The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Workers Join in Iranian Protests

Oct 24, 2022

Protests continue against the leaders of the Islamic Republic in Iran more than five weeks after the death of Mahsa Amini at the hands of the government’s “morality police.” At least 185 protesters have been killed and many more arrested. Police have fired on demonstrators, and many of those arrested have suffered beatings in police stations and prisons. Yet the movement is ongoing.

Men and women, some without head coverings, often very young, take to the streets shouting, "Death to the dictator" or "Khameini, we will bury you."

In attacking religious leaders who preach morality, but who themselves are billionaires, corrupt and depraved, the demonstrators are finding support of a large portion of the population. In recent weeks, parts of the working class have begun to join in. These include workers from the South Pars natural gas complex in the Persian Gulf near southern Iran, workers from several petrochemical companies and oil refineries, a steel complex in the Persian Gulf, and a sugar cane complex in southwestern Iran.

These strikes by Iranian workers may be limited thus far, but these workers represent a force, by their numbers and concentration in sectors that provide the main economic resources of the country. This has not been lost on the regime. Police arrested at least 100 of the striking petrochemical workers at Asalouyeh, and many have been threatened with being fired or replaced if they refuse to break their strike.

The government has blocked internet access to stop the posting of videos of the strikes on social media. It also attempts to portray the strikes as being solely economic, but strikers have stated their opposition to the government’s heavy-handed tactics against demonstrators.

It remains to be seen how widely these strikes by Iranian workers will spread, but it is their fight that offers the possibility for real change. That will require the working class to organize in its own name, and not be dragged behind any of the politicians already waiting to jump to the front to derail the workers’ movement.