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End the Islamic Republic!

Saturday 24 December 2022, by Babak Kia

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The uprising triggered by the murder of Jina Mahsa Amini stands out in its length, scale and radicalism. Its slogans attack the very essence of the Islamic Republic.

“Woman, Life, Freedom.” This slogan is the banner of the uprising. Of Kurdish origin, it links up with the cultural and political demands of national minorities oppressed by the central government. It also makes the link with all the feminist struggles of recent decades. When the oppressed raise their heads, all the marginalized and exploited components of society move forward. Women are supported by men who also aspire to freedom and equality. This slogan has real revolutionary potential. It expresses a radical rejection of theocratic dictatorship and patriarchy. By chanting “Death to the dictator, whether the guide or the Shah” the demonstrators express their desire to put an end to all forms of dictatorship.

Protesters don’t give up

Every day and every night, protesters act in various forms and confront the regime. Women, youth, especially university students and high school students, and workers find modes of organization and contestation adapted to the conditions of repression.

At a time when the country is hit by an unprecedented economic, social and political crisis, and the corruption of dignitaries is reaching new heights, workers are trying to find ways to strike and generalize this. On 5, 6 and 7 December, the country experienced particularly well supported strikes in the universities, among truck drivers (in struggle since 26 November), in some petrochemical sectors, in cement and steel factories in Isfahan and among bus drivers in Mashhad. Many bazaars have been closed.

Fierce repression

The Islamic Republic has lost all legitimacy and has only repression, rape, torture, the death penalty and massacres to maintain itself. In more than 160 cities, large and small, repressive forces are attacking protests. In Kurdistan and Sistan-Balucthistan, a veritable war is being waged against peaceful and determined demonstrators. The Revolutionary Guards do not hesitate to fire on the crowds, use heavy weapons, surround the cities, install a climate of terror and kidnap young protesters.

The toll is heavy: more than 500 dead including 60 teenagers and more than 19,000 arrests. In many cases, families do not know where their loved one is detained or their stage of health. In detention, rape and torture are systematic.

In retaliation for strikes, workers in struggle are dismissed and arrested. They face intense pressure on their families and exorbitant legal costs.

Repression goes a step further

Despite the crackdown, the regime has failed to quell the uprising. To save their power and privileges, its dignitaries have decided to take it to the next level. The judiciary holds show trials and sentences detainees to long prison terms. Death sentences are multiplying. Already two young demonstrators have been hanged and others will be hanged in the coming days.
The Islamic Republic is accustomed to this: at least 35,000 opponents were executed in 1981-1983, and 4,500 political prisoners in the summer of 1988. At the time, Ebrahim Raisi (the current President of the Republic) was among those responsible for ordering the executions. The bloody machine currently unleashed will only be stopped by a strong and immediate international campaign against the death penalty, as well as by a massive mobilization in Iran, especially that of workers.

Developing solidarity

In particular, we must demand a halt to executions and the release of all political detainees. We must also undertake concrete initiatives to support workers and all those who fight for equality, democracy and social justice.

It is urgent that the radical left, youth organizations, feminist and trade union networks take internationalist initiatives of solidarity with the ongoing uprising.

Translated by International Viewpoint from l’Anticapitaliste la Revue. 


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