Iran: “Woman, Life, Freedom” – A Programme to Win

As a contribution to the discussions about the way forward for the movement in Iran, ISA supporters have drafted a programme of demands.

The explosive events in Iran, affecting already Iraq and Afghanistan directly, are still gaining momentum. School students, especially girls are going onto the streets en-masse. Fear has disappeared as students at one university even shouted down President Raisi. There have been elements of strike action, especially in the Kurdish part of Iran, but until now the working class as such — while very active in the recent years — is (with the exception of the teachers who are predominantly female) supporting the protests passively, without giving an independent lead. The future developments are still very open and will critically depend on whether the working class as such will play a central and leading role.
The current mass protests could be the beginning of the end of the Mullah regime, they can open up a wave of protests in the region. ISA and its supporters have been actively supporting the struggle in Iran, and in building international solidarity with the movement in Iran. As a contribution to the discussions about the way forward for the movement in Iran, ISA supporters have drafted a programme of demands. This is still at a preliminary stage and will be updated as discussions develop. Comments can be sent to
More information in Farsi can also be found on the ROSA Instagram and Facebook sites.“Woman, Life, Freedom”: A programme to win

“Woman, Life, Freedom”: A programme to win

Justice for Jina (Mahsa) Amini, Nika Shakarami and all the others killed by the regime — for a comprehensive investigation and treatment of these and similar cases by democratically elected representatives of the revolutionary movement;

Fight for an end to violence, especially against women and LGBTQI+ people;

End the repression and state-violence: Away with the “morality police”, the Revolutionary Guards and the entire repressive apparatus. Release of all political prisoners, trade unionists, students and pupils; End the surveillance and control: Fight all bans on the internet and other communication media;

Police and other structures of repression out of schools, universities, workplaces and communities;

Build the movement by organising assemblies in the workplaces, schools and universities to discuss the concrete demands of the movement and democratically elect representatives to coordinate the protests and self-defense;

Get rid of all discriminatory laws and regulations — Equal rights for women, LGBTQI+ and all religious, national and ethnic minorities. Put an end to all religious laws and dress rules: For the full choice of all to wear what they want, that means the right to take off the hijab, but also to wear it if they want;

Full rights to union and political organisation. Many workers and youth have organised illegal trade union structures in recent decades despite repression — these must be expanded and networked to be the basis for rebuilding the workers’ and trade union movement throughout the country;

The workers’ movement needs to play an active role, TU’s need to expand the strikes in support of the movement and link their economic demands with those to end oppression;

For full bodily self-determination and independence for women and LGBTQI+: full divorce rights, an end to forced marriage as well as comprehensive, queer-inclusive education, health care, with full rights and access to contraception and abortion;

Full access for women & LGBTQI+ to jobs, housing, and social services regardless of any religious influence. The battle for those rights is international and shows who are the real sisters (and brothers) in this struggle: not the rulers who pretend to stand “for women ‘’ while in their own countries attacking women’s rights as has recently happened in the US. Our allies are the millions on the streets in Argentina and Poland, in China and the US who are fighting for women’s and LGBTQI+ rights;

The suppression of all ethnic, religious, and national minorities is and was a tool of divide-and-rule of the elites in Iran. Fight for a multi-ethnic state which guarantees fundamental rights such as the freedom to use languages, culture etc. There should be the right of self-determination of the Kurdish people and other minorities, up to and including the right for separation from the Iranian state if they wish;

An end to the power of the mullahs, economically, politically and socially: In a new Iran, the democratic structures of the revolution will replace the repressive ones of the mullahs. Religion will become a private matter;

For the closing of ranks of students and pupils with the workers’ movement: For an expansion of the movement into all regions, neighbourhoods and workplaces, and for the building of democratic structures for coordination;

The mass demonstrations are enormous and cut into the political base of the regime — a next step needs to cut into the economic foundations of the regime. Build for a general strike to overthrow the regime and occupy state institutions and the enterprises of the state and its supporters;

Build multi-ethnic self-defence committees to safeguard the movement in schools, universities, in the communities and workplaces against the attacks by the state and religious institutions;

