Reported by PMOI/MEK
Iran, Nov. 21, 2018 - Wednesday marked the 12th day of strikes and demonstrations by the workers of the Iran National Steel Industry Group in Ahvaz, Khuzestan. The workers began their demonstration in front of the Khuzestan governor’s office are marching in front of government institutions.
The workers are protesting to unpaid wages and poor working conditions. The Iranian regime has failed to respond to the demands of the workers, who want nothing more than their basic rights to put food on their families’ tables.
Instead, the regime’s security forces have arrested several protesters and deployed contingents of troops to intimidate the protesters. But the workers of Ahvaz are continuing their protests.
The movement of the Ahvaz workers has garnered much local, national and international support. Yesterday, students and teachers in different parts of Iran expressed their support for the workers in local gatherings and on social media channels. Different labor unions and syndicates across Iran have also expressed solidarity and support for the workers of Ahvaz.
The protest movement of Ahvaz workers is happening in tandem with a similar strike by the workers of Haft Tapeh sugar cane company in Shush, also in Khuzestan province. Both groups of protesters have grown very supportive of each other.
On the international level, several labor rights group have also voiced their support for the demands of the workers of Ahvaz. Yesterday, while the foreign ministers of the European Union had gathered in the EU’s Brussels headquarters, a demonstration by supporters of the Iranian resistance expressed their solidarity with the workers of Ahvaz and Haft Tapeh.
Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi has called on all Iranians to support the movement of the workers of Ahvaz and Haft Tapeh. Mrs. Rajavi also urged all international human rights and labor organizations to support the demands of the workers of Iran.
I urge international human rights and labor organizations to condemn the mullahs’ repressive policies against Iranian workers and take urgent action to free the arrested workers. #IranProtests #Iran#FreeIran2018— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) November 19, 2018
10:00 am local time: Videos obtained from the protests show large groups of people marching and chanting slogans against the government’s corruption. “Our country has become a house of thieves. There’s nothing like it in the world,” the demonstrators are chanting.
The protesters of Ahvaz have made it clear in their demonstration that they hold the government responsible for the current situation. “Inflation, high prices, answer Rouhani,” the protesters are chanting, challenging the regime’s president Hassan Rouhani for reneging on his promises to improve the economic situation.
The regime has tried to deceive the workers with empty promises that have never been fulfilled. But after years of talk and no action, the workers will no longer tolerate the regime’s “talk therapy.” The protesters were chanting, “Death to the government that deceives the people.” They also made it clear that they will not back down from their claims in front of the pressure and threats imposed by the regime. “Workers will die but will not give in to disgrace,” the demonstrators were chanting.
The people of Ahvaz, like the other areas of Iran, are fed up from decades of religious tyranny. The regime has been plundering the wealth of the people under the pretext of religious edicts and other excuses. “They speak of Hossein, but their pride is their thievery,” the protesters chanted, referring to the historical religious figure of Shiite Muslims, Imam Hossein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammad.
A group of political prisoners from Gohardasht prison in Karaj have issued a letter in support of the workers of Ahvaz and Haft Tapeh. “The resistance and persistence of the workers of Ahvaz and Haft Tapeh is the reflection of a people who have been oppressed by the corruption and tyranny of the ruling regime,” the letter reads.