- Category: Revolutionary Strategy
- Created on Saturday, 24 October 2009 04:04
- Written by Call of the Red
Here at Kasama we have been publishing documents and reports from a number of different political trends in Iran. Here is a statement from a group called "Call of the Red."
It critiques various demands that were common in the recent mass protest, and encourages working people to come into the political movement and bring their specific (often economic) concerns with them.
We are offering this message here without endorsing its particular politics and tactics.
It sketches an important problem facing the revolutionary movements in Iran: How to build on a highly spontaneous movement of protest, and develop (out of it) sustained organization that reaches deeper into the working people. How to bring the struggle out from under the wing of the "reform" currents within the regime -- and have working people develop an independent and far more radical current.
The translation into English is a bit primitive, but we have not edited it extensively, believing that most of it will be understandable to readers.
12th Public Message from the Call of the Red:
Forward to the November 3 Demonstrations in Organized Manner and With Clear demands!
We are going to welcome the third of November, the National Student's Day. Contrary to regime’s fallacious propagandas, this day has not been registered in Iranian history due to regime mercenaries’ taking Americans hostage in their embassy, but, it is the commemoration day for High School students’ support of teachers’ strike, during the revolutionary struggles against the Pahlavi royal dictatorship on November 3rd 1978. On that day all across the country, students of High Schools and, other levels, came into streets with organization and regardless of their ages, being so young, they showed such endurance as though they were writing the exemplary sheets to their elders. We salute all Iranian students and we are hopeful that on November 3rd 2009, they create another legacy in the revolutionary struggles of Iranian peoples for better living and freedom.
Right now a large variety of political groups are declaring their support for a concentrated and nationwide gathering. We also invite all peoples of Iran, the workers and red forces in particular, to participate in these gathering to demonstrate alongside of our comrades. But, at this mark in history, there are few remarkable matters that we need to point out in this message.
A Short Sum Up
In our previous message (11th Message) we spoke in regards to the achievements obtained during the recent struggles. We mentioned the experiences gained in the streets & squares. We got to know the limits of slogans and suggestions of the reformist’s leadership and by calling slogans such as “No Gaza, No Lebanon, our lives for Iran” and, “Independence, Freedom, Iranian Republic” , we showed our opposition to the regime as a whole, for the establishment of new political and legal order in our country. That is despite the fact that we are against the national chauvinistic meaning within these slogans, and, we are supporters and endorses of a “Soviet Republic”, meaning the Direct Democracy of the Masses and, we did not participate in that particular chant. But, still, since we are counting up the privative aspect of this slogan, which is also the imperative aspect among masses of people, hence we consider it as a step forward and, an achievement to the reformists' demands of the "Execution of the reactionary Islamic Republic's Constitution".
Also, we spoke about breaking the Taboo of “Nonviolent” policy that has no context with its title, since it means the people’s unconditional surrender to the suppressive forces and the dictatorship of ruling regime. We acknowledged your defensive courses of action and counter attacks, and burning down their tools of repression, as an outstanding achievement among the people’s struggle.
But, the very important problem that was due to the spontaneity of the struggles in the street, and incompetence and inadequacy of the reformists’ leadership – as an obstacle on the way of the struggle advancement – is what we have found as a tenacious element. Every day, we must advance to more organized formats in our struggle. In our previous messages we introduced one of these formats that are the “neighborhood groups” in forms of neighborhood nucleuses, committees or assemblies and explained that through the advancement of the revolutionary struggle, they shall be emanated as the neighborhood soviets, and, one of the pillars of popular power. But, today we intend to introduce to you another format of group organizing;
Trade Organizations in Working Centers
An important part of our lives are spent in our work places. Usually, it ought to be an 8 hour day, which is a third of a lifetime. But, in current conditions, from the first day of Islamic Republic establishment 30 years ago, the blood sucking capitalists, began turning working shifts into 10 up to 12 hours a day, in addition to the free overtime hours they force upon us, it can well be said that a worker and an office clerk spends more than a half of her/his lifetime in the workplace. Since, our working place is also the source of our income; hence it has a direct and immediate relation to our living standards and our buying power of food, educational, medical and recreational expenses for our families. Therefore, our immediate demands come out of this place in relations to our colleagues from one side, (who sympathize and are from the same class) and, from the other side, the relations of exploitation and class antagonism in regards to the bosses.