Appeal to the lower ranks of the police forces and to conscripts to refuse to fulfil orders aimed at oppressing the movement. Appeal to the ordinary workers in the different fields of the state apparatus, in the administration, in the state-owned industries etc to refuse to administrate any repression. For democratic structures like soldiers’ committees to defend those rights;

Such democratic structures can link up with similar committees existing and developing in companies and workplaces and can be used to organise the distribution of food, water and necessary goods, they can start to take over power where the state pulls out and lay the basis for taking over key industries and the wealth of the country;

Some reforms or changes in the constitution or the legislation will not meet the needs for fundamental change. In seemingly “democratic” elections for a new Madschles/parliament those who will be able to stand will be chosen by the elites and not by the ordinary people who are now leading the struggle. The current regime must be replaced by truly democratic structures that are based on the bodies of struggle that are developing in the workplaces and communities. Build a complete new democracy based on the power and the strength of ordinary people, of workers who run the economy, of women, peasants and youth;

Build workers’ councils throughout the country for the complete overthrow of the state apparatus, the Revolutionary Guards and all religious institutions, and the democratic control and management of the economy, especially key industries such as the oil industry. Nationalise all privatised companies under workers’ control;

Open all company information and the internal information of the central state structure and make public, where the wealth that millions of working-class people in Iran have created has gone, who are the representatives of the regime that benefit from it — Open their accounts and expropriate them;

Use the wealth for those who produced it. For a living wage with no difference in pay between women and men. To fight inflation the prices must be controlled by democratically organised structures of the working class. Wages must be linked to price rises. End poverty by expropriating the elite and use the money to fully fund the health and education sector, for pensions and those in need;

Conversion of production only for necessary needs and use of resources and wealth to end poverty, hunger and unemployment. That’s also the basis to end the exploitation of nature that leads to droughts and food shortages. Only a democratically organised and planned economy and agriculture can rescue small peasants from exploitation by the landlords and multinationals, and ensure the conservation of species, water and nature;

From Tehran to Kabul, from Zahedan to Baghdad: for the expansion of the revolutionary movement throughout the region towards a federation of socialist countries;

No trust in imperialist powers. The USA and European imperialists strongly supported the brutal regime of the Shah and would also today only see Iran as a source for cheap oil and gas. China and Russia are nothing better, exploiting and suppressing the people in their own country and working hand in hand with the Iranian regime. For the building of an independent, revolutionary organisation of the working class and youth to ensure that after the fall of the regime representatives and corporations of the West or the old Shah’s family do not take over the wealth of the country.

A program for the international solidarity movement

Build an international solidarity movement from below — in workplaces, schools, universities and neighbourhoods with the women’s, LGBTQI+, youth, workers’ and trade union movement at the forefront;

The trade union movement has a central role to play here: not only because many colleagues come from dictatorships themselves, but also because overcoming dictatorships and exploitation improves conditions for workers everywhere in the world. Workers’ organisations must use their channels and media to inform and actively participate in protests, support them and especially support workers in those companies that do business with the regime, so as to ensure they do not suffer consequences;

Stop the hypocrisy: Against arms deliveries by the imperialist states and imperialist wars in the whole region and worldwide. This means the full opening of all company documents and their examination by representatives of the workers’ movement at companies trading directly or indirectly with Iran;

Declare war on the regime’s spy network worldwide: get rid of all diplomatic privileges, no cooperation with the regime’s authorities, the embassies and networks of this terror regime must go! Opening of all company documents, agreements, and contracts in order to uncover economic relations, but also to know which activists are threatened;

Full rights for people from Iran living in or fleeing to other countries — their right to stay must not be under any control or influence by the Iranian Authorities, so away with Visa and other restrictions;

Profits that companies have made by cooperating or tolerating the regime must be taken and used to support the movement and a democratic reconstruction. The employees of these companies must not pay for it but only the owners and shareholders;

Take over the embassies, wealth and assets of the regime and its supporters abroad into the hands of the solidarity movement;

The nuclear deal of the rulers is not a solution — get rid of all sanctions that hit the working and poor people! A successful revolution is the biggest guarantee for peace, security, freedom and self-determination in the whole region.

“Woman, Life, Liberty” everywhere: for a worldwide movement to overthrow the global capitalist system that produces women’s and LGBTQI+ oppression, dictatorships, war, misery and exploitation and to build a worldwide socialist democracy. 

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