Reported by PMOI / MEK
Iran, Dec. 9, 2018 - Employees of the Haft Tapeh sugarcane factory in Shush, southwest Iran, continued their protests on Sunday, holding their gathering at the factory site. They are protesting once again and demanding the release of Esmaeel Bakhshi, their representative, that was promised by local authorities on Saturday.
“The moment authorities heard that our strike would continue on Saturday they lied by claiming they would be releasing Esmaeel Bakhshi on Saturday. However, we witnessed how they lied completely and their sole intention was to silence our protests. As coordinated among all Haft Tapeh employees, the strike will continue and we will no longer tolerate all these lies. Enough is enough,” the workers said on Saturday.
In other news, Iran’s universities have recently witnessed a variety of rallies and protest gatherings staged by college students marking “Students Day.” On Sunday, students of the Alame Tabatabaie University held a rally and marched in support of protests held by people from all walks of life across the country.
The college students were also seen chanting in support of National Steel Group employees protesting in Ahvaz. They were chanting, “Students, workers, unite, unite” and “Students are aware & in solidarity with workers.”
“Haft Tapeh, Hepco, Fulad (Steel) – Workers, Students, Unite, Unite”
“We are ready in our bastions, Students, Workers”
“Bread, work, freedom, council management”
“Jailed workers must be released”
On Saturday, workers of the National Steel Industrial Group in Ahvaz, Khuzestan province in southwest Iran, took to the streets of this city for the 29th consecutive day to demand their rights and protest the regime’s corrupt policies.
Rallying outside the Bank Melli branch, the workers were chanting, “The voice of each worker says down with oppressors.” The workers were marching toward the main streets of the city.
The workers of the Ahvaz steel factory have been demanding their overdue salaries for months. The lives of thousands of workers and their families have been negatively impacted by the deteriorating working conditions at the factory and the corrupt practices of its administrators. Having received no concrete response from the government, the workers began a new round of strikes and protests more than four weeks ago.
The Iranian regime has attempted to dissuade the workers from continuing their protests through different means. Regime authorities have also issued threats against the protesters, seeking to associate them with foreign meddling.
All in all, for the workers of Ahvaz, deprived of their most basic rights, the regime’s threats are sounding increasingly hollow. The workers continue to take to the streets day after day, and they are earning a growing amount of support among different classes and communities in the Iranian society and across the world.
In their protests, the workers were chanting, “Our country is full of thieves, setting an example in the world.”
They were also chanting, “Proud Ahvazis, support, support; We will uproot cruelty; Rouhani, you liar, what happened to your solutions?”
The workers were chanting, “Government, mafia, congratulations on your unity; Bank Melli, shame on you, let go of National Group; Ahvaz’s main center of corruption is right here [referring to Bank Melli]; Neither threats, nor prisons, none are no longer effective; The National Group is dead because of Bank Melli.”
As the protesters moved across the city, many other Ahvaz citizens joined them and expressed their support for their demands.
Iranian authorities are reluctant to directly confront the workers with force. On Saturday, a number of Iranian regime plainclothes agents were present among the protesters but were afraid to take any action. After nationwide protests erupted in Iran, the regime’s attempts to quell protests through violence have resulted in direct confrontations between protesters and security forces. The Iranian regime is finding itself increasingly incapable of containing the Iranian people’s rage and dissatisfaction. Meanwhile, protests by workers, teacher, drivers, students and other strata of the Iranian society are picking up steam and momentum.