Although the economical crisis that caused the 1979 revolution were never solved, but, after the war (Iran-Iraq), and lifting the support programs, such as coupons for goods, fuel, essential food products, medications and services subsidizing, and dollar in cheap state price rate, etc., from the first round of Hashemi Rafsanjani’s presidency up till today, has turned into intolerable levels. We witnessed consumers’ insurrections in towns near Tehran (Islamshahr, and…) in 1995. But, with Khatami coming into power along with fallacious inane promises of the regime reformists, then these struggles fell into official regime’s channels.
After exposition of their lies as early as the year 2000, we witnessed an escalation of the spontaneous struggling of the workers. During these struggles the buds of workers independent syndicates and unions rejuvenated once again. They were violently smashed and replaced with yellow organizations in the years of the counter revolution, i.e. 1980s. A very large majority of these organizations were in forms of Factory & Strike Committees, and the specific Protest Representations. A few syndicates and unions were formed. Unfortunately, after the ebb of their struggles, they remained only in forms with a few Union Officials, and no masses behind them. But, nowadays, considering the perplexing growth of the workers struggles and then its contagious effects on the white collar workers (Teachers and Clerks), due to economic turmoil’s severity, with the offices and plants closing down, we are witness to their formation once again. Although such organizations are unofficial and temporary, and they have not achieved qualitative evolution in contrast with the past, but their myriad numbers and having longer periods of strikes and protests from the workers, has made their role much more outstanding.
One of the weaknesses of current people’s struggle is that these groups of organizations are not attracted to be indrawn into the political struggles in the streets. The reason is related to the fear of the reformists from escalation of the working class struggles to the political level. The most important step that the young revolutionary organizers of the protests can take to upgrade the movement from its spontaneity is to call out these organizations. They could pass out flyers and issue statements to these scattered groups of workers that are involved in daily strikes & trade struggles to stress the point that their direct & organized participations in struggles within the streets and next to the people that are mostly their own colleagues and from the same class base, the chance of achieving their immediate demands will be more likely to succeed. Like the idiom saying “When death gets near they will abide the fever”, the tyrant Islamic Republic that possesses near 80% of the production plants and bureaus, will be ready to accept their immediate trade demands to prevent the expansion of the base and radicalization of the goals of these struggles.
One of the major weaknesses of the current struggle that has granted the regime the chance to avoid objective retreats, is the fact that the forces of these struggles lack organized format and alignments. During these struggles workers, employees, teachers, jobless youth, students, women movements, defenders of children rights, oppressed ethnic groups & etc...are marching in the street as separate individuals in a disorganized fashion, without clear and specific demands alongside the ultimate demand of "Down With Dictator" and "Establishment of an Iranian Republic". But, if these struggles are to push back the regime to the point of tangible retreats, the layers of people must get together in organized files based on their specific direct and immediate demands, beside the general slogans such as “down with the dictator” and so on.
Right now workers from many, many production plants of Tehran and other cities are protesting for their jobs against their dismissals, and receiving their back pays and so forth. These people should participate in these street focused battlegrounds with their orderly and distinctive signs to be bringing up their points of protesting in refuge of the crowds of millions of people to make millions of participants hear their grievances and have them exposed to a global audience through the major international media. Or the jobless youth of ours- with diploma and higher degrees - can raise their banner and attract thousands and thousands of other jobless youth who participate in these struggles as single individuals, to themselves and use this opportunity to organize and build the foundation for the jobless movement and organization. Take these suggestions into action and pretty soon you shall see that to prevent the expansion and radicalization of these struggles, the regime will be forced to immediately grant such demands, with the assumption of prevention of their support of the revolutionary struggles. But, these retreats will have the opposite effect. These victories as small as they might be, will show the actual weakness of the regime, and yet, draw more layers of people in the arena of the struggles. By adding specific trade demands to the main political ones, the movement will appeal to all layers of the society, whom through organized direct mass struggle will turn more radical by each mass action.
