One year has passed since the brutal killing of Jina Amini in the hands of the ‘morality police’ that sparked one of the most radical and far-reaching protest waves in Iran’s history against violence, oppression & dictatorship. With women and youth at the forefront — inspiring not only wider layers of working people inside Iran but also millions of women worldwide. Today, state-forces have increased repression to try to desperately prevent the brave masses from coming to the streets again. But despite the arrests, executions and intimidation people have not stopped protesting. The courageous feminist, working class journalist and activist Sepideh Qolian wrote in a letter describing the horrors of her imprisonment:
“The echoes of ‘Woman, Life, Freedom’ can be heard even through the thick walls of Evin prison.”
No going back
Not only have we seen some continued and new eruptions of street protests like in Kurdistan, Khuzestan, Sistan and Baluchestan: In spring, workers went on strike for higher wages in over a hundred workplaces. Pensioners continue protesting against the unbearable impacts of the economic crisis. It is only a question of time until the revolutionary movement rises again and proclaims after Rosa Luxemburg: “I was, I am, I shall be”. Today, women are just waiting for the morality police to intimidate them to be able to immediately fight back verbally and physically. Arrests and intimidation by state forces are now regularly answered with spontaneous fight back, with women and men gathering in crowds to stop the arrest.
The courageous revolt of the masses led by young women and men that has brought Iran to the doorstep of revolution will not be forgotten by the masses. Rather, it serves the basis for a new wave of the movement — rising up again to demand the release of all political prisoners, the end of police brutality and repression and the overthrow of the entire regime. The Mullahs have made clear they will not make any concessions to the movement. All threads of the Iranian state and economy converge in their hands, and they will not give up power and wealth voluntarily. Overthrowing the Mullah’s brutal regime will only be possible with the sheer force of the organized masses — all of the oppressed and especially the working class, with its power to bring the entire economy to a halt.
For independent action by the working class and oppressed
We’ve seen a glimpse of the potential power of the working class, poor and oppressed to take their destiny into their own hands — with the heroic struggle of Haft Tappeh workers, with teachers going on strike, with oil workers moving into struggle. The masses themselves are the only force that should decide over the country. Reza Pahlavi and all the forces that have rallied behind him and his agenda do not represent these masses. They represent the wealth and power of imperialism, sideline minorities’ demands and pose a threat to the movement. In order to further spread and rebuild the movement we need to make sure that they are not the only organized opposition to the Islamic regime. The broad alliance and ‘charter’ formed in February by some independent workers’ and students’ organizations shows which steps are necessary: coordinated and organized action from below on the basis of a common programme and demands.
Build the struggle for Woman Life Freedom across the world
Build real international solidarity from below with the people in Iran: Protest on the streets, demand our trade unions to take a stand, build solidarity groups in exile and through that, resist any form of imperialist intervention. The ruling classes and governments of western countries have robbed the resources and driven the whole region into war and destruction. The race for profits is their only interest, whether in the form of sanctions that hit mainly the poorest or in the form of rotten deals with the Mullahs. These governments hypocritically talk about solidarity with the women in Iran, while at the same time controlling womens’ bodies themselves through abortion bans, attacks on womens’ and queer rights as well as racist policies like bans on hijab.
Our allies are the masses protesting in Syria against the reactionary regime, the students and women in Afghanistan heroically continuing the struggle against the Taliban. It is the masses protesting in Israel and Palestine against the threat of the far-right and religious fundamentalists. It is the youth and working class in France protesting police violence and racism, as well as economic hardship and poverty. It is women, youth and working class people everywhere suffering under the endless forms of oppression and exploitation — from gender-based violence, to racist police killings, to war and climate catastrophe. Capitalism is a world-wide system driving the whole world into destruction and horror — including the perpetuation of reactionary regimes like in Iran.
This is why international solidarity means taking up the fight everywhere we are, to make sure the call for “Woman Life Freedom” becomes reality: To end sexism, racism, queerphobia and the system behind them. To demand full equality on every level of society which includes the struggle against the super rich robbing and exploiting working masses, driven by the system of profit and inhumanity.
One report, disrupted in the last months, was a story about a young girl. In her school class, she took off her mandatory hijab and the teacher threatened to kick her out of school for it. When he asked her name, she answered: I am Jina Amini — all the other students stood up and said: We are also Jina Amini. This is not an exceptional situation, it has become a daily struggle against one of the most repressive dictatorships in the world. And this courage and solidarity gives us an immense inspiration to struggle for our rights, to organize now and to build an international, socialist-feminist force.
Build the struggle for
- An immediate end to the bloody repression: Release all political prisoners, trade unionists and students, reinstate all anti-regime workers dismissed from their jobs, and fight back against police, military, Revolutionary Guards and all state forces;
- Expand the struggle for full equality and freedom for women and queer people on every level: Ged rid of all the discriminatory laws and struggle against any form of gender-based violence and oppression;
- Build fighting and democratically organized structures in the workplaces, schools and neighborhoods to resist the repression and to discuss the necessary programme for the movement;
- Resist any form of imperialism — not the US, not China, not Russia: Build independent working class organizations to struggle for an alternative to the regime;
- Fight for real democracy: Build towards a revolutionary constituent assembly by workers’ councils, excluding all forces who have been involved in oppression and exploitation to replace the regime with a democratic socialist workers’ republic with full rights, including the right to self-determination, for all national and ethnic groups.
- Build international working class and socialist feminist solidarity: Organize with ROSA and ISA to help build this struggle! for an international struggle that will replace the rotten capitalist system that drives racism, sexism, imperialism and war with an equal, prosperous and peaceful socialist society!