This resolution was passed at the 2nd Latin American Gathering of Workers in Occupied Factories in Caracas, on June 25-27.
The 2nd Latin American Gathering of Workers in Occupied Factories wishes to express our support to the revolutionary movement of the Iranian masses against the Islamic Republic, and particularly to the movement of Iranian workers for their democratic rights and economic demands, while rejecting at the same time any imperialist interference.
The images of brutal repression against the youth and workers of Iran and the realisation that in Iran a young student or a worker can go to jail for the simple act of organising a strike, creating a trade union or demonstrating against the state or the bosses, has caused a massive outrage against the Iranian government on the part of workers and youth all over the world. Several counter-revolutionary intellectuals and the mass media at the service of imperialism, conscious of this, are attempting – with the cynicism and demagogy which characterise them – to identify Venezuela with Iran, and an honest anti-imperialist and revolutionary president like Chávez with Ahmadinejad. This Gathering rejects these allegations.
Even though Ahmadinejad’s government criticises US imperialism in an attempt to divert the masses from their internal problems, it is not even consequent in its struggle against this enemy which it criticises. The US military intervention in Iraq could count on the passivity of the Iranian government and ruling class, which saw the weakening of the rival Iraqi regime as an opportunity to strengthen their power in the region. Instead of favouring a unified revolutionary struggle for national liberation in the neighbouring country, the Iranian regime played a key role in putting a break to this and dividing the struggle on religious lines.
Like in 1979, Ahmadinejad has used anti-imperialist and pro-poor rhetoric, in an attempt to win support from the masses. But let’s have a look at what the real conditions of the Iranian people are under his presidency. First of all, in Venezuela, the Bolivarian revolution has unleashed a wave of trade union organisation and militant struggle on part of the workers. President Chávez has called on the workers to occupy abandoned factories and to run them under workers’ control. In Iran the workers have no right to organise or to strike and if they break these laws they face the most brutal repression. In the case of the Tehran bus drivers, when 3,000 of them attempted to organise a union, the company replied with mass sackings, and the police attacked the trade union leaders, including the general secretary Osanloo, whose tongue the police thugs attempted to cut off.
When trade union activists in Sanandaj attempted to organise a May Day celebration in 2007, the police responded with brutal repression. Eleven of the leading activists were condemned to receive 10 lashings and to pay a fine before they were released. When some 2,000 worker-activists attempted to organise a May Day celebration in Tehran this year, the police responded with brutal repression and 50 of them were arrested (some are still in jail). Millions of Iranian workers are owed unpaid wages for months. When they try to organise they face brutal police repression.
While in Venezuela the Bolivarian Revolution has put a halt to the process of privatisation of state-owned companies and renationalised many that had been privatised, in Iran, Ahmadinjead has accelerated privatisation of state-owned companies (167 privatisations in 2007/08 and a further 230 in 2008/09), including the privatisation of telecommunications, of the Isfahan Mobarakeh Steel mill, of the Isfahan Petrochemical Company, of the Kurdistan Cement Company, etc. The list of companies to be privatised include the largest petrochemical complex in the country, most large banks, gas and oil companies, the insurance sector, etc.
For all these reasons, we make an appeal to workers all over Latin America to support actions in solidarity with the Iranian workers and people who have risen against the capitalist government of Ahmadinejad, and to help clarify the confusion that the media is trying to sow about this movement of the oppressed masses and the workers in Iran.
June 27, 2009