On International Labor Day, workers from Tehran and 19 other cities gathered to protest against the looting policies of the clerical regime that are against the interests of workers. Some of the workers that protested are members of the largest Iranian opposition group, MEK Iran.
Protest rallies were held in Tehran, Karaj, Mashhad, Tabriz, Kermanshah, Boroujerd, Arak, Bojnourd, Khorramabad, Ilam, Ahvaz, Rasht, Sari, Isfahan, Qazvin, Maragheh, Shush, Shahinshahr, Neyshabur, Sanandaj, and Qom. Workers from Teheran, many of them members of the MEK Iran, gathered outside the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. In other cities, the rallies were held outside Social Security offices.
Despite the attempts of the clerical regime to prevent the protest rallies by sending state security forces, the workers continued their protest, ignoring the regime’s arrangements and, in some places, resisted the repressive forces. From the MEK Iran inform that dozens of workers were arrested in Tehran and Karaj during the protests.
Some of the slogans chanted by the demonstrators included:
- “Down with the oppressor, long live the workers”
- “Political prisoners must be freed”
- “Students, teachers and workers, unite”
- “Enough is enough, parliament and the government are deceiving the nation”
- “Shame on this insolent government”
- “We will no longer vote, we have heard enough lies”
- “The workers will die, but will never accept humiliation”
- “Enough injustice”
- “Farmers, workers, cry out for your rights”
- “The oppressed workers are deprived of their rights”
- “The workers are vigilant, they hate the dictators”
- “The imprisoned workers must be released”
- “The enemy of the workers is the plundering government”
- “Our enemy is right here (the state), they’re lying it’s America”
- “It is only by taking to the streets that we can get our rights”
- “We have heard so many lies, we will no longer vote”
- “Our problem is shared, join us people!”
- “We will not rest until we get our rights”
- “The poverty line is 10 million rials, our wages are 2 million rials”
According to the MEK Iran, the state-controlled national trade union center, “House of Workers”, with the aim to counter the workers’ rally, brought a number of mercenaries to the scene by bus at 9 a.m. local time. However, by 10 a.m., they dispersed in failure.
“Despite the repressive measures on the occasion of the International Labor Day, workers had succeeded in showing their indignation against the clerical dictatorship and called for a boycott of the presidential election. A dictatorship which plunders the people is the enemy of the workers,” said Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and leader of MEK Iran.
According to Rajavi, oppression and discrimination against workers will increase, as long as the clerical regime is in power. Overthrowing the clerical regime and establishing freedom and democracyin Iran will be necessary in order to uphold workers’ rights. These are the goals which the opposition group MEK Iran has been struggling for, since inception.
Rajavi also urged the United Nations and other human and workers’ rights organizations to take immediate action to secure the release of the workers arrested in Iran.