Incompetent Reformists and the Slogans
Now, coming back to the political aspect of the struggle at hand, the results of our struggle conclusively shows that in order to force the autocratic Islamic Republic regime to budge in retreating to certain demands that would result in the more openness of the political sphere, we ought to shout out our ultimate goals and stay away from generic and non-threatening slogans that are not along the lines of our goals and demands and have no effects during these struggles. We saw how chanting for “Iranian Republic” made officials and supporters of the autocrat regime shiver out of fear to such an extent that they have granted the reformists a free working ground, as long as they do not chant such slogans. Hence, we must learn from this experience that we can frighten the regime when we bring up our maximum demands and force them to take larger steps backward to retreat. But, on the opposite side, the generic and non-threatening slogan that are expressing the compromising tendencies and, also exposes the fear of the masses of people from suppression, will encourage them to repress us further and more wildly.
Among those slogans that turn the regime on for further suppression is the chant of "Allah o Akbar" (God is great). This chant has been injected into this struggle through reformists’ insistence. They told the people that if you shout out this chant, then the regime mercenary forces cannot be repressing you, since they will be shamed to beat up, arrest and torture people who chant “Allah o Akbar” as their slogan. Although, we saw that these tyrants, not only attack the people who are chanting “Allah o Akbar” and have them arrested, but, also, after their apprehension, they rape girls, women and even young boys while saying "Allah o Akbar" themselves, and, kill them and burn their bodies not to leave a trace of their crimes.
Another set of slogans that we ought to stay away from are the ones that are shouted out loud by reformist supporters to emphasize on the leadership of their own leaders. Such slogans also create the delusion among the dictators and their repressive forces that the reformists are in control of this movement and thus will keep the people within the harmless and limited level. We must consciously abstain from repeating the slogans that the supporters of Hashemi Rafsanjani, Mehdi Karoobi and Mirhossein Mousavi shout out. Since the first one has exposed his treacherous nature and granted Khameneii the Suitable Cassock for Wiseman’s Dominion and god only knows that in exchange of this betrayal what satisfactory exchange he has gained. And, the Iranian history, as well as our own experiences and those of the working class of the world shows that very soon, the other two will follow. As of now, already there are clear signs of their collusion with coup regime runners. From Ghods day onward, all of the messages coming from Mousavi have been against popular demands and prohibits the people to act "destructively" against the regime, and forbids chanting of Radical slogans and wants us to bow down to the repressive attacks of the regime's mercenaries. He suggests that during their attacks and clubbing, people should remain humble, silent and without movement, like sacrificial lambs. They call this "Non-Violent Movement"!!! To dupe us thinking that our defensive actions are alike and equal to the violence of the Islamic dictatorship agents and mercenaries.
The nature of the peoples' revolutionary struggle has way passed the potentials & limits of the reformist interests and goals. Neither the reformists have the potential to follow up revolutionary struggles of the people, nor should we encourage the delusion of the people to the opposite. Therefore, not only under no conditions should we repeat such slogans, but we must explain to the people, how repeating such slogans will encourage the Regime to stick to the "No Compromising" & subversive policy.
Finally we hope that The November 3rd demonstrations will contain more achievements for the people’s struggles to force the regime of the bosses and capitalists of the Islamic Republic to go further into retreat; and more important than anything else, we hope that this demonstrations will reveal an important step taken in direction of organization and clarity, taking into account the needs and demands of every social movement and in particular blue and white collar workers of Iran.
Down with the Islamic Republic
Bread, Housing, Freedom – Soviet Republic!