanis-death-in-an-iranian-prison-must-be-investigated).
International solidarity can help Iranian workers realise all their economic and political demand more quickly. There is now an urgent need for an effective solidarity movement that can support Iranian workers in their struggles. Help us build this solidarity movement. Support and publicise the launch meeting of the Shahrokh Zamani Action Campaign.
7pm – 9pm – 20 October – Hamilton House (NUT), Mabledon Place, London
Morad Shirin- Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network.
Peter Tatchell- Human rights campaigner.
Rhea Wolfson- Labour Party NEC member and GMB activist.
Rida Vaquas – Young Labour.
Henry Chango Lopez- President, IWGB Union.
Speakers in personal capacity unless otherwise stated.