Saturday, July 25, 2009

International Solidarity with Iranian People

This slideshow is from Revolutionary Road.

Statement of Independent Union of Print Shop Workers of Tehran to
July 25 International Day of Solidarity Rallies

[Thanks to Steve Zeltzer for sending this!]

brothers and sisters:

on the occasion of iran solidarity day, we men and women members of the independent union of printshop workers of tehran (iupwt), would like to extend to you, halfway across the globe, our deep appreciation for your support and solidarity with our cause.
our union, iupwt, is centered on a number of large and mostly state- or semi-state-owned enterprises accounting for the bulk of the books and print media published in the capitol. because of the harsh police conditions imposed against labor organizing, our union activists and the workers who support us have to operate under the constant threat of arrest, imprisonment in solitary conditions, physical and mental abuse, and dismissal from work. at the time of rising unemployment, the least of these measures, dismissal from work, could have devastating effect on our workers and their families. these are illegal acts that are even against the iranian regime's own constitution, not to mention all the international covenants to which the iranian government is a signatory.

as you all well know, the courage of our people, especially its young, has permanently transformed iran into a new country. there is mass repression going on against our people but the dictatorship has lost its aura of invincibility and its mystique of superior other-worldly power. and for the first time in more than a generation, there is hope again in the country. [...]

dear friends, at this point, allow us to speak freely to you. there are some dangerous misconceptions about the democratic movement in iran that must be addressed urgently:

one of these misconceptions is that the green wave movement is a rich man's movement, whereas mahmood ahmadinejad's government is a pro-working class and pro-poor people's movement headed by a humble man of the people. this is a gross and blatant lie. our movement is supported by millions of the poor and the working people. ahmadinejad is a demagogue who has surrounded himself with ex-revolutionary guards, present-day multi-millionaires who care absolutely nothing for the poor.

if he is pro-working class, why did he want to end 70% of all subsidies last year? why did he change the labor law against the workers' interests? why does he systematically arrest, imprison and torture labor activists? this is an insult to the working people of iran that they support a petty dictator because he has bought them off by cash hand-outs and free footstuff at election time.

ahmadinejad is as much a progressive man of the people as mussolini was pro-working class and anti-capitalist. [...]

we suspect that this myth is bought by those in the worldwide progressive movement that automatically assume anybody who stands up or pretends to stand up to the american empire must be a noble nationalist. to these friends, we must say that anti-americanism is just a fig leaf for the most reactionary and obscurantist forces in iran who need it to hide their deeds, namely, their incompetence, their theft of national property and their repression against their own people and their personal enrichment in the name of religion. if mr. khamenei has benefited the progressive anti-imperialist cause anywhere, it has been out of opportunism and nothing else!

Read the complete statement here ...